July 1, 2010
U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. -- Three members of the Air Force Academy fencing team were selected as Mountain West Conference Scholar-Athletes, the conference office announced the selectees on June 30 from their office in Colorado Springs. The fencing team was represented by two women and one man. In women's saber, freshman Heather Nelson (Clifton Park, NY) led the women's team with a 3.82 GPA in astronautical engineering. Freshman Megan Brandt (Jefferson City, MO) was selected as a scholar-athlete with a 3.51 GPA in astronautical engineering. Senior Michael O'Connor (Charlotte, NC) led the men's saber team with a 3.67 GPA and also majored in astronautical engineering.
Nelson was the Falcons' women's saber team's champion in both the Falcon Open and Nick Toth Open. She finished 14-4 at the Brandeis Invitational and went 9-3 at the Duke Meet in 2010. With a 7-0 record at the 2010 West Regional Championships, she qualified for the NCAA Men's and Women's Division I Fencing Championships, where she finished 18th.
Brandt's top finish was 12th place at the October 2009 Falcon Open in the senior women's epee event.
O'Connor was the men's saber team's champion in the Amarillo Open, and both the Falcon and Nick Toth Opens. He finished fourth at the 2010 West Regional Championships with a 7-3 record.
A total of 548 student-athletes, including 43 from the Air Force Academy, were honored with the Mountain West Conference Scholar-Athlete award. The MWC Scholar-Athlete Award is one of the highest academic honors bestowed by the Conference. This year's mark fell one shy of matching the league record of 549 honorees, set in 2008-09.
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.