TEMPE, Ariz. — women swimming Emma Nordin and the fight Antoine Valence were named by the Pac-12 Conference as Arizona State’s Tom Hansen Conference Medal of Honor recipients, the organization announced Wednesday.
Full Pac-12 Conference Announcement
Awarded annually to outstanding senior male and female student-athletes from each member institution, the award is based on exhibiting the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athleticism and leadership.
The conference has recognized medalists annually since the 1960–61 academic year. In 2009, the Pac-12 renamed the award the Tom Hansen Conference Medal in honor of Hansen, who retired in late June 2009 after serving 26 years as commissioner of the Pac-10.
Nordin put together an illustrious Sun Devil career in which she became Pac-12 champion in the 500 free (2020) while capturing school records in the 200 free, 500 free, 1000 free and 1650 free events.
A nine-time Dean’s List member, Nordin is an eight-time Scholar Baller and a two-time CSCAA Scholar All-American. She is currently studying for her graduate degree in Biology after graduating Summa Cum Laude with a BS in Biological Sciences (Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior) in May 2021.
The Carmel, Indiana native was also named the recipient of the Kajikawa Award for the 2021-22 season, which recognizes a graduating senior student-athlete in recognition of her contributions to Arizona State University in honor of the legendary Sun Devil Bill. Kajikawa.
Nordin is the first Sun Devil Women swimmer to win the Tom Hansen Conference Medal of Honor since Beata Kaszuba in 1995.
Antoine Valence earned his Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2021. A top 10 national wrestler, Valencia has proven himself to be one of the best wrestlers not only in Arizona State, but also in the nation. He had 118 wins during his college career and started the 2021-22 season on a 13-game winning streak, eventually ending the season as an NCAA qualifier at 165. One of his most notable wins was on the road against Pittsburgh against No. 13. All-American Jake Wentzel, where Valencia got a 6-3 decision. Valencia qualified for Mexico’s senior national team this year, cruised through qualifying tournaments over the winter and officially made the squad on January 29. He returned to Tempe the next day to earn a 10-4 decision over Oregon State’s Mason Reinche.
Off the mat, Valencia have proven to be one of the team’s most outspoken leaders. Her hard work in the classroom allowed her to maintain a 4.0 GPA throughout her graduate program. Valencia was a 2020 first-team All-American, received the Pac-12 Outstanding Wrestler Award in 2021, was the 2022 Pac-12 College Athlete of the Year, and is a 2022 NWCA All-American Scholar. Valencia holds four Pac-12 titles, is a five-time NCAA Qualifier and two-time NCAA All-American.