Around The Oval: 10 Buckeyes Have Been Named Finalists for Big Ten Medal of Honor, Ohio State Men’s Tennis Sweeps Michigan and Women’s Golf Wins the Therese Hession Invitational

By Chase Brown on April 15, 2024 at 1:35 pm
Lyle Yost
Lyle Yost (Ohio State Dept. of Athletics)
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Another week, another Around The Oval.

In this week's edition of ATO, Eleven Warriors’ one-stop shop for coverage of Ohio State’s Olympic sports, we look at 10 Buckeyes named finalists for the Big Ten Medal of Honor and the recent results for Ohio State men’s tennis, women’s golf, baseball, softball and more.

Let’s dive in.

10 Buckeyes Up for Big Ten Medal of Honor

This week, Ohio State announced that seven female athletes – Katelyn Abeln (pistol), Regan Alexander (lacrosse), Leanne Bough (field hockey), Irina Cantos Siemers (tennis), Jenn Gardiner (ice hockey), Amy Fulmer (swimming) and Sam Hackenbracht (softball) – and three male athletes – Donovan Hewitt (gymnastics), Robert Cash (tennis) and Lyle Yost (diving) were named finalists for the Big Ten Medal of Honor.

Established in 1915, the Big Ten Medal of Honor was “the first award in intercollege athletics to demonstrate support for the educational emphasis placed on athletics,” according to the conference’s website. The Big Ten presents the award annually to one male and one female athlete from each of the member schools who has “demonstrated excellence on and off the field throughout their college career.”

Here is a breakdown of the accomplishments for each Ohio State finalist:

Katelyn Abeln

Abeln will leave Ohio State as one of the most decorated pistol athletes in program history. In 2024, the Douglasville, Georgia, native won individual titles in the sport pistol and standard pistol as she helped the Buckeyes win their fourth consecutive Intercollegiate Pistol Championship. She also qualified for the 2024 Summer Olympics in the 10-meter women’s air pistol and 25-meter women’s sport pistol.

Regan Alexander

A two-time captain of the Buckeyes, Alexander ranks fifth in Ohio State women’s lacrosse program history in saves and seventh in wins. This season, Alexander is a two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week and a one-time NCAA Player of the Week.

Leanne Bough

Ohio State women’s field hockey had one of its best seasons ever in 2023 – in large part due to the contributions of Bough. A veteran with 88 career appearances, Bough earned first-team All-Big Ten, first-team All-West Region and third-team All-American honors this past season as the team’s fourth-leading scorer.

Irina Cantos Siemers

Cantos Siemers became the all-time singles wins leader for Ohio State women’s tennis this season, and as the Buckeyes’ year comes to a close, she is also nearing the program’s record for combined singles and doubles victories. A three-time All-Big Ten honoree, two-time singles All-American and three-time NCAA singles qualifier, Cantos Siemers has had a decorated career across her four years in Columbus.

Amy Fulmer

It’s hard to find a more decorated Ohio State swimmer than Fulmer. The Bellefontaine, Ohio, native is a two-time Big Ten champion in the 100 freestyle and one-time champion in the 400 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay, 400 freestyle relay and 800 freestyle relay. She is also a four-time All-American in the 200 and 400 freestyle, two-time All-American in the 100 freestyle and 400 medley relay and one-time All-American in the 200 medley relay and 800 freestyle relay. 

Jenn Gardiner

This past season, Gardiner helped lead Ohio State women’s hockey to its second consecutive WCHA regular-season title and second national championship in three years. The veteran forward appeared in all 39 of Ohio State’s games in 2023-24, leading the Buckeyes to a program-record 35 wins. She also paced the team with 45 points on 18 goals and 27 assists.

Sam Hackenbracht

A three-time All-Big Ten and three-time All-Region honoree, Hackenbracht ranks fourth in Ohio State softball history with 43 home runs. The Massillon, Ohio, native has played in almost 200 games for the Buckeyes, collecting a .340 batting average, 142 RBI and 77 extra-base hits.

Robert Cash

Cash has been one of the top doubles players to represent Ohio State men’s tennis for some time. A two-time All-American, Cash is nearing the program record for doubles wins. He has also helped the Buckeyes capture an ITA Fall National Doubles Championship and the ITA Indoor National Championship earlier this spring. 

