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Aug. 30, 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Throughout the 2006-07 campaign, the Big Ten is celebrating the 25th anniversary of conference championships for women. Ohio State, a member of the Big Ten since 1913, has been one of the leaders in women’s athletics over the years and sponsors teams in each of the current 13 Big Ten championship sports.

Basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor outdoor track and field, outdoor track and field and volleyball are all Big Ten programs for women at Ohio State. Women’s fencing, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, pistol and synchronized swimming programs also are sponsored.

A number of Buckeye programs have been termed “dynasties” by the Big Ten based on consecutive-championships won. The most recent was the golf team, which won four-consecutive Big Ten titles from 2002-05. The basketball (1983-87), gymnastics (1983-87) and swimming and diving (1982-86) teams each posted five-consecutive titles in the 1980s.

The women’s golf team has won a league-high and Ohio State best 11 Big Ten titles over the years. The women’s basketball team is second with a conference-best nine crowns (four co-championships). Women’s gymnastics and swimming and diving each have topped the league five times, followed by women’s volleyball with three titles, rowing with two and softball with one (co-championship). In addition, women’s fencing won four league titles when it was a Big Ten-sponsored sport (1981-82 through 1986-87).

Over the years, 199 Ohio State female student-athletes have combined to earn 342 first team All-Big Ten honors. Leading the way are four-time honorees: golfer Kristen White (2002-05), tennis standout Kristy Dascoli (1998-01) and volleyball player Stacey Gordon (volleyball/2001-04), as well as gymnasts Mary Olsen (1984-87), Patty Black (1985-87), Julie Somers (1986-89) and Lindsey Vagades (1998-01), swimmers Gail Armstrong (1985-88) and Janelle Bosse (1985-88) and track and field student-athletes Shandi Boyd-Pleasant (1994-97) and Donica Merriman (1998-01).

For more information about the campaign, including weekly feature stories, academic and athletic honors and a look back at the dominant dynasties and more on the conference’s celebration, visit bigten.org and click on the “Celebrating 25 Years of Big Ten Women’s Championships” link.