Penn State wrestler Bo Nickal is the Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year for 2018-19, while Iowa women's basketball player Megan Gustafson has been named as the Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year, the conference announced on Wednesday morning.
Nickal is named as the Big Ten's best male athlete of the year after a dominant senior season on the mat in which he won all 30 of his matches, including the 197-pound national championship, and won the Hodge Trophy and the NCAA's Most Dominant Wrestler award. For his Penn State career as a whole, Nickal went 120-3 and helped lead the Nittany Lions to four consecutive national championships.
Gustafson is honored as the Big Ten's best female athlete of the year after a standout senior season in which she was named as the consensus national player of the year in women's basketball. The Hawkeyes' center led the nation with 27.8 points per game while also grabbing 13.4 rebounds per game to lead Iowa to a 29-7 record, including a Big Ten Tournament title and a run to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
Record-setting quarterback Dwayne Haskins and track and field thrower Sade Olatoye were Ohio State's nominees for the awards after being named as the Buckeyes' Male and Female Athletes of the Year for 2018-19, but Nickal and Gustafson were ultimately selected by a panel of conference media members as the Big Ten's best athletes of the year.