Four Ohio State student-athletes are on the first team and in the running for Academic All-America honors

COLUMBUS, Ohio Five Ohio State student-athletes have received ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District IV at-large awards, CoSIDA announced Thursday. Four Buckeyes Jake Bateman, Liana Bonanno, Alyssa Meyer and Sean Moore were first team picks and are automatically in the running for CoSIDA Academic All-America honors to be announced early June. Brad Smith was named to the second team.

To be eligible for the Academic All-District teams, student-athletes must be in their sophomore academic years or higher with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.30.

Bateman, a senior gymnast, is a biology major from Kingsport, Tenn. In 2008, he was a CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Second Team and a First Team Academic All-District honoree and will enter dental school at the University of Memphis in 2010 after receiving an NCAA postgraduate scholarship. A two-time All-American (on rings as a senior and all-around as a junior), Bateman also was a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection. He finished third in the all-around at the Big Ten championships and led Ohio State in the all-around and on four-of-six events during his senior campaign. Bateman placed in four event finals at the league championships and finished fourth on rings at 2009 at the NCAA championships. A four-time OSU Scholar-Athlete, he also is a three-time College Gymnastics Association First Team All-America Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-Big Ten honoree.

Bonanno, a senior goaltender on the women’s hockey team is graduating with a degree in physics. She adds the award to her CoSIDA First Team Academic All-District IV selection in 2008. Bonanno has been honored three times by the Ohio State Physics Department for her achievements: the Helen Cowan Book Award (freshman year), Smith Sophomore Award and Tom and Bunny Clark Scholarship (junior year). She is one of just 70 OSU undergrads accepted into the Honors Collegium within the Honors and Scholars Program. A three-time WCHA Scholar-Athlete and WCHA All-Academic Team member, Bonanno also was named a two-time Scholar All-American by the American Women’s Hockey Coaches Association. As a senior, she was named assistant captain as a senior and set the single-season Buckeye record with 886 saves.

Meyer, also a senior gymnast, is an exercise science major from Chesterfield, Mo. She was one of five Big Ten athletes to maintain a 4.0 GPA through their academic career this season. Moore concluded her senior season as a team leader on the uneven bars and floor exercises, and was second on the team in bars with a 9.815 regional qualifying score. In the region, she finished at No. 19 on bars and in the season, she led Ohio State in five meets with three first-place meet finishes.

Moore, a sophomore swimmer from Englewood, Colo., is majoring in business. He was a two-time All-American in 2009 with an eighth-place finish at the NCAA championships on the 3m springboard and a 14th-place finish on the 10m platform. A Second-Team All-Big Ten honoree after taking second on the platform at the championship meet, Moore had two first-place finishes on the 1- and 3-meter during the dual meet season and five Top 5 finishes on the 1-meter and seven on 3-meter boards. He set Ohio State’s McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion records on the 3-meter (450.30) and platform (464.35) this season. Moore also was the 2008 NCAA 10-meter platform national champion with an NCAA record score of 478.20 points.

Smith, a finance major, is a sophomore golfer from Peru, Ind. He played in 22 rounds this season with a 76.04 stroke average that included a season-low round of 69. For his career, Smith has six rounds at or below par and had a career-low round of 66 during freshman season to place fifth at the Ron Moore Invitational and earn Big Ten golfer of the week honors. He is a two-time OSU Scholar-Athlete.