May 18, 2009
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PARK RIDGE, IL – Winners of the Big Ten’s oldest award, the Medal of Honor, were recently announced by the Big Ten conference office. Among those honored were Iowa distance runner Eric MacTaggart and field hockey player Lauren Pfeiffer. First awarded in 1914, the Big Ten endowed a Medal of Honor to be given annually to a student in the graduating class of each university that demonstrated proficiency in scholarship and athletics. In 1982, the Medal of Honor was expanded to include a senior female athlete from each institution.
MacTaggart earned all-America honors in outdoor track and is a six-time NCAA qualifier. A three-time all-region honoree in cross country, he has been named to the academic all-Big Ten team four times during his Hawkeye career.
The Glen Ellyn, IL, native was named the UI’s 2008 Robert F. Ray award winner, which is annually presented to a male and female student-athlete who demonstrate outstanding academic and athletic excellence and leadership. A music major, MacTaggart missed the 2007 cross country season to fulfill an academic requirement to play in the Hawkeye Marching Band.
Pfeiffer is a two-time all-American and first team all-Big Ten honoree. A two-time Big Ten Tournament MVP, the Mount Laurel, NJ, native started all 83 games of her Hawkeye career and helped the team to three Big Ten tournament titles. Her 53 career goals rank ninth on Iowa’s career goal list. She was a four-time National Field Hockey Coaches Association national academic squad member, and a three-time all-region honoree and academic all-Big Ten selection. During her senior season, Pfeiffer led the Big Ten in shots (129) and goals (20), and ranked second in points (44), for all games. She was named a 2008 Honda Sports Award finalist, and earned a slot on the NCAA all-tournament team after helping the Hawkeyes advance to the national semifinals.