Fourteen Ohio State student-athletes, along with three staff members, will voyage to Puerto Rico from August 3-9 for a service-learning experience. The OSU Department of Athletics, SASSO and Buckeyes Go International are partnering with Soles4Souls for the sixth time. Previous collaborated trips have included destinations of Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Jamaica.
Buckeye student-athletes will facilitate shoe distributions at local schools and communities in the San Juan area. In addition to the service, the Buckeyes are also slated to participate in a variety of cultural immersion activities and educational opportunities.
Soles4Souls is a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting poverty through the distribution of shoes and clothing.
The student-athletes participating include:
Asa Burke – Men’s Track & Field
Burke is a Columbus native who just wrapped up an impressive sophomore season on the men’s track & field team by earning USTFCCCA Indoor First Team All-American honors and an Outdoor Honorable Mention as a member on the 4×400 relay team. Burke was the first leg of the gold-medal and school record-setting indoor 4×400 relay team, clocking in at 3:05.49 at the Big Ten Championships where his team won the 2018 title. He is also a two-time OSU Scholar-Athlete.
Katya Duvall – Softball
Duvall, a rising senior, is a two-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar. The right-handed pitcher from Seal Beach, Calif., made 13 appearances last year and posted a 4.26 season ERA and 18 strikeouts in 23 innings. Duval was part of a four-person pitching staff that finished second in the Big Ten with a .212 opposing batting average.
Chance Ehrnsberger – Men’s Track & Field
Ehrnsberger is a thrower for the men’s track & field team and native of Sandusky, Ohio. He finished his sophomore season 14th in the Discus Throw at the NCAA East Preliminary Round with a heave of 53.42 meters. His best throw of the season was at the Big Ten Championships where he placed ninth with a distance of 55.71 meters.
Jack Jasinski – Men’s Lacrosse
Jasinski received OSU Scholar-Athlete distinction during his junior season with men’s lacrosse. As a junior on the team, he played in all 15 games and was tied for the team’s second-leading scorer with 17 goals and 11 assists. Jasinski was the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week after his seven-point performance in a 12-10 win at No. 1 Maryland.
Domenik Koch – Fencing
Koch, who fences sabre, tied for third at the OSU Open and finished first at the NCAA Midwest Regional to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships in his sophomore season. At the championships he tied for third, besting his previous season’s 10th-place showing.
Devin Landstra – Women’s Swimming & Diving
Landstra is a rising junior on the women’s swimming & diving team and a two-time OSU Scholar-Athlete from Cincinnati. In her sophomore season, she placed first at the Ohio State Winter Invite in the 100-yard Backstroke with a personal-best time of 54.39 and third at the same meet with the 50-yard Freestyle with a time of 22.96 seconds, also a career-best.
Paige Postalwait – Women’s Lacrosse
Postalwait will be a senior goalie for the women’s lacrosse program in 2019. She logged action in a 20-5 victory over Detroit Mercy last season. A native of New York, Paige also works with Ohio State LiFE Sports in the summer, a sport-based youth development camp.
Alexus Pyles – Women’s Track & Field
Plyes is a two-time OSU Scholar-Athlete entering her junior season on the women’s track & field team. Recorded a career-best heptathlon tally of 5,148 points at the Big Ten Championships, placing sixth.
Nate Romans – Baseball
Romans is a Canton, Ohio native and two-time OSU Scholar-Athlete. He made 17 starts and played in 31 games as the Buckeye baseball boys qualified for the NCAA Regionals. Romans connected on six extra-base hits and drove in a dozen runs.
Olivia Sneed – Women’s Tennis
Sneed finished out her senior season on the women’s tennis team with the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award for Ohio State. She carries a 79-26 career singles ledger and 77-35 doubles mark as a Buckeye. Sneed ranks seventh in school history for singles winning percentage (.745) and 12th in total singles wins (79).
Zach Steiner – Wrestling
Steiner hails from Creston, Ohio and picked up OSU Scholar-Athlete accolades while redshirting during the 2017-18 season. He recorded six wins with two pins and a major decision while competing in three tournaments unattached. He also tied for seventh and won four of six bouts at the Cleveland State Open.
Stephanie Thielemann – Synchronized Swimming
Thielemann is a three-time OSU Scholar-Athlete on the national champion synchronized swimming squad. She finished in the top-3 of the North Regional Championships trios competition and finished fourth with the same teammates at the 2018 US Collegiate National Championships.
Rhiann Travis – Rifle
Travis concluded her sophomore campaign in the rifle program with an OSU Scholar-Athlete honor. She set a school record in February 2017 with an Air Rifle score of 598. She shot as a member of the counting team for 15 of 16 events, including being selected as one of five counters for the NCAA Championships.
John Wiitala – Men’s Ice Hockey
Wiitala played in all 41 games with an 8-11-19 line as a junior in 2017-18. Hailing from Minnesota, Wiitala is a three-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and boasts two Academic All-Big Ten selections. He scored in eight of his last 16 games with two goals and six assists, and helped the Buckeyes advance to the Frozen Four for the first time since 1998.