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COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State men’s swimming and diving team was as outstanding in the classroom during the 2009-10 academic campaign as it was in the pool when it had its best season in nearly 50 years by winning the Big Ten Conference championship and placing ninth at the NCAA championships.

A total of 35 student-athletes from the team were named either an OSU Scholar-Athlete, Academic All-Big Ten Conference or both this season. The academic success comes as really no surprise for this group, though.

The diving team, coached by Vince Panzano, won the Ohio State Varsity “O” award for the sixth consecutive year for having the highest team grade point average. Scholar-athletes Ryan Jefferson, Sean Moore and Wes Wieser had a combined, average grade point average of 3.76 on a 4.00 scale to lead the diving team.

The swimming team under the direction of coach Bill Wadley, the 2010 Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year, is ranked in the Top 15 nationally with its team grade point average after having the third-highest team GPA in the nation during the 2008-09 season.

Additionally, swimmer Stefan Sigrist, a senior from Schaffhausen, Switzerland and the 2010 Big Ten champion in the 1,650 freestyle, was Ohio State’s male winner of the prestigious Big Ten Medal of Honor. Sigrist is majoring in political science and economics and he was named last year to the inaugural list of Big Ten Conference Distinguished Scholars.

Diver Wieser, a senior computer science and engineering major from Chesterfield, Mo. and an All-American on all three boards at the 2010 NCAA championships, was one of the six male finalists for the Big Ten Medal of Honor.

A national honor was won by sophomore finance major Andrew Elliott, from Granger, Ind. this year. He was awarded the first-ever NCAA Elite 88 award for Division I men’s swimming and diving for being the student-athlete with the highest grade-point average at the NCAA championships.

The list of OSU Scholar-Athletes for the 2009-10 school year includes (individuals with an asterisk – must be a sophomore academically – were also named Academic All-Big Ten Conference for having at least a 3.30 GPA):

Seniors

*Andrew Bretscher – Parks & Recreation & Tourism Administration; Greencastle, Ind.

*Alex Chen – Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering; Bowie, Md.

*Duncan De Wet – Finance; Johannesburg, South Africa

*Joel Elber – Exercise Science; Brunswick, Ohio

*Ryan Jefferson – Exercise Science; Madison, Wis.

*Daniel Malnik – Finance; Rishon Le‐zion, Israel

*George Markovic – Finance; Sydney, Australia

*Mark Neiman – Operations Management; Cherry Hill, N.J.

*Sam Pelkey – Biology; Muncie, Ind.

*Niksa Roki – Biology; Zagreb, Croatia

*Stefan Sigrist – Political Science & Economics; Schaffhausen, Switzerland

*Weston Wieser – Computer Science & Engineering; Chesterfield, Mo.

Juniors

*Itai Chammah – Marketing; Yavne, Israel

*Justin Farra – Political Science; Clarksville, Ohio

*Michael Hulme – International Studies; Bozeman, Mont.

*Elliott Keefer – History; Loveland, Ohio

Sean Moore – Business; Englewood, Colo.

*Tom O’Neill – Finance; Malverne, N.Y.

*Ben Savonen – Mechanical Engineering; Carleton, Mich.

Sophomores

*Andrew Elliott – Finance; Granger, Ind.

*Lincoln Fahrbach – Exploring Majors; Fremont, Ohio

*Brent Hitchcock – Molecular Genetics; Springfield, Ohio

*Austin Mudd – Molecular Genetics; Fishers, Ind.

*Mark Nicholson – Pre‐Industrial Design; Charlottesville, Va.

*Stephen Sakaris – Psychology; Potomac, Md.

*Markus Sievers – Electrical Engineering; Hamburg, Germany

*Alex Smit – Finance; Mason, Ohio

*Steven Springer – Pre‐Business; Cincinnati, Ohio

Freshmen

Joe Albers – Exploring Majors; West Chester, Ohio

Ben Bailey – Engineering; Lewis Center, Ohio

Zach Birnbrich – Engineering; Anthem, Ariz.

Zach Holmes – Business; Houston, Texas

Andrew Keily – Exploring Majors; Houston, Texas

Blaine Kincaid – Pharmacy; Springboro, Ohio

Andrew Spurling – Mathematical & Physical Scences; Cincinnati, Ohio

Note: Sean Moore red-shirted this season and thus was not eligible for Academic All-Big Ten Conference consideration.  

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