Donovan Hewitt

A five-year letterwinner for Ohio State men’s gymnastics, Hewitt is a two-time All-Big and one-time All-American on rings. He was named the Buckeyes’ Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar in 2022 and serves as president of the NCAA’s Refining Athletic Standards committee.

Lyle Yost

Yost is a two-time NCAA champion on the 1-meter springboard, becoming the first Buckeye since the ’70s to win back-to-back NCAA titles in a swimming or diving event. Yost completed his college career in 2024 as a five-time All-American on the 1-meter dive, three-time All-American on the 3-meter and four-time All-American on platform. He was also selected as the Arthur Ashe Jr. Male Sports Scholar of the Year in 2023.

Men’s Tennis Sweeps Michigan

Ohio State men’s tennis is the last unbeaten team in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes accomplished that feat with a 4-0 sweep of Michigan on Sunday.

While the final score would indicate the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines with relative ease, the events that occurred on the court tell a different story. Ohio State and Michigan traded momentum back and forth during doubles competition, with the Buckeyes eventually securing two wins from Cannon Kingsley and Jack Anthrop and Robert Cash and JJ Tracy. In singles, Anthrop, Tracy and Alexander Bernard scratched and clawed for their wins while Kinglsey, Anthrop and Cash’s matches remained unfinished.

With its win over Michigan, Ohio State improves to 25-1 overall and 7-0 in Big Ten matches. The Buckeyes are the No. 1 team in the nation and will look to continue their momentum into their final duals of the season against Nebraska and Wisconsin. One week after their battles with the Cornhuskers and Badgers, they will travel to the Big Ten Tournament in Evanston, Illinois, from April 26-28.

Women’s Golf wins Therese Hession Invitational

As Ohio State men’s golfer Neal Shipley competed at the 88th Masters over the weekend, the Ohio State women’s golf team hosted the Therese Hession Invitational at the OSU Golf Course. The Buckeyes won the tournament by 20 strokes, defeating Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kent State, Minnesota, Illinois, Rutgers, Nebraska, Penn State and Iowa.

Ohio State placed the top three individual golfers in the tournament as Caley McGinty (6-under), Faith Choi (2-under) and Kary Hollenbaugh (2-under) looked dialed in from Friday to Sunday. Behind that trio of Buckeyes came Kailie Vongsaga (3-over), Jillian Bourdage (5-over) and Emily Hummer (10-over). Kavya Ajjarapu also competed as an individual, shooting 22-over.

Head coach Lisa Strom and the Buckeyes will be back in action this weekend at the Big Ten Championship. This year’s tournament will occur at Blue Rock Golf Course in Havre de Grace, Maryland. Ohio State took third place behind Illinois and Northwestern in the 2023 Big Ten Championship. 

Other Results

  • Ohio State baseball won its series with Iowa over the weekend. On Sunday, the Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 11-1, and improved to 17-15 overall and 5-4 in the Big Ten this season.
  • After a tough start to April, Ohio State softball bounced back with a series win over Wisconsin this past weekend. Ohio State received a bump from McKenzie Bump on Sunday, as the veteran infielder went 3-for-3 with a home run and two RBI to push the Buckeyes past the Badgers, 9-5, in the series finale.
  • Ohio State men’s lacrosse suffered an 11-10 overtime loss to No. 5 Johns Hopkins on Sunday at the Ohio State Lacrosse Stadium. The defeat drops the Buckeyes’ record to 6-7 this season. Head coach Nick Myers and his team will wrap up the regular season at home against Michigan on Saturday before starting the Big Ten Tournament on April 27.
  • In Amanda Moore’s first season as the Ohio State women’s lacrosse head coach, the Buckeyes have made marked improvements. However, a 19-10 loss to No. 1 Northwestern on Saturday proved Moore and her team still have a long way to go before they can compete for a Big Ten title. After the defeat, Ohio State is 7-7 overall and 1-4 in Big Ten competition in 2024.
  • Ohio State women’s tennis beat Nebraska, 4-1, on Sunday. The Buckeyes are 15-6 overall and 8-1 in Big Ten matches this spring and will wrap up their regular season against Northwestern and Illinois on Friday and Sunday. They will then travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and compete in the Big Ten Tournament from April 24-28.
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