Ohio State’s Sade Olatoye and Ryan Terefenko, who are on the women’s track and field and men’s lacrosse teams, respectively, were the university’s recipients for this year’s Big Ten Medal of Honor, one of the conference’s highest honors.
The Big Ten Medal of Honor is awarded to two student-athletes from the graduating class of each university who had “attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work,” according to the release.
Olatoye is a seven-time Big Ten Conference champion, a national champion and a five-time All-American during her time with the Buckeyes. She is also a five-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, six-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and a three-time Big Ten Conference Distinguished Scholar.
She was a key figure on a women’s track and field program that has won four Big Ten championships during her time with the team. Ohio State had only won four conference titles ever prior to Olatoye’s arrival.
“Sade is that combination of great athlete and serious student, and she is possessed with a will to succeed,” women’s track and field coach Karen Dennis said of Olatoye in the press release. “She’s been the pulse of our team and has led us to heights unachievable without her.”
Terefenko is Ohio State’s first-ever four-time USILA All-American after 59 games and 20 goals, 20 assists, 166 ground balls, 15 caused turnovers and a .571 winning percentage on face-offs. Academically, he was a USILA Scholar All-American, OSU Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
“I’ll never be able to put into words what receiving the Big Ten Medal of Honor means to me,” Terefenko said in the release. “My time at Ohio State was the best years of my life, and being able to represent and compete for this athletic department and university has been the biggest honor of my life. It’s incredibly humbling knowing the number of people who have had such a massive impact on my life throughout my career here. None of this would have been possible without the support system that I had at Ohio State and my family. Thank you.”
Terefenko becomes the third men’s lacrosse player from Ohio State to receive the award, joining Roger Beck (1962) and Kevin Stephan (2002).
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