Blair Leake Named MWC Female Student-Athlete Of The Year
June 27, 2007
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Air Force Academy senior Blair Leake and University of New Mexico senior Lars Loseth were announced today as the 2006-07 Mountain West Conference Female and Male Student-Athletes of the Year, respectively. Three Falcon swimmers have now won MWC Student-Athlete of the Year awards in the past five years.
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.
Leake, an operations research major, excelled for the Falcons' swimming and diving team the past four years, including the last season as team captain. In addition to several individual top 10 finishes, she holds the school record in the 200-yard breaststroke. A two-time All-MWC performer (2006, 2007), she also earned Academic All-MWC honors and MWC Scholar-Athlete accolades four straight years. A native of Springfield, Mo., Leake graduated with a 3.88 grade point average at the Air Force Academy and was recently awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship as well the prestigious Draper Scholarship for graduate study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was named to the Academy Dean's and Athletic list in each of her eight semesters and is the only Cadet to be named a Dean's Ace (4.0 GPA) twice since