May 28, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State gymnast Jamey Houle and diver Mitch Richeson were named to the 2004 CoSIDA University Division Men’s At-Large Academic All-District IV First Team, while wrestler Blake Kaplan was a second-team selection. As first-team honorees, Houle and Richeson move on to the national ballot from which the Academic All-Americans will be selected.

The District IV team is made up of student-athletes from Division I schools in Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. To be nominated, student-athletes must be a starter or important reserve and carry a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher. Team members are selected by a vote of members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) within the district.

Houle, a senior from Enfield, Conn., maintains a 3.97 grade point average in psychology and has been the recipient of numerous academic accolades. A four-time OSU Scholar-Athlete, Houle also earned three Academic All-Big Ten honors and College Gymnastics Association All-Academic national laurels during his collegiate career. As a graduating senior, Houle was a finalist for the Big Ten Medal of Honor, presented annually to the Ohio State male senior student-athlete who demonstrates excellence in academics and athletics. A finalist for the Nissen-Emery Award, given to the top senior male collegiate gymnast, Houle competed in every 2004 Buckeye meet, including the Big Ten and NCAA championships. The All-American set career-highs on vault (9.15), floor (9.250), pommel horse (9.325) and the all-around (52.550), and concluded the season No. 18 nationally, on pommel horse. Houle competed in several U.S. Gymnastics national meets, including the U.S. Gymnastics championships in 2001. A four-year starter at OSU, the 2004 team co-captain contributed to a Buckeye squad that captured the 2001 NCAA crown, as well as two Big Ten championships.

Richeson, a junior from Greenwood, Ind., is a computer science and engineering major and has posted a 3.97 cumulative grade point average during his tenure at Ohio State. Named an OSU Scholar-Athlete and an Academic All-Big Ten honoree, Richeson was also recognized as the Most Outstanding Diver by the men’s swimming and diving team this season. Emerging among the top divers in the nation, Richeson finished fifth overall at the 2004 Speedo American Cup in Minneapolis, Minn., in April and earned a spot at the U.S. Olympic team trials in diving. Richeson finished 19th in the 3-meter dive and ninth in the 1-meter dive at the 2004 NCAA Championships, earning All-American honors. At the Big Ten championships, Richeson was crowned Big Ten champion in the 3-meter dive, breaking the conference meet record. Richeson also finished second in the 1-meter dive and ninth in the platform dive and was named first team All-Big Ten and Big Ten Diver of the Year. During the dual-meet season, Richeson posted first-place finishes in every 1-meter dive event in which he competed. He was also named Big Ten Diver of the Week after his double-win performance against Ohio. Richeson continues post-season action June 7-13 in St. Peters, Mo., for the U.S. Olympic team trials in diving.

Kaplan, a product of Sycamore High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, capped his Ohio State career with a fifth-place finish at the 2004 NCAA Championships in March, earning the senior his first All-America honor in three trips to the national tournament. Kaplan established several career bests in his final season as a Buckeye with 42 victories and 139.5 team points, finishing second on the team in both categories. Kaplan led the Buckeyes with 112 back points in 2004 and tied for the team lead in major decisions with eight.