Golfer Allie Blomquist and men’s basketball player Mike Kelley were named the University of Wisconsin’s winners of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, awarded annually by each member institution to a student in the graduating class that has demonstrated proficiency in scholarship and athletics. In addition, senior wrestler Donny Pritzlaff and junior volleyball player Sherisa Livingston were named the UW’s male and female athletes of the year, respectively.
Blomquist, the most accomplished woman golfer in UW history, was Wisconsin’s first NCAA national qualifier, tying for 18th. She set every scoring record at Wisconsin including a 69 for 18 holes, 142 for 36, 216 for 54, and 296 for 72 holes. She broke her own record for lowest scoring average this season with 76.67, and her career scoring average of 77.48 ranks first for UW. A four-time academic all-Big Ten honoree and four-time National Golf Coaches Association Academic All-American, Blomquist is as accomplished in the classroom as on the course. She was a first-team Verizon/CoSIDA academic all-America honoree in 2000 and is a candidate for that award in 2001.
Kelley was one of 20 finalists for the John Wooden Award, given annually to the top men’s basketball player in the country. He finished his career as Wisconsin’s all-time steals leader with 275, good for third all-time in the Big Ten. Kelley didn’t miss a game in his four-year career, playing in 127 consecutive contests. He led the Badgers to three NCAA tournament appearances, including the 2000 Final Four, and was also a three-time academic all-Big Ten selection.
Pritzlaff capped a stellar career by winning his second national title at 165 pounds. He compiled a 43-1 record this season and was unbeaten in league competition, winning his third consecutive Big Ten title. A four-time all-American, Pritzlaff is just the fourth Badger wrestler to win multiple national titles. He is now one of 11 finalists for the Jesse Owens Award, given to the top male athlete in the Big Ten Conference. Former Badger Ron Dayne won the award last year.
Livingston, the first Badger to earn AVCA first-feam all-America honors, led the Badgers to a runner-up finish at the NCAA Volleyball Championship. She was also picked to the 2000 NCAA Championship all-tournament team and was named Big Ten co-Player of the Year, setting single-season records with 654 kills and a .373 hitting percentage. Livingston is a finalist for the Suzy Favor Award, given to the top female athlete in the Big Ten.