May 22, 2001



%^$COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ten senior Ohio State student-athletes, who have demonstrated athletic and academic excellence, are finalists for the Big Ten Medal of Honor, given annually by OSU, this year. The nominees are Chad Cacchio (Dublin, Ohio), Katie Edwards (Greer, S.C.), Anna Eng (West Chester, Pa.), Fane Groes (Askeby, Denmark), Liz Hellickson (Columbus, Ohio), Daren Lynch (Londonderry, N.H.), Jamie Natalie (Hockessin, Del.), Geoff Omiatek (Horseheads, N.Y.), Mindy Stauffer (Ashland, Ohio) and Paul Zelenak (Columbus, Ohio).%^$

%^$A male and female honoree will be awarded the 2001 Medal of Honor at the Ohio State Scholar-Athlete Banquet. In addition 345 student-athletes will be recognized as Ohio State Scholar-Athletes at the banquet, which will be held at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday at the Jerome Schottenstein Center.%^$

%^$The Big Ten Medal of Honor Award was established by the conference office in 1914 and is awarded at each member institution to a student-athlete in the graduating class. An additional award for the top female was instituted in 1982. The two winners are chosen according to both academic and athletic proficiency. This honor includes a postgraduate scholarship for the recipients who would like to pursue a graduate or professional program at Ohio State.%^$

%^$Chad Cacchio
%^$Dublin, Ohio

%^$Chad Cacchio, a three-time football varsity letter winner, assisted his team in becoming the 1997 Rose Bowl, 1999 Sugar Bowl and 1996 and 1998 Big Ten champions. He earned the Rick Myers Award for Most Inspirational Player from the Agonis Club.%^$

%^$Cacchio is a five-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and four-time Academic All-Big Ten recipient. He was recognized as a top student-athlete by the National Football Foundation and also was awarded the John Galbreath Scholar-Athlete Award. He has devoted time to speak to youth at camps and elementary schools and volunteered for Franks for Life, an event for Lou Gehrig’s Disease. This spring, he will graduate cum laude with a degree in the College of Business, majoring in finance with a pre-dentistry minor. He has been accepted into The Ohio State University College of Dentistry for Fall 2001.%^$

%^$Katie Edwards
%^$Synchronized Swimming
%^$Greer, S.C.

%^$Katie Edwards, a member of the synchronized swimming team, was a four-year letter winner with the A team that claimed two national titles (2000, ’01). She also was a part of the team that placed first in the 1998, 2000 and 2001 collegiate nationals and was named Collegiate All-America in 1998, ’99 and ’00. She also placed sixth in the 2000 collegiate national figures event. Katie was named Most Improved New Swimmer her first year and topped her collegiate career by being named to the 2001 U.S. National Team II.%^$

%^$Edwards received a National Buckeye scholarship and was named to the Dean’s List three times as a part of the Ohio State Honors Program. She was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and was an Academic All-American her senior year. Edwards is an art education major who plans to become an art therapist. She spends time as an “Art Angel” at Grant Hospital working with cancer patients and as a Columbus Museum of Art volunteer.%^$

%^$Anna Eng
%^$Synchronized Swimming
%^$West Chester, Pa.

%^$Anna Eng is a walk-on four-time letter winner on the synchronized swimming team. In her first three years, she was a member of the “B” team as the Buckeyes swam to Collegiate National team second-place finishes in 1998 and ’99 and then recaptured the Collegiate National championship in 2000. Her team also was U.S. Open runners-up in 2000 and U.S. Open champions in 1999. Eng won the Buckeye Spirit award as a freshman and was named Most Improved Swimmer her sophomore year. In her senior year, she earned a spot on the “A” team that led the Buckeyes to the 2001 Collegiate National championship. Individually, she garnered All-America accolades and was a selection to the U.S. National Team II training squad.%^$

%^$Eng, a physical therapy major, has earned four Ohio State Scholar-Athlete awards and is a three Academic All-Big Ten and Academic All-America honoree. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, a member of the Golden Key Honor Society and has been on the Dean’s List. She is active in the Student-Athlete Advisory Board, the American Physical Therapy Association and U.S. Synchronized Swimming Inc. She co-chaired the SAAB student-athlete coach relationship and PT 5000 (5K benefit race) planning committees, was the SAAB Community Outreach chair and co-editor of the Buckeye Flash. She also served as North Zone Athlete Representative and Education Vice President for USSI. In addition to her committee work, Eng volunteered in physical therapy clinics and several SAAB community service projects. Eng plans a career in physical therapy focusing in the area of spinal cord and brain injury rehab while staying active in the sport through coaching.%^$

