Riley Named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Year and Championships
May 15, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - After a stellar weekend at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, senior Andrew Riley earned a pair of laurels on Tuesday, as announced by the conference office. The Kingston, Jamaica, native was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Year while also being selected as the Track Athlete of the Championships for the second time in his career as he won both awards two years ago as a sophomore. Riley took the top spot in the 100m dash and the 110m hurdles at last weekend's conference meet while also leading off the winning 4x100m relay team. Also, senior Stanley Aziefinished runner-up in the 100m.
“Both awards are certainly well deserved for Andrew (Riley),” head coach Mike Turk said. “It’s nice that he is being recognized for his accomplishments. This year’s Big Ten Championships was extremely competitive and it says a lot that Riley is being honored by the coaches in the conference. As I have said in the past, Riley is a diamond amongst a lot of gems.”
Riley becomes the first Illini in school history to win Big Ten Outdoor Athlete of the Year and of the Championships twice in their career and is the sixth Illini to be honored in each category. He joins a list of former winners such as Sherman Armstrong(1999), Marko Koers (1996), Anthony Jones (1994) and Tim Simon (1988). The nine-time All-American also garnered first-team All-Big Ten honors for his first-place finishes.
At Wisconsin's McClimon Track Complex, Riley notched his third Big Ten title in the 110m hurdles, clocking a time of 13.64 to defeat runner-up Ethan Holmes (13.74) of Iowa. He followed it up by winning the 100m dash with a time of 10.39. However, Riley started his day on the leadoff leg of the 4x100m relay, which defended their conference title from last year, winning in a time of 39.63, a season-best for the foursome of freshman Brandon Stryganek, sophomore Jade Ackermanand Azie.
Other outdoor track and field awards announced by the Big Ten included Ohio State's Alexis Thomas being named Field Athlete of the Year and Derek Drouin of Indiana picking up Field Athlete of the Championships. Penn State's Robby Creese was named Freshman of the Year while Wisconsin's head coach Ed Nuttycombe was named Coach of the Year after guiding the Badgers to the conference title.
The conference office also announced honorees from each team for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, with freshman Corey Hammonbeing selected from Illinois. The chosen student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sport-competition setting. These student-athletes are now candidates for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, as the conference office will honor one male and one female student-athlete from each institution at the end of the school year.
2012 Big Ten Men's Outdoor Individual Honors
Track Athlete of the Year
Field Athlete of the Year
Freshman of the Year
Track Athlete of the Championships
Field Athlete of the Championships
Coach of the Year
Sportsmanship Award Honorees