June 5, 2013
BIG TEN CONFERENCE MEDAL OF HONOR
(Presented to a male and female student-athlete at each conference institution for outstanding athletic and academic achievement)
MSU MALE WINNER: Jacob Jarzen (Swimming and Diving)
Complete List of 2013 Big Ten Medal of Honor Recipients
Among the elite collegiate swimmers in the nation, Jacob Jarzen is one of the most accomplished swimmers in Michigan State history, holding six individual school records. He also is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.
A three-time Michigan State Swimmer of the Year, Jarzen was one of only 30 NCAA invitees who competed in the maximum of three events at the 2013 NCAA Championships (100 butterfly, 100 and 200 backstroke).
Jarzen broke his own school record in the 100 butterfly at the 2013 Big Ten Championships, turning in a time of 46.08 in the finals. The two-time CSCAA honorable mention All-American also owns school records in the 100 freestyle (43.70), 200 freestyle (1:35.73), 100 backstroke (46.68), 200 backstroke (1:42.19) and 200 individual medley (1:46.60). In addition, he was a member of the school-record 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams.
A four-time NCAA Championships qualifier, Jarzen was the first Spartan to earn Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors in 2010.
Jarzen, who was named to the 2012 Scholar All-America Team by the Collegiate Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA), owns a 3.52 GPA in human biology and is scheduled to graduate next December.
"This is really a privilege and a honor to receive this award," said Jarzen. "It's nice to get recognized, both athletically and academically, after putting in so much hard work over the past four years. I took a lot of pride in representing Michigan State and the men's swimming program throughout my career. Coach G (head swimming and diving coach Matt Gianiodis) really pushed me and motivated me every practice to get to the next level, and (academic coordinator) Jeremy Flynn also was a huge help and had a big influence on me. There's nothing I can be but happy about my experiences at Michigan State."
"For Jacob to go out like this is fantastic," said head swimming and diving coach Matt Gianiodis. "His impact on our program has been huge. I think he could have collected these awards at other schools, but I don't think he would have had such an impact like he did here at Michigan State. He really has raised the level of our program in the last four years. It seems like he's been here a long time, and part of that is that every single year he's done something really well.
"He never really had an adjustment period into the Big Ten Conference, which is very rare. When you win the Big Ten Freshman of the Year Award it puts a lot of pressure on you, but he was unflappable the whole time and was never affected by any of that stuff. He's really well-grounded, has his priorities straight, and has great perspective on what's important to him."
PAST WINNERS - BIG TEN CONFERENCE MEDAL OF HONOR MALE WINNERS:
2012-Kirk Cousins (football); 2011-Brandon Eckerle (baseball); 2010-Blair White (football); 2009-Doug DeMartin (soccer); 2008-Drew Neitzel (basketball); 2007-Drew Stanton (football); 2006-Drew Stanton (football); 2005-Chris Hill (basketball); 2004-Steve Manz (track and field); 2003-Tyler Robinson (soccer); 2002-Josh Thornhill (football); 2001-Shaun Mason (football); 2000-Shawn Horcoff (hockey); 1999-Steve Schell (cross country/track & field); 1998-Tyler Harlton (hockey); 1997-Tyler Harlton (hockey); 1996-Brian Picklo (wrestling); 1995-Emilio Collins (wrestling); 1994-Steve Wasylk (football); 1993-Dave Smith (cross country/track & field); 1992-Stuart Hirschman (baseball); 1991-Walt Bartels (hockey); 1990-Walt Bartels (hockey); 1989-Danton Cole (hockey); 1988-Michael Davidson (baseball); 1987-Dean Altobelli (football); 1986-Don McSween (hockey); 1985-Carlton Evans (lacrosse); 1984-Kelly Miller (hockey); 1983-Michael Brown (swimming & diving); 1982-Morten Andersen (football); 1981-Jay Vincent (basketball); 1980-Mark Brammer (football); 1979-Gregory Kelser (basketball); 1978-Larry Bethea (football); 1977-Tyrone Willingham (football/baseball); 1976-Pat Milkovich (wrestling); 1975-Dennis Olmstead (hockey); 1974-Robert Cassleman (track); 1973-Kenneth Popejoy (track); 1972-Herb Washington (track); 1971-Thomas Muir (wrestling); 1970-Richard Saul (football); 1969-Allen Brenner (football); 1968-Dale Anderson (wrestling); 1967-Eugene Washington (football, track); 1966-Steve Juday (football); 1965-David Price (gymnastics); 1964-George (Pete) Gent (basketball); 1963-Richard Schloemer (fencing); 1962-Edward Ryan (football); 1961-William Reynolds (track/cross country); 1960-Stan Tarshis (gymnastics); 1959-Robert Anderegg (basketball); 1958-Robert Jasson (hockey); 1957-Selwyn Jones (track); 1956-Carl Nystrom (football); 1955-Kevan Gosper (track); 1954-Robert Hoke (wrestling); 1953-John Wilson (football); 1952-Orris Bender (wrestling); 1951-Everett Grandelius (football).