The Big Ten Champion Minnesota Golden Gopher track teams earned a fistful of hardware when the conference announced its individual awards yesterday. Earning accolades in the Gophers' first-ever men's and women's sweep at Big Tens are:
Heather Dorniden ... Dorniden was named the Big Ten Athlete of the Championship. Dorniden captured a pair of first place finishes in the 600 meter run and the mile. The seven-time All-American clocked a Big Ten Championships-record time of 1:27.78 in the 600 meters. Dorniden won the 600 meters just 50 minutes after winning the mile in 4:43.71. She helped seal the team title for the Gophers by anchoring the 4th place 4x400-meter relay.
Aaron Studt ... Studt was named the Big Ten Field Event Athlete of the Year. Studt won the first of the Gophers’ five individual titles at the Big Ten Championships. The Gopher junior won the shot put with a career-best mark of 62-11 1/4 inches, the third-best throw in school history. He added a fourth place showing in the weight throw.
Matt Fisher ... Fisher earned the Big Ten Field Event Athlete of the Championships award. Fisher matched his career-best of 7-3 to win the high jump. Fisher, a junior, did not miss a single attempt before clearing the winning height.
Matt Bingle ... The Gopher women's coach earned his third consecutive Big Ten Coach of the Year honor. Bingle has guided the Gophers to titles in the Big Ten indoor meet in each of the last three seasons and garnered Coach of the Year honors after each title.
Steve Plasencia ... Plasencia earned his first career Coach of the Year award in his inaugural season as the head coach of the Gopher men’s track & field program. Plasencia, a Minnesota alum, has coached the Gopher men’s cross country team for 13 years.
A Full Listing ... of Big Ten award winners -- including athletes named to the first and second-team all-Big Ten squads -- can be found HERE (women) and HERE (men).