%^$Fane Groes
%^$Askeby, Denmark

%^$Fane Groes is one of only four athletes on the Ohio State fencing team to earn All-America honors three times. She has earned fencing titles in both the United State and her native land as a member of the Danish National Team. In 1998, Groes was named Ohio State’s Rookie of the Year, leading the Buckeyes to the Midwest Team Championship in women’s foil. She also won an individual Danish national title that year. During her sophomore campaign, Groes captured the Midwest Individual Title, leading her squad to a second-place finish in the Midwest team championships, and was named Best Ohio State Female Fencer. In her senior year, she fought back from midseason knee surgery to earn All-America honors.%^$

%^$An economics major in the Honors Program, Groes was named to the Dean’s List six times and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She earned Academic All-Big Ten and Ohio State Scholar-Athlete recognition every eligible year. Her involvement in the university community includes memberships and chairs of social committees in the University College Student Council, the Undergraduate Economic Society and the Student-Athlete Advisory Board. She participated in the first Ohio State “Leader Shape” camp and was recognized with the John T. Mount leadership award. Groes plans to pursue graduate school to earn a Ph.D. in economics and then have a career with the World Bank.%^$

%^$Liz Hellickson
%^$Columbus, Ohio

%^$Liz Hellickson, a three-time letterwinner, has been a member of the Ohio State rowing team since 1997. In 2000, as a member of the top boat, Liz assisted her team to its first NCAA Championship appearance in program history, finishing ninth overall. She also played an integral part in assisting her team to third-place finishes in the 2000 Big Ten and Central Region championships. This season, after placing second at the conference championship and the NCAA Central Regional, the squad again qualified for the NCAA Championships%^$

%^$Hellickson is a four-time Ohio State Scholar Athlete and four-year Batelle Award and University Scholar Award winner. She is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten recipient and a member of both the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Ohio State University Honors Program. Hellickson is a member of both the prestigious Mortar Board Honorary and the Bucket and Dipper Junior Honorary. She was on the planning committee for National Make a Difference Day and was an Orientation Welcome Leader, Reach One Program Volunteer and Adopt a School participant. Hellickson also is a member of Athletes in Action and is an Honors Peer Mentor. She will begin graduate studies this summer in The Ohio State University College of Education’s Teaching and Learning program in secondary science education.%^$

%^$Daren Lynch
%^$Londonderry, N.H.

%^$Daren Lynch came to Ohio State as a walk-on to the men’s gymnastics team and developed into an outstanding gymnast, earning four letters and being chosen as a team co-captain his junior and senior years. After a freshman season in which he earned recognition as the team’s Most Improved Gymnast, Lynch became a team leader, claiming his first NCAA All-America honor on vault as the team placed second at the NCAA Championships in 1999. As a junior, he was named Most Consistent Team Member and made the All-Big Ten team after claiming the Big Ten Vault Title and helping the Buckeyes to a second-place conference finish. In 2001, Lynch won the NCAA Vault Championship to again earn All-America honors, while the Buckeye gymnasts won both the Big Ten and NCAA Team Championships.%^$

%^$Lynch earned Academic All-America and Academic All-Big Ten honors three times and is a four-time Ohio State Scholar Athlete. An exercise science major, he was named to the Dean’s List seven times and received a university Presidential Salute to Excellence in Academics award. He is active in the Student-Athlete Advisory Board, taking leadership roles as an editor of the Buckeye Flash, a member of the alcohol/hazing subcommittee and Buckeye Adventure-Based Student-Athlete Positive Potential program (BABSAPP) group facilitator. He also volunteered at OSU hospitals, the OSU Sports Medicine Center and in Columbus elementary schools. Lynch will begin graduate studies this summer at Ohio State to earn his master’s degree in physical therapy.%^$

%^$Jamie Natalie
%^$Hockessin, Del.

