March 31, 2021

Big Ten Announces First All-Conference Cheer Teams


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Rising senior Julia Aepli, a Dublin, Ohio native, has been named the inaugural Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year representing the co-ed cheer teams in the conference. The Big Ten, with nearly 900 student-athletes comprising the cheer and dance teams of its 14 member institutions, named an all-conference team for the first time in its history.

Head coaches from each school nominated team members for the following selections:

  • Academic All-Big Ten
  • Community Service All-Big Ten
  • First team All-Big Ten
  • Second team All-Big Ten

Using that criteria, coaches voted on student-athletes for the academic and community service all-Big Ten teams.  For the all-conference first and second teams, nominated student-athletes created highlight videos showcasing gameday skills and technical skills in the areas of tumbling, partner stunting, basket tosses, and pyramids. Coaches then ranked the videos for males and females (not including their own student-athletes.)  After tallying all the votes, the first and second teams were selected.  The second through fifth top-ranked males and females from the first team were named has honorable mention for athlete of the year with the student-athlete receiving the most votes being named athlete of the year.

The Ohio State cheer team is proud to announce the following winners:

  • Alex Markley, sophomore from Doylestown, Ohio. Alex was named to Community Service All-Big Ten team and second-team All-Big Ten
  • Allissa Thornton, junior from Powell, Ohio. Allissa was named first team All-Big Ten
  • Keyli Smith, junior from Johnstown, Pa. Keyli was named first team All-Big Ten and honorable mention Athlete of the Year (female)
  • Braden DeLullo, junior from Erie, Pa. Braden was named first team All-Big Ten and honorable mention Athlete of the Year (male)
  • Julia Aepli, junior from Dublin, Ohio. Julia was named to Academic All-Big Ten team, first team All-Big Ten and the Big Ten Athlete of the Year for the co-ed teams (female).