Lincoln, Neb. – The Big Ten Conference announced its 2013 outdoor track and field individual award winners on Tuesday. Nebraska senior Mara Griva was named the Field Athlete of the Year and of the Championships, while Nebraska head coach Gary Pepin was named the Men’s’ Outdoor Track and Field Coach of the Year as voted on by the Big Ten coaches.
Pepin was honored after leading his men’s team to their first Big Ten team title at last weekend's 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Championships in Columbus, Ohio where Nebraska beat Minnesota 131.50-93. The Huskers brought a well-rounded team to Columbus, as NU won the team title with only two individual event wins. Pepin has now been named a conference coach of the year 24 times. As the men's and women's coach, he has guided the Huskers to 69 conference titles, including 44 Big Eight championships, 23 Big 12 team titles and two Big Ten crowns.
Griva was honored by the Big Ten coaches after earning the long and triple jump titles at the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Championships. She finished first in the long jump with a season-best leap of 20-9 (6.32) and took first in the triple jump with a leap of 43-5 ¼ (13.24). Griva ranks 17th in the nation in the long jump and is fifth in the nation in the triple jump. Her wins over the weekend capped a successful outdoor season and completed her sweep of the conference horizontal jumps during the 2013 season as she earned the indoor long and triple jump titles in February.
The Big Ten Conference also recognized Teran Walford and Annie Jackson as Nebraska’s Sportsmanship Award recipients. The student-athletes chosen for the award are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior.
Men’s Awards Track Athlete of the Year Justin Austin, Iowa
Field Athlete of the Year Derek Drouin, Indiana
Freshman of the Year Bill Stanley, Ohio State
Track Athlete of the Championships Justin Austin, Iowa Field Athlete of the Championships Michael Hartfield, Ohio State
Coach of the Year Gary Pepin, Nebraska
Women’s Awards Track Athlete of the Year Ashley Spencer, Illinois
Field Athlete of the Year Mara Griva, Nebraska
Freshman of the Year Alexis Franklin, Ohio State
Track Athlete of the Championships Ashley Spencer, Illinois Field Athlete of the Championships Mara Griva, Nebraska Coach of the Year Beth Alford-Sullivan, Penn State
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