Air Force Fencers Named Mountain West Conference Scholar Athletes
June 25, 2009
The Mountain West Conference announced its selections for the 2008-09 MWC Scholar-Athlete Awards, and five Air Force fencers were selected by the Conference. Junior Michael O'Connor (3.68) in Astronautical Engineering, senior Ainsley Allen (3.66) in Chemistry, freshman Kaitlyn Bogan (3.51) in English, freshmen Catherine Kiyota (3.60) and Michelle Kiyota (3.76) both in Chemistry, were all honored.
O'Connor, from Charlotte, N.C., is a three-time all-region (2007, 2008 and 2009). He has amassed an 86-68 dual-meet record and was the Falcons' 2008 New Mexico Open men's saber champion. He also won the 2009 Falcon Open. In the 2008-09 season, he finished 29-15, and finished fourth at the 2009 West Regional Championships. O'Connor has been named to the Academy's commandants, deans and athletics lists several times during his Academy career. This is his third honor by the MWC as a scholar athlete.
Allen, class of 2009, from Grand Saline, Texas, helped the women's foil team to a 7-5 dual-meet record in 2008-09. During her Academy career, she finished in the top 10 of her events in over half her events. Her career dual-meet record is 31-46. Allen earned spots on the Academy's superintendents, deans and athletics lists each year. This Allen's third MWC Scholar-Athlete Award.
Bogan, Colfax, Wis., finished 3-2 at the West Coast Invitational in women's epee. She placed 16th in both the New Mexico Open and the Falcon Open. In dual meets, she finished her freshman year with a 12-19 record and finished 10th at the West Regional Championships.
Sisters, Catherine Kiyota and Michelle Kiyota are from Wahiawa, Hawaii, both attended the USAFA Prep School. In their freshman year, Catherine finished 14th at the 2009 Falcon Open in women's epee. She has a freshman dual-meet record of 5-11. Michelle Kiyota finished 13th at the News Mexico Open in epee and she finished 16th at the Falcon Open in foil. In dual meets, she has a 10-21 record, and finished eight at the West Regional Championships.
A league-record 548 student-athletes were honored, including 34 individuals who have achieved a 4.00 or higher cumulative grade point average over two or more terms, and 61 student athletes who were recognized in multiple sports. The previous high was 516 honorees in 2006-07.
The MWC Scholar-Athlete Award is the highest academic honor bestowed by the Conference. To be eligible for selection, student-athletes must have completed at least two academic terms at the member institution, while maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or better, and have participated in varsity competition in an NCAA-sponsored sport.