UNIVERSITY PARK — Gymnast Miguel Pineda and swimmer Erin Thomas have been honored as Penn States recipients of the Big Ten Medal of Honor.
The Big Ten Medal of Honor was established in 1914 and is presented annually to a student in the graduating class of each university that demonstrated proficiency in scholarship and athletics.
Pineda has 3.98 GPA in biology, ranking in the top one-half percent of his class. He is a two-time Big Ten Distinguished Honors Scholar and CoSIDA Capital One Academic All- America. Pineda plans to attend medical school with the goal of becoming an orthopedic surgeon.
He captained a Nittany Lion squad that placed third at the National Collegiate Championships. He was a key part of the nations No. 1 still rings line-up, ranking No. 4 individually in the event with two title wins and seven top-three finishes.
In 2011, he was second in the National Collegiate Championships, earning his lone All-America honor. For his career, Pineda recorded 52 top three finishes, including 19 titles wins.
Thomas had a successful showing at this years NCAA Championships in the 200 and 400 freestyle relay. In the 400 freestyle relay, the squad finished 14th overall and the 200 freestyle relay took 15th.
Thomas has helped set school records in the 200 freestyle relay (1:29:64) and the 400 freestyle (3:16.12)
Thomas, a meteorology major, was named Academic All-Big Ten in 2010 and 2011.