June 13, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Zain Shaito, a member on the national champion Ohio State fencing team, has been named the 2011-12 Ohio State Male Athlete of the Year, the department of athletics announced Wednesday. He is the second fencer in OSU history to earn the honor, following Andras Horanyi in 2008 after the program’s last NCAA title.

Shaito now is on the ballot for the Big Ten Jesse Owens Athlete of the Year award, which will be announced during a season-ending awards show on BTN beginning at 7:30 p.m. Monday, June 18.

The sophomore foilist captured his first NCAA individual championship with a 15-11 win over Stanford’s Turner Caldwell in the final bout of the 2012 NCAA Fencing Championships March 25 in Columbus, sealing the deal on the Buckeyes’ third combined NCAA Championship in the last nine seasons. Shaito contributed 19 victories in qualifying rounds of the title run en route to becoming a First Team All-American and Ohio State’s 12th individual champion.

During the regular season, the Richardson, Texas, product tallied a team-leading 35 victories. He went on to earn bronze at the 2012 Midwest Fencing Conference Championships before turning it on down the stretch to take gold at the regional qualifier and set up his run through the NCAA Championships.

A resident of Texas with dual citizenship in Lebanon, Shaito will represent Lebanon in the 2012 London Olympics at foil, alongside his sister Mona, a freshman on the Buckeye squad. Shaito is just the second OSU men’s fencer to earn a spot on an Olympic team and the first at foil.

As a freshman in 2011, Shaito was a Second Team All-American and a first-place finisher at the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships.

Ohio State Male Athletes of the Year
Year – Athlete, Sport

1982 – Art Schlichter, Football
1983 – Chris Perry, Golf
1984 – John Frank, Football
1985 – Robert Playter, Gymnastics
1986 – Mike Lanese, Football
1987 – Butch Reynolds, Track/Field
1988 – Chris Spielman, Football
1989 – Joe Greene, Track/Field
1990 – Mike Rancanelli, Gymnastics
1991 – Jim Jackson, Basketball
1992 – Jim Jackson, Basketball
1993 – Chris Nelloms, Track/Field
1994 – Chris Sanders, Track/Field
1995 – Blaine Wilson, Gymnastics
1996 – * Eddie George, Football
1997 – * Blaine Wilson, Gymnastics
1998 – Hugo Boisvert, Hockey
1999 – Scoonie Penn, Basketball
2000 – Jamie Natalie, Gymnastics
2001 – Jamie Natalie, Gymnastics
2002 – Raj Bhavsar, Gymnastics
2003 – Craig Krenzel, Football
2004 – Dan Taylor, Track/Field
2005 – Mike Nugent, Football
2006 – A.J. Hawk, Football
2007 – Troy Smith, Football
2008 – Andras Horanyi, Fencing
2009 – J Jaggers, Wrestling
2010 – Evan Turner, Basketball
2011 – Steven Kehoe, Volleyball
2012 – Zain Shaito, Fencing