Forty-One Wolverines Earn Fall Academic All-Big Ten Honors

Dec. 2, 2009

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The Big Ten Conference office released its fall 2009 Academic All-Big Ten teams on Tuesday (Dec. 1), which included 41 University of Michigan student-athletes. To be eligible for selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.

Highlighting the list were 10 football players and seven volleyball players, including national punter of the year finalist and Academic All-American Zoltan Mesko (Twinsburg, Ohio/Twinsburg HS). One of just seven U-M football players named Academic All-Big Ten four times, Mesko also earned his second straight all-conference first team honor in 2009. Mesko earned his undergraduate degree in marketing and finance from the Ross School of Business and is pursuing his master's in sports management. He concluded his U-M career as the school's all-time leading punter with 252 career punts for 10,703 yards. Joining Mesko are three-time Academic All-Big Ten honorees senior/junior Jon Conover (Northville, Mich./Catholic Central HS), a political science major, and fifth-year senior Tim North (Linden, Mich./Linden HS), who earned his sociology degree last spring and is pursuing his master's in sports management. Conover was named to the 2009 Academic All-District IV second team.

Three-time All-Big Ten junior setter Lexi Zimmerman (Barrington, Ill./Barrington HS) earned her second academic all-conference award. An environment major, Zimmerman was a 2008 All-America second team pick, and she leads the Big Ten this year with 1,358 assists. She leads the Wolverines into NCAA Tournament play on Friday when U-M hosts first- and second-round action at Cliff Keen Arena (Dec. 4-5).

Cross country junior/sophomore Kaitlyn Peale (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington HS) earned her first Academic All-Big Ten accolade after claiming All-America honors in her first NCAA Championship appearance last month. Peale won the EMU Classic, finished fourth at the Big Ten Championships and was runner-up at the NCAA Regional.

U-M 2009 Fall Academic All-Big Ten Team

Men's Cross Country (2)
Peter Christmas, Sr., English, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Brandon Fellows, Sr., Business, Mercer Island, Wash.

Women's Cross Country (6)
Lindsay Hagan, So., Undeclared, Novi, Mich.
Jennifer Morgan, Sr., Anthropology, Clarkston, Mich.
Kaitlyn Peale, Jr., Industrial & Operations Engineering, Columbus, Ohio
Mary Grace Pellegrini, So., Undeclared, Louisville, Ky.
Rachel Severin, Sr., Comparative Literature, Chelsea, Mich.
Rachel White, Sr., Public Policy, New Lothrop, Mich.

Field Hockey (6)
Eileen Brandes, Jr., Biology, Falmouth, Maine
Soula Ellenikiotis, Jr., Sociology, Saratoga, Calif.
Kelly Fitzpatrick, Sr., General Studies, Hummelstown, Pa.
Paige Laytos, Sr., Business, Lititz, Pa.
Paige Pickett, Sr., Communications, Dallas, Texas
Zara Saydjari, Jr., Spanish/Pre-Medicine, Skowhegan, Maine

Football (10)
Matt Cavanaugh, So., Undeclared, Alto, Mich.
Jon Conover, Sr., Political Science, Northville, Mich.
John Ferrara, Sr., Sociology, Staten Island, N.Y.
J.B. Fitzgerald, So., Sports Management, Princeton Junction, N.J.
Will Heininger, Jr., Sports Management, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Zac Johnson, Jr., Sociology, Morenci, Mich.
Zoltan Mesko, Gr., Sports Management (Master's), Twinsburg, Ohio
Tim North, Gr., Sports Management (Master's), Linden, Mich.
Jason Olesnavage, Gr., Sports Management (Master's), Ferndale, Mich.
Mike Therman, Sr., Sports Management , Ann Arbor, Mich.

Men's Soccer (4)
Chris Blais, Jr., General Studies Seattle, Wash.
Eric Leifland, So., Business, Djursholm, Sweden
Adam Shaw, Jr., Kinesiology, Lone Tree, Colo.
Alex Wood, Jr., German, Northville, Mich.

Women's Soccer (6)
Jackie Carron, Jr., Biology, Rochester Hills, Mich.
Kristen Goncalves, So., Undeclared, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Alex Jendrusch, Sr., Sport Management (International Studies), Troy, Mich.
Haley Kopmeyer, So., Undeclared, Troy, Mich.
Courtney Mercier, So., Undeclared, Erie, Pa.
Kim Siebert, So., Movement Science, Troy, Mich.

Volleyball (7)
Megan Bower, Sr., Sociology, Indianapolis, Ind.
Courtney Fletcher, So., Undeclared, Duluth, Ga.
Michelle McMahon, So., Undeclared, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Jackie Nissen, Jr., Nursing, Crystal Lake, Ill.
Juliana Paz, Sr., Communications, Porto Alegre, Brazil
Cassie Petoskey, Sr., Psychology & Women's Studies, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Lexi Zimmerman, Jr., Environment, Barrington, Ill.

Contact: Barbara Cossman (734) 763-4423