June 20, 2012
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Twenty members of the Air Force track and field team were selected as Mountain West Scholar-Athletes, the league office announced this morning (June 20). The Falcons were represented by 11 men and nine women, including Kimber Shealy, who earned her fourth such honor.
The 11 selections by the men are the most from any of the Academy's 26 NCAA-sponsored sports.
Shealy, who graduated from the Academy last month with a 3.74 GPA in history, became just the fourth Air Force track and field athlete to earn the MW Scholar-Athlete medallion all four years. The Air Force record holder in the outdoor pole vault joins Kenny Grosselin (2004-08), Josh van Wyngaarden (2004-08) and Justin Mason (2005-09) as the program's only four-time MW Scholar-Athletes.
Four Falcons claimed their third MW Scholar-Athlete honor, including senior Jordyn Stoddard, who graduated with a 3.64 GPA in physics and electrical engineering. Picking up scholar-athlete honors for the third straight year are juniors Ted Artz (3.91, aeronautical engineering), Jeremy Drenckhahn (3.80, biology) and Kate Kanetzky (3.81, geospatial science).
Juniors Matt Bell (3.58, environmental engineering) and Brian Ford (3.72, computer science) each earned their second such honor. They were joined on the MW Scholar-Athlete list for the second time by sophomores Dan Bieber (3.74, humanities), Amanda Blain (3.81, legal studies), Brad Hackert (3.81, political science), Jake Hawkins (3.72, physics), David Ptacek (3.77, civil engineering) and Regan Rogers (3.86, biology).
Seven Falcons earned MW Scholar-Athlete distinction for the first time, including the conference javelin throw champion in senior Paige Blackburn (3.50, civil engineering) and the conference indoor high jump champion in freshman Kobi Rex (3.69, management). Also claiming scholar-athlete distinction for the first time were sophomores Ashley Christ (3.69, English) and Josh Nielsen (3.85, computer engineering), as well as freshmen Rebecca Esselstein (3.98, astronautical engineering), Michelle Ferguson (3.73, undeclared) and Elliot Myers (3.69, physics).
To be eligible for the Mountain West Scholar-Athlete award, student-athletes must have completed in at least two academic terms at the member institution, while maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 or better and have participated in varsity competition in an NCAA-sponsored sport.