Big Ten Announces Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Individual Honors

Illinois’ Jon Davis and David Kendziera and Minnesota’s Luca Wieland take home conference awards

ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference announced the 2017 Big Ten men’s outdoor track & field individual award winners on Wednesday. Illinois’ David Kendziera was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Year, while Minnesota’s Luca Wieland claimed Field Athlete of the Year honors. Illinois’ Jon Davis earned Freshman of the Year laurels.


Kendziera earned a pair of podium finishes at the Big Ten Championships, taking home gold in the 400-meter hurdles (50.88) and silver in the 110-meter hurdles (13.47). The junior set personal-record times in both the 110-meter hurdles (13.39) and 400-meter hurdles (49.00) at the NCAA West Prelims, punching his ticket to the NCAA Championships where he earned All-America honors in both events. The Mount Prospect, Ill., native becomes the eighth Illinois standout to earn Track Athlete of the Year honors and the first since DJ Zahn in 2015.


Wieland becomes the third Golden Gopher, and first since 2009, to claim Field Athlete of the Year honors after winning the high jump (2.20m) and placing third in the long jump (7.78m) at the Big Ten Championships. The Saarbrucken, Germany, native earned his third career first-team All-America accolade and his first in the decathlon with a third-place finish at the NCAA Championships. His final score of 8,146 points is the second-highest total in Minnesota history behind his own school record of 8,201 from earlier this season. During his senior campaign, Wieland set three school records – the decathlon (8,201 points), the heptathlon (6,070 points) and the outdoor 4×100 meter relay (39.80).


Davis collects Illinois’ fifth Freshman of the Year honor and first since 2006 after finishing 16th at NCAA Championships in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 14:45.28, earning second-team All-America honors. The freshman placed fifth in the 1,500-meter run at the Big Ten Championships, posting a time of 3:51.29. The Fithian, Ill., native currently holds the second-fastest 5,000-meter run time in Illinois history after crossing the finish line in 13:49.55 at the Bryan Clay Invite on April 13.


The Big Ten Conference office recognizes students from each team as Sportsmanship Award Honorees. Those chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, the students must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. These honorees are now candidates for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, as the conference office will honor one male and one female from each institution at the end of the school year.


The complete list of award winners can be found below.



Track Athlete of the Year
David Kendziera, Illinois

Field Athlete of the Year
Luca Wieland, Minnesota

Freshman of the Year
Jon Davis, Illinois


Men’s Sportsmanship Honorees
Jonathan Wells, Illinois

Jordan Huntoon, Indiana

Avery Myers, Iowa

TJ Bleichner, Maryland

Ned Willig, Michigan

David Washington, Michigan State

Nick Bachinski, Minnesota

Wyatt McGuire, Nebraska

Champ Page, Ohio State

Jon Yohman, Penn State

Obokhare Ikpefan, Purdue

Tom Carr, Rutgers

Sawyer Smith, Wisconsin