July 14, 2009
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Recently graduated Air Force gymnast Abbey Rogers was named the Mountain West Conference Female Student-Athlete of the Year, the commissioner's office announced this morning (July 14). She is the fifth Academy cadet to earn the league's highest honor. Rogers was joined by BYU football player, Kellen Fowler, who earned the 2009 MWC Male Student-Athlete of the Year award.
Rogers, a Distinguished Graduate during commencement ceremonies at the Academy in May, posted a 3.76 grade point average, while earning an undergraduate degree in behavioral sciences. A recipient of the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, she will continue her education at Wake Forest University this fall, enrolling in the master's program in experimental psychology.
A three-year letterwinner for the Falcons' gymnastics squad, Rogers capped off her stellar collegiate career in with three conference titles, her second straight Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Gymnast of the Year award, four all-conference selections, 16 first-place finishes and an invitation to the NCAA Regional Championships. She was also awarded the Academy's Most Valuable Female Athlete honor.
A two-time team captain, Rogers also received academic all-conference honors and a place on the USAG All-Academic Team. During her career, Rogers collected three consecutive MWC Scholar-Athlete awards and was a two-time Academic All-District selection. She was named to the Dean's List all eight semesters at the Academy, receiving additional recognition as a member of the Superintendant's Honors List in five of those terms.
In addition to holding several cadet leadership positions at the Academy, Rogers found time to take part in a variety of extracurricular activities, serving one year as a member of the Academy's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, while also volunteering with a local elementary after-school program and Habitat for Humanity.
The native of Pittsburgh, Pa., is the fifth Falcon to earn the honor since its inception during the 1999-00 season. She joins John Dayton (2003 men / swimming), Delavane Diaz (2004 women / volleyball), Matt Karmondy (2006 men / swimming) and Blair Leake (2007 women / swimming).
As a gymnast, she is also only the fourth student-athlete from a sport not sponsored by the MWC to earn the league's highest honor, joining Utah gymnasts Shannon Bowles (2002) and Theresa Kulikowski (2003), as well as New Mexico's Lars Lorseth (2007 men / skiing, soccer).
Established by the Mountain West Conference Joint Council in 1999, the Student-Athlete of the Year award is the highest honor presented to a student-athlete by the league. The award is bestowed annually to one male and one female who best exemplify the term "student-athlete" by achieving excellence in academics, athletics and community involvement.
Criterion for the Student-Athlete of the Year award requires that nominees demonstrate leadership, character and conduct on and off the playing field. In addition to superior athletic achievement, candidates must have a minimum 3.5 grade point average. The winners each receive a $2,500 postgraduate scholarship.