COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Big Ten Conference released its second-ever list of Distinguished Scholars recently and for the second consecutive year Ohio State led the way with 67 honorees who earned a minimum grade point average of 3.70 or higher for the entire 2009-10 academic year.

The women’s swimming and diving team did its part by having seven student-athletes named a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar. The total was the second-most for a sport at Ohio State with the rowing team the only team above the swimmers and divers with nine individuals honored.

Four Buckeyes were named to the prestigious list for a second time: senior Megan Alexander, an education and human ecology major from Worthington, Ohio; senior Farriss Blaskovits, a biology major from Nepean, Ontario; junior Samantha Cheverton, a psychology major from Lachine, Quebec; and junior Morgan Menzie, an animal sciences major from Katy, Texas.

Also representing Ohio State as Distinguished Scholars: junior diver Kristen Asman, an exercise science major from Columbus; senior Sarah Ratica, a physical therapy major from Solon, Ohio; and senior MaryAnn Wiser, a speech and hearing sciences major from Greenwood, Ind.

Student-athletes must be in at least their second year of studying to be eligible, a requirement that kept two more Buckeyes – freshmen Jackie Brousseau and Lauren Massey – from being honored as each completed their first three quarters with GPAs above the 3.70 threshold. Brousseau is a social and behavioral sciences major from Thousand Oaks, Calif. Massey is a biology major from Indianapolis.

Big Ten Faculty Representatives established the Distinguished Scholars academic recognition in February 2008 to supplement the Academic All-Big Ten program.

Ohio State also led the conference this year in academic All-Big Ten selections with 347 honorees, breaking its own mark of 306 set last season and marking the seventh-consecutive year the Buckeyes ranked first. The swimming and diving team had 16 Academic All-Big Ten Selections this year; this on top of 25 student-athletes who were named OSU Scholar-Athletes.