Banks, Lightfoot & Johnson Honored

IOWA CITY, IA. – University of Iowa softball shortstop Kristin Johnson and football quarterback Brad Banks have been named Hawkeye Athletes of the Year. Both are now eligible for this year's Big Ten Athlete of Year Award. Additionally, Johnson and offensive lineman Andy Lightfoot have been named Iowa's choices for this year's Big Ten Medal of Honor. All three are seniors.

Johnson, a native of Cedar Rapids, IA, led the Hawkeyes to Big Ten regular season and tournament championships, and a berth in the NCAA regionals. She was named second-team all-American while batting .349 and with a .944 fielding percentage. She started every game at shortstop during her Iowa career. She holds the Iowa career record for runs scored (160) and is second on Iowa's career stolen base (114) and triples (13) lists. She was also named to the Verizon academic first all-America team this year.

Banks, from Belle Glade, FL, made the most of his one season as a starter. He was runner-up in the prestigious Heisman Trophy balloting as he led the Big Ten champion Hawkeyes to an 11-2 season and a berth in the Orange Bowl. Banks was selected Associated Press College Player of the Year and was named to the Walter Camp first all-America team. He won the Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's top quarterback. He won the Chicago Tribune's Silver Football, which goes annually to the MVP of the Big Ten. He led the nation in passing efficiency with 26 touchdowns and just five interceptions.

Lightfoot is from Des Plaines, IL and was a starting guard on what many called the best offensive line in college football. He won the 2002 Forest Evashevski Scholastic Achievement Award. He was named to the Verizon academic district all-America team for the third straight year. He was also a member of the academic all-Big Ten team for three consecutive years. He has been accepted and will begin medical school at Iowa this fall.

Four previous Iowa athletes, three male and one female, have won Big Ten Athlete of the Year honors. Winning the Jesse Owens Male award were Ed Banach (wrestling, 1983), Barry Davis (wrestling, 1985) and Chuck Long (football, 1986). Winning the Suzy Favor Female award was Kristy Gleason (field hockey, 1994).

The Big Ten Medal of Honor goes annually to a graduating male and female athlete, from each Big Ten school, who demonstrates a proficiency in scholarship and athletics.

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