%^$This year, Jamie Natalie capped his outstanding collegiate gymnastics career by leading the Buckeyes to both the Big Ten and NCAA team titles. Natalie won the all-around and high bar crowns at the Big Ten Championships en route to earning Big Ten Gymnast of the Year and All-Big Ten honors. At the 2001 NCAA Championships, he claimed the all-around title for the second-consecutive season and also earned All-America accolades on floor exercise and parallel bars. He also won the 2001 Nissen-Emery Award which is given annually to the best senior male collegiate gymnast in the country. As a junior, Natalie led the Buckeyes to a second-place finish in the Big Ten while claiming the individual Big Ten and NCAA Floor Exercise championships and the NCAA All-Around Title. He was named 2000 Ohio State Male Athlete of the Year. For three years, Natalie represented the United States all over the world as a member of the U.S. Senior National Team. He was the 1999 and 2000 USA Gymnastics high bar champion and was the only collegiate representative on the 2000 U.S. Men’s Gymnastics Olympic Team.%^$

%^$An exercise science major, Natalie earned Academic All-America, Academic All-Big Ten and Ohio State Scholar-Athlete recognition all eligible years. He was a University Scholar award winner and on the Dean’s List numerous times. He was a Student-Athlete Advisory Board representative where he participated in the alcohol/hazing subcommittee and volunteered as a speaker in elementary schools. Natalie also volunteered at Columbus Community Hospital and in the Ohio State Medical Center’s emergency room. Natalie will begin studies this fall at The Ohio State University Medical School with the career goal of becoming a doctor.%^$

%^$Geoffrey Omiatek
%^$Horseheads, N.Y.

%^$Geoffrey Omiatek, a four-time varsity letterwinner on defense for the men’s lacrosse team, assisted his team in winning the 1999 Great Western Lacrosse League championship, the first conference title for the squad in 11 years. As a senior in 2000, Omiatek was an integral part of the Buckeye defense which was ranked third nationally in man-down defense and eighth in total defense.%^$

%^$Omiatek is a five-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete, a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and a member of the Dean’s List. He earned the squad’s Freshmen Scholar Athlete Award and he also was named the GTE Scholar Athlete of the Week. In addition, Omiatek is a NCAA Academic All-America finalist. As a SAAB representative, he took the initiative to develop a mentoring program with the local YMCA called Pen Pals. He also has volunteered for the Ohio Wheelchair Games and was a guest speaker for Right to Read Week, the Columbus Youth Bowlers Association Award Banquet and Allied Med Day. Omiatek has earned a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy and is currently enrolled in the Allied Health Management graduate program where he intends to earn a master’s degree and a second degree in athletic training.%^$

%^$Mindy Stauffer
%^$Ashland, Ohio

%^$Mindy Stauffer is a captain and three-time letterwinner for the women’s rowing team. She is a two-time second team all-region recipient, a two-time member of the U.S. Rowing Pre-Elite summer camp and made top boat in the regional national team tryouts. In 2000, Stauffer led her team to its first NCAA Championship appearance where it finished ninth. That season, she also helped her squad to third-place finishes in the 2000 Big Ten and Central Regional championships. This season, after placing second at the conference championship and the NCAA Central Regional, the squad again qualified for the NCAA Championships%^$

%^$She is a four-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and was named to the Dean’s List four times. In addition, she is a research assistant in the Exercise Physiology department and the vice president of the Exercise Science Club. Stauffer has interned with the Arthritis Foundation, provided nutritional counseling for marathon runners at the American Diabetes Association and headed the marketing and race organization committee for the Exercise Science Club’s Annual 5K race to benefit the American Diabetes Association. Her future plans are to receive her master’s degree in public health in preparation for a career in health education programming.%^$

%^$Paul Zelenak
%^$Columbus, Ohio

%^$Paul Zelenak is a co-captain and three-year letter winner for the pistol team. He was an instrumental part in assisting the Buckeyes to the 2000 NCAA National Championships in overall, standard pistol and free pistol. He also was a key shooter in winning the 2001 NCAA National Free Pistol Championship. The team was the 2001 NCAA runner-up in overall and in standard pistol and claimed the 1999 Standard Pistol National Title. Zelenak is a two-time NCAA Three Gun Aggregate National Champion, a two-time NCAA National Champion in free pistol and the 2000 NCAA national runner-up in air pistol. He is a member of the National Olympic Development Team, a three-time All-America in standard pistol, and a two-time All-America in both free and air pistol.%^$

%^$Zelenak, a mechanical engineering major, is a three-time Ohio State Scholar Athlete. He has been a soldier in the U.S. Army and Ohio Army National Guard. His future plans are to establish himself as a mechanical engineer while earning a master’s degree in business administration.