May 30, 2013
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Air Force sophomore Rebecca Esselstein joined seniors Matt Bell and Jeremy Drenckhahn on the Capital One Academic All-District VII Team for track and field and cross country, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced today (May 30).
The trio was honored with first-team distinction, which will put them on next month's national ballot. The first honor for all three Falcons marked the seventh straight year that Air Force has placed at least one track and field/cross country athlete on the academic all-district list.
Esselstein, the only sophomore on the 21-member Academic All-District VII team, holds a cumulative GPA of 3.98 in astronautical engineering throughout her first two years at the Academy. In addition to running the leadoff leg the distance medley relay team that won the conference title at the Mountain West Indoor Championships, Esselstein clocked the sixth-fastest indoor 800-meter time in Academy history (2:12.56, adjusted for altitude). She also scored for the Falcons in the 1500-meter run at the MW Outdoor Championships (career-best 4:31.28), while competing in six cross country meets, including the conference and regional championships.
Bell, a four-time all-MW selection as a senior, maintained a 3.54 GPA in environmental engineering. The runner-up in the 3000- and 5000-meter races at the MW Indoor Championships, Bell finished third in the 10,000-meter run and seventh in the 5000-meter at the outdoor meet, while placing ninth at the MW Cross Country Championships. In addition to ranking among the Academy's top-10 in the 5000-meter (14:06.41) and 10,000-meter (29:51.16) races, Bell was a NCAA qualifier in both distances.
A recipient of the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, Drenckhahn graduated with a 3.80 GPA in biology. The senior finished second in the 10,000-meter run at the MW Outdoor Championships, while clocking the fifth-fastest time in Academy history at that distance (29:28.81) during the Mt. SAC Relays. In addition to his all-conference selection in the 10K, Drenckhahn also earned all-league honors following a 10th-place finish at the MW Cross Country Championships.
To be nominated for Capital One Academic All-District honors, a student-athlete must have completed at least one full academic year at their institution, be a significant contributor and carry a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 or higher. The District VII award consists of NCAA Division I programs from Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming.