June 23, 2010
MADISON, Wis. – Men’s hockey senior forward Blake Geoffrion and women’s swimming and diving junior Maggie Meyer are Wisconsin’s 2009-10 Athletes of the Year. The duo is also nominated for the Big Ten Conference’s Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year and Suzy Favor Female Athlete of the Year awards, respectively.
Geoffrion led the Badgers to the NCAA Frozen Four and became UW’s first Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner this season, while Meyer is a 2009-10 USA Swimming National Team member and a five-time All-American for the Badgers.
Each Big Ten school nominates a male and female Athlete of the Year, and those two student-athletes become nominees for the Big Ten Conference Athlete of the Year awards. The Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year and Suzy Favor Female Athlete of the Year awards are then voted on by a panel of conference media members. The Big Ten will announce its athlete of the year award winners on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
Geoffrion, a Brentwood, Tenn., native, served as a tri-captain for the Badgers this season. While leading the men’s hockey team to its 11th NCAA Frozen Four appearance and a 28-11-4 overall record, Geoffrion finished the season first in the nation and the WCHA with 15 power play goals. He tallied 28 goals and 22 assists for 50 points.
UW’s top penalty-killing forward, Geoffrion led the Badgers with six multi-goal games and had 15 multi-point games. He eclipsed the 100 career-point mark on Feb. 19 with an assist against St. Cloud State and netted his 50th career goal on March 13 against Alaska Anchorage.
Geoffrion was named Inside College Hockey’s Player of the Year and to the Inside College Hockey All-American First Team and the AHCA/Reebok West All-American First Team. He was also the NCAA West Regional Most Valuable Player and named to the All-WCHA First Team and the WCHA Final Five All-Tournament Team. Geoffrion also became Wisconsin’s first-ever Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner.
A junior from North Oaks, Minn., Meyer currently holds five school records, including two set in 2010, along with two Big Ten Conference records. The five-time All-American was a USA Swimming National Team member in 2009-10 and is the 2009 U.S. Open 200-meter backstroke champion.
At the 2010 Big Ten Championships, Meyer tied her own school record in the 100-yard backstroke with a first place finish in 52.27. She was also part of the Badgers’ first place 200-yard freestyle relay and 200-yard medley relay teams. Meyer has earned 11 All-Big Ten awards, including four in 2010.
At the 2010 NCAA Championships, Meyer competed in seven events, finishing 6th in the 100 yard backstroke (52.38), 17th in the 200 yard backstroke (1:54.95), 33rd in the 50 yard freestyle (22.77), 9th in the 200 yard freestyle relay (1:29.44), 9th in the 400 yard freestyle relay (3:16.66), 5th in the 200 yard medley relay (1:37.68), and 15th in the 400 yard medley relay (3:37.61).
The Big Ten Conference has recognized a Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year since 1982 when Indiana's Jim Spivey earned the inaugural award. The following year, a women's award was created and in 1991-92 as part of the celebration of the 10th anniversary of women's athletics in the conference, the women's award was renamed in honor of former Wisconsin track and field standout and three-time recipient Suzy Favor.
Former Badgers who have won the Big Ten Jesse Owens or Suzy Favor Athlete of the Year Awards are:
1985 Cathy Branta (cross country / track & field)
1986 Stephanie Herbst (cross country / track & field)
1988 Suzy Favor (cross country / track & field)
1989 Suzy Favor (cross country / track & field)
1990 Suzy Favor (cross country / track & field)
1997 (tie) Kathy Butler (track & field)
2000 Ron Dayne (football)