Sade Olatoye, Ryan Terefenko Named Ohio State's Big Ten Medal of Honor Winners for 2021

By Dan Hope on May 31, 2021 at 3:36 pm
Sade Olatoye and Ryan Terefenko
Ohio State Dept. of Athletics

Sade Olatoye and Ryan Terefenko received one of the Big Ten's highest honors on Monday in recognition of their illustrious Ohio State careers.

Terefenko and Olatoye were named Monday as Ohio State's recipients for 2021 of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, which is awarded to one male and one female senior athlete from each Big Ten school who “attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work.”

Both of them rank among Ohio State's all-time great athletes in their respective sports.

Olatoye, who was Ohio State's female athlete of the year in 2019 after she won the NCAA indoor track and field championship in the weight throw, is a seven-time Big Ten champion and five-time All-American. With conference titles in the shot put, weight throw and hammer throw while competing in both indoor and outdoor track and field, Olatoye holds the school record for Big Ten titles for a field athlete. She'll compete one final time for the Buckeyes at next month's NCAA outdoor track and field championships, for which she qualified in both the shot put and hammer throw.

She's also excelled in the classroom at Ohio State, where she's currently pursuing a master's degree in bioethics at the College of Medicine. She plans to pursue medical school while also continuing her track and field career by competing for Nigeria in this year's Olympics. She earned four postgraduate scholarships from Ohio State, the Big Ten and the NCAA.

“Sade is that combination of great athlete and serious student, and she is possessed with a will to succeed,” Ohio State track and field coach Karen Dennis said in an Ohio State release. “She’s been the pulse of our team and has led us to heights unachievable without her.”

Terefenko, who used his extra year of eligibility from the NCAA to play a fifth year for the Buckeyes, became Ohio State's first-ever four-time All-American in lacrosse this past season. In 59 career games for the Buckeyes, Terefenko recorded 20 goals, 20 assists, 166 ground balls, 15 caused turnovers and a .571 face-off winning percentage.

After graduating from Ohio State in May 2020 with a degree in sport industry, Terefenko spent the past year pursuing a master's degree in sports management. He is now set to begin his professional lacrosse career with the Premier Lacrosse League's Chrome LC, and plans to become a lacrosse coach after his playing career is complete.

“When we talk about what it means to be a Buckeye lacrosse player, Ryan exemplifies it all,” Ohio State lacrosse coach Nick Myers said in a release. “By every measure, he’s an outstanding and deserving recipient of this award. It’s a fitting way to end his collegiate career. Now, we’ll look forward to rooting him on as a professional and watch him have a positive impact of the sport as a coach.”

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