UNIVERSITY PARK - Penn State standouts Christine Nairn (Arnold, Md.) and Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) have been selected as Penn State Athletes of the Year for 2012-13. The student-athletes are eligible for the Big Ten's highest honor as the Jesse Owns Men's Athlete of the Year and the Suzy Favor Women's Athlete of the Year.
Nairn garnered Big Ten Midfielder of the Year accolades and first team NSCAA All-America honors to cap a stellar collegiate career that also featured the four-time All-Big Ten first team choice being selected with the seventh overall pick in the National Women's Soccer League Draft. Nairn, who was a finalist for the M.A.C Hermann Trophy, paced the Nittany Lions with a team-high 46 points via 17 goals and 12 assists as she led Penn State to the National Championship game. Of her 17 goals, six of them were game-winning shots, including the golden goal against Florida State in the National Semifinals. Nairn finished her Penn State career second on the program's all-time assists list (41). She also took home Academic All-Big Ten honors for the third time in her career this season. Nairn has also had success on the national scene, playing for the U.S. Women's National Team since 2009, as well as leading the U-20 U.S. National Team to the 2008 FIFA Women's U-20 World Cup and the 2010 Women's U-20 CONCACAF Championships.
Three-time All-American Ed Ruth won his second straight NCAA National Championship, this time at 184-pounds as he helped lead the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team to its third straight NCAA team title. Ruth, who won the 174-pound title last year, rolled through his second straight unbeaten season, this time posting a 33-0 record. Twenty-six of his 33 wins were for bonus points with 12 pins, four technical falls and ten majors. Ruth won his second straight Big Ten individual title as he led Penn State to its third straight Big Ten Championship and was named the 2013 Big Ten Wrestler of the Year. A first team All-Big Ten selection as well, Ruth went a perfect 8-0 in Big Ten dual meets and has never lost to a Big Ten wrestler in his career (42-0). Ruth joined the 100-win club at Penn State and is now 102-2 for his career, placing him 21st on Penn State's all-time wins list. His 10 pins moved him to fourth on Penn State's all-time pins list with 35. The junior has not lost since an injury forced him to default in the NCAA quarterfinals his freshman year where he still managed to wrestle back to third place All-America laurels and will head into his senior season riding a stunning 68-match win streak dating back to March 2011. He recently won the 84kg title at 2013 University Nationals being named the tournament's outstanding wrestler.
Nairn and Ruth will be on the ballot for Big Ten Athletes of the Year with 22 other nominees. Selected members of the media who regularly cover each Big Ten institution will vote for the winners of the Jesse Owens and Suzy Favor Awards.
Penn State has won a school-record 11 conference championships in 2012-13, including a record eight Big Ten Championships. Penn State has won 81 Big Ten Championships all-time. A total of 21 of Penn State's 31 teams have been represented in their respective NCAA championships in 2012-13. Penn State ranks third in the latest Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings.
Penn State has won 12 NCAA Championships (in five different sports) since March, 2007, most recently with a third consecutive wrestling title earlier this year, and is tied with USC for the most NCAA titles over the past six years. Penn State has won 23 NCAA Championships since 1993-94, its first full year in the Big Ten Conference, more than double every other Big Ten institution. The Nittany Lions have won 69 team national championships all-time.
--PSU Athletics Communications