June 17, 2021

Justin Fields and Adelaide Aquilla are Ohio State’s Athletes of the Year

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Record-setting quarterback Justin Fields (football) and NCAA and Big Ten shot put champion Adelaide Aquilla (track and field) are Ohio State’s 2021 Male and Female Athletes of the Year. Both will now be placed on the ballots for Big Ten Athlete of the Year awards, with the winners to be announced by the league on July 13.

Fields is the 12th football player to win Ohio State’s Male Athlete of the Year and the third in the last three years (Dwayne Haskins won the award in 2019 and Chase Young in 2020). Aquilla is the seventh women’s track and field athlete to be named Ohio State’s Female Athlete of the Year. Her teammate, Sade Olatoye, was the last one in 2019.

Aquilla has been the dominant shot put thrower in the Big Ten Conference and nationally in 2021. The junior communications and hospitality management major won her second consecutive Big Ten Conference indoor shot put championship in March. She then won the national championship at the NCAA indoor championships. The Rocky River, Ohio, native sent the shot a school-record 18.12m / 59-5 ½ to win the 2021 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, which were held in Fayetteville, Ark.

Those efforts earned Aquilla the Big Ten Conference’s indoor field athlete of the championships and its field athlete of the year honors.

She repeated outdoors. First, Aquilla won the Big Ten outdoor shot put championship, breaking the Big Ten championships record twice with her final winning throw of 19.12m / 62-8 3/4 topping her own school mark and personal best by nearly three feet. Two weeks ago she won the NCAA national championship, launching her final throw of the competition 18.98m / 62-3 ¼ to secure her second national championship.

And once again, Aquilla earned the Big Ten’s top honors, being named its outdoor field athlete of the championships and its field athlete of the year honors.

Aquilla is currently in Eugene, Ore., prepping and training for the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Fields, who led Ohio State to a 20-2 record and back-to-back College Football Playoff appearances, capped off his Buckeye career by being named the Big Ten Conference Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year and Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year in 2020.

After guiding the Buckeyes to their fourth consecutive Big Ten championship, he saved his most memorable performance for the Allstate Sugar Bowl and College Football Playoff semifinal vs. Clemson. He completed 22 of 28 passes for 385 yards and a Sugar Bowl-record six touchdown passes – all while playing through an injury suffered in the second quarter – as Ohio State topped the second-ranked Tigers 49-28 to earn a spot in the CFP National Championship Game.

Over his 22-game career, Fields threw for 5,373 yards with 63 touchdowns compared to only nine interceptions. His 70.2 completion percentage in 2020 was a school record and he has the school record in passing efficiency (179.1) as well as the top two single season efficiency marks: 181.4 in 2019 and 175.6 in 2020.

Fields became Ohio State’s 22nd winner of the Chicago Tribune Silver Football in 2020, which is voted on by the league’s 14 head coaches and is awarded to the conference’s best player. He also finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting. In May, Fields was selected 11th overall in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears.

Ohio State Male/Female Athletes of the Year

Season(s)Name
SportBig Ten Athlete of the Year
2020-21Adelaide AquillaTrack & Field
2020-21Justin FieldsFootball
2019-20Jincy DunneWomen's Ice Hockey
2019-20Chase YoungFootball
2018-19Sade OlatoyeTrack & Field
2018-19Dwayne HaskinsFootball
2017-18Kelsey MitchellBasketball
2017-18Kyle SnyderWrestling
2016-17Francesca Di LorenzoTennis
2016-17Kyle SnyderWrestling
2015-16Catherine ShieldsRowing
2015-16Kyle Snyder Wrestling
2014-15Ashley BauerRowing
2014-15Logan StieberWrestling
2013-14Catherine Shields Rowing
2013-14Logan StieberWrestling
2012-13Claire-Louise BodeRowing
2012-13Blaz RolaTennis
2011-12Christina ManningTrack & Field
2011-12Zain ShaitoFencing
2010-11Jantel LavenderBasketball
2010-11Steven KehoeVolleyball
2009-10Sam Marder Softball
2009-10Evan TurnerBasketball
2008-09Jantel LavenderBasketball
2008-09J JaggersWrestling
2007-08Teresa MeyerPistol
2007-08Andras HoranyiFencing
2006-07Jessica DavenportBasketball
2006-07Troy Smith Football
2005-06Jessica DavenportBasketball
2005-06A.J. Hawk Football
2004-05Stacey GordonVolleyball
2004-05Mike NugentFootball
2003-04Allison HannaGolf
2003-04Dan TaylorTrack & Field
2002-03Stacey GordonVolleyball
2002-03Craig Krenzel Football
2001-02Anna Smith Softball
2001-02Raj BhavsarGymnastics
2000-01Donica MerrimanTrack & Field
2000-01Jamie NatalieGymnastics
1999-00Donica MerrimanTrack & Field
1999-00Jamie Natalie Gymnastics
1998-99Dominque CallowayTrack & Field
1998-99 Scoonie PennBasketball
1997-98Vanessa WoutersVolleyball
1997-98Hugo BoisvertHockey
1996-97Amy LanghalsGolf
1996-97Blaine WilsonGymnastics
1995-96Katie Smith Basketball
1995-96Eddie GeorgeFootball
1994-95Laura DavisVolleyball
1994-95Blaine WilsonGymnastics
1993-94Katie Smith Basketball
1993-94Chris SandersTrack & Field
1992-93Audrey BurcyBasketball
1992-93Chris NellomsTrack & Field
1991-92Leisa WisslerVolleyball
1991-92Jim JacksonBasketball
1990-91Holly O'LearyVolleyball
1990-91Jim JacksonBasketball
1989-90Susan GottliebSwimming
1989-90Mike RancanelliGymnastics
1988-89Nikita LowryBasketball
1988-89Joe GreeneTrack & Field
1987-88Bridgette TateTrack & Field
1987-88Chris SpielmanFootball
1986-87Karen LaFaceDiving
1986-87Butch ReynoldsTrack & Field
1985-86Tracey HallBasketball
1985-86Mike LaneseFootball
1984-85Yvette Angel Basketball
1984-85Robert PlayterGymnastics
1983-84Sarah JosephsonSynchronized Swimming
1983-84John Frank Football
1982-83Cathy KratzertGolf
1982-83Chris PerryGolf
1981-82Art SchlichterFootball