June 17, 2011
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan Athletic Department named three national champions as its 2010-11 Athletes of the Year on Friday (June 17). Senior gymnast Kylee Botterman (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central HS) is the Female Athlete of the Year, and senior/junior wrestler Kellen Russell (High Bridge, N.J./Blair Academy HS) and freshman gymnast Sam Mikulak (Corona del Mar, Calif./Carona del Mar HS) share Male Athlete of the Year.
Botterman becomes the fourth women's gymnast, and the first since Elise Ray in 2004, to be named Athlete of the Year. Mikulak is the second straight men's gymnast to take home the award, as last season's NCAA all-around champion, Chris Cameron (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region), won the honor. Mikulak is the fourth gymnast in school history to collect the award. Russell joins Steve Luke (2009) as the only wrestlers to receive the recognition. This is the first time since 2000 that a pair of Wolverines shared the top U-M athletic honor; golfer Michael Harris and gymnast Scott Vetere were recognized as the male co-recipients in 2000.
Michigan became the first school in NCAA history to win the NCAA all-around title at both the men's and women's championships in the same season, with Botterman and Mikulak taking home top honors in the event. Botterman won the all-around title in 12 of the 14 meets she competed in in 2011, while Mikulak is the first freshman to win the NCAA all-around title.
Russell capped a perfect 38-0 season by capturing the 141-pound NCAA national championship. He was one of only five wrestlers nationally to go undefeated and was the lone Big Ten Conference student-athlete to accomplish the feat. He captured his third Big Ten 141-pound title in March with a 3-0 mark at the championship meet.
During the 2010-11 season, Michigan won five Big Ten Conference titles (field hockey, women's gymnastics, softball, men's swimming and diving, and women's tennis), two Big Ten Tournament Championships (field hockey and men's soccer) and the CCHA Championship (ice hockey). On the national scene, the men's soccer team played in the NCAA College Cup (final four), while ice hockey played for the national title at the NCAA Frozen Four. U-M sent individuals or teams into action at 20 NCAA Tournaments or Championships.
Academically, a total of 172 student-athletes were named Academic All-Big Ten and senior gymnast Sarah Curtis (Reno, Nev./Reno HS) earned Capital One Academic All-America second team.
On the men's side, sophomore quarterback Denard Robinson (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Deerfield Beach HS) became the first player in BCS history to pass and rush for 1,500 yards as he was named the Big Ten Silver Football Award recipient and finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting. Senior Lion Kim (Lake Mary, Fla./Lake Mary Prep HS) competed in the Master's, shared medalist honors at the NCAA Regional Championship and garnered All-America honors by tying for third at the NCAA Championships. A second-team All-American, senior forward Carl Hagelin (Sodertalje, Sweden/Vackstanas HS) led the ice hockey team to the national championship game and finished as the team's leader in goals, assists and points.
On the women's side, the Big Ten Women's Tennis Player of the Year, senior Denise Muresan (Lincolnshire, Ill./Adlai E. Stevenson HS), helped the U-M women's tennis team to its second straight conference title and became the first player in school history to earn All-America in both singles and doubles. Senior pitcher Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) tossed a pair of no-hitters and had a 31-5 overall record for the second-ranked and Big Ten Champion softball team. Last year's female Athlete of the Year, senior volleyball standout Lexi Zimmerman (Barrington, Ill./Barrington HS) earned All-America second team and was named the Detroit Athletic Club Michigan College Athlete of the Year.
Media Contact: David Ablauf (734) 763-4423