Minnesota seniors Mike Thorn (wrestling) and Kaylee Jamison (swimming) have been named winners for this year’s Big Ten Medal of Honor award-given annually to the top male and female student-athletes at each conference institution.
Thorn (St. Michael, Minn./St. Michael-Albertville HS) closed out his Gopher career by posting a 39-5 record and earning All-American honors for his third-place finish at the 2010-11 NCAA championships at 144 pounds. He captured the Big Ten title in 2010 and was the runner-up this past spring as a senior. A two-time All-American, Thorn closed out his stellar career in maroon and gold by recording 27 pins and compiling an overall record of 125-59.
Academically, Thorn was named to the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division I All-Academic Team and earned Academic All-Big Ten honors.
“Anytime you get honored amongst your peers is one of the greatest honors you can receive. Of all the great scholar-athletes to come out of the University of Minnesota, to be picked as the number one male is a great honor and a statement that shows how great his academics, athletics and character are,” Minnesota head wrestling coach J Robinson said. “As a society we are looking for leaders today. When you are looking for leaders in your school, Mike has the character that will be very positive for the University of Minnesota. This is an award that he will carry for the rest of his life.”
Jamison (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles North HS) completed her Gopher career in style by earning All-American honors in three events as a senior in the 100 fly, 200 medley and 400 medley relays. She became the Gophers’ first All-American in the 100 fly since 2000 by finishing 15th (53.59) at the NCAA Championships. Jamison earned honors on the Big Ten Second Team and was a member of the Conference runner-up 200 medley and 400 medley relays. Her involvement in the 200 medley relay set a school record of 1:37.37 in the finals. Jamison also set the school record in the 100 fly (52.69) and 200 free relay (1:28.74). She won 13 titles as a senior and is a five-time All-American as well as a two-time Big Ten champion as a member of relays.
In the classroom, Jamison excelled by receiving the 2011 Minnesota Athletics’ Outstanding Achievement Award, which is presented to two student-athletes who are accomplished in the four major areas emphasized by the NCAA Student-Athlete Welfare Program: Academics, Athletics, Leadership and Volunteerism. During her Gopher career she was awarded All-Big Ten honors and earned the department’s Top 5 award, holding one of the top five GPA’s for a female athlete.
“Kaylee is a student-athlete that every program is looking for. She is what a student-athlete is supposed to be,” Minnesota head coach Kelly Kremer said. “Kaylee worked with coach Terry Nieszner, who did a terrific job developing her as a student-athlete.