June 21, 2013
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Air Force track and field team placed a program-best 43 athletes on the Mountain West academic all-conference team, the league office announced on June 20. The men accounted for 30 of the Academy's 65 total honorees, while the women added 13 selections.
A total of eight Falcons collected academic all-conference honors for the fourth straight year, joining an elite group of track and field athletes to accomplish that feat. Seniors Ted Artz, Jen Bremser, Jeremy Drenckhahn, Brian Ford, Kate Kanetzky, Gage Owens, Andrew Quallio and Uzor Udensi have earned academic all-MW honors during each of their four seasons.
Bremser, Drenckhahn, Kanetzky, Owens and Quallio, who also compete on the Falcons' cross country team during the fall semester, have each accounted for eight total academic all-conference accolades during their Academy career.
Senior Michael Tibbs, as well as juniors Dan Bieber, Brad Hackert, Jake Hawkins, David Ptacek, Cort Rogers, Regan Rogers and Paige Shirley each collected their third academic all-league selection, while senior Matt Bell, junior Josh Nielsen and sophomores Rebecca Esselstein, Bryce Mitchell, Elliot Myers, Kobi Rex, Casey Riggs, Sierra Schepper and Jake Spuller all earned their second.
Four seniors - Melissa Fuerst, Bethany Gross, Bizzy Mellado and Evan Rishel - claimed their first academic all-conference selection, while junior Kim Smith and sophomore Taylor Drolshagen also earned their first nod.
A total of 12 freshmen earned academic all-conference honors during their first year of eligibility. Representing the program's youngest class of cadet-athletes are Sean Bapty, Grant Caswell, Evan Fortney, Jacki French, Grant Hamilton, Andrew Hood, Jordan McCool, Kevin Mihalik, Casey Peloquin, Daniel Shellhouse, Stone Shoaf and Riley Vann.
With a 3.98 GPA, Esselstein holds the highest GPA of all 65 of the Academy's academic all-MW selections for winter and spring sports, while the matching 3.90 grade point averages of Artz and R Rogers are tied for third.
The track and field team accounted for 43 of the Academy's 65 academic all-conference selections for the spring semester, which includes baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's golf, softball, men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's tennis and men's and women's track and field.
To be eligible for selection, student-athletes must have completed at least one academic term at the member institution while maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or better and be a starter or significant contributor on their athletic team.
Name, Year, Major, GPA (# of selections)
Ted Artz, senior, aeronautical engineering, 3.90 GPA (4)
Sean Bapty, freshman, electrical engineering, 3.64 GPA (1)
Matt Bell, senior, environmental engineering, 3.51 GPA (2)
Dan Bieber, junior, humanities, 3.76 GPA (3)
Jen Bremser, senior, biology, 3.53 GPA (4)
Grant Caswell, freshman, undeclared, 3.46 GPA (1)
Jeremy Drenckhahn, senior, biology, 3.79 GPA (4)
Taylor Drolshagen, sophomore, biology, 3.14 GPA (1)
Rebecca Esselstein, sophomore, astronautical engineering, 3.98 GPA (2)
Brian Ford, senior, computer science, 3.67 GPA (4)
Evan Fortney, freshman, mechanical engineering, 3.58 GPA (1)
Jacki French, freshman, undeclared, 3.09 GPA (1)
Melissa Fuerst, senior, systems engineering management, 3.13 GPA (1)
Bethany Gross, senior, behavioral sciences, 3.01 GPA (1)
Brad Hackert, junior, political science, 3.85 GPA (3)
Grant Hamilton, freshman, undeclared, 3.20 GPA (1)
Jake Hawkins, junior, physics, 3.49 GPA (3)
Andrew Hood, freshman, aeronautical engineering, 3.58 GPA (1)
Kate Kanetzky, senior, foreign area studies, 3.84 GPA (4)
Jordan McCool, freshman, economics, 3.82 GPA (1)
Bizzy Mellado, senior, political science, 3.06 GPA (1)
Kevin Mihalik, freshman, military and strategic studies, 3.21 GPA (1)
Bryce Mitchell, sophomore, history/international, 3.26 GPA (2)
Elliot Myers, sophomore, physics, 3.69 GPA (2)
Josh Nielsen, junior, computer engineering, 3.85 GPA (2)
Gage Owens, senior, mechanical engineering, 3.12 GPA (4)
Casey Peloquin, freshman, undeclared, 3.73 GPA (1)
David Ptacek, junior, civil engineering/environmental engineering, 3.79 GPA (3)
Andrew Quallio, senior, mechanical engineering, 3.27 GPA (4)
Kobi Rex, sophomore, management/legal studies, 3.65 GPA (2)
Casey Riggs, sophomore, aeronautical engineering, 3.29 GPA (2)
Evan Rishel, senior, aeronautical engineering, 3.73 GPA (1)
Cort Rogers, junior, economics, 3.20 GPA (3)
Regan Rogers, junior, biology, 3.90 GPA (3)
Sierra Schepper, sophomore, behavioral sciences, 3.47 GPA (2)
Daniel Shellhouse, freshman, humanities, 3.27 GPA (1)
Paige Shirley, junior, management, 3.27 GPA (3)
Stone Shoaf, freshman, biology, 3.44 GPA (1)
Kim Smith, junior, management, 3.08 GPA (1)
Jake Spuller, sophomore, computer science/cyber warfare, 3.23 GPA (2)
Michael Tibbs, senior, astronautical engineering, 3.17 GPA (3)
Uzor Udensi, senior, biology, 3.08 GPA (4)
Riley Vann, freshman, behavioral sciences, 3.51 GPA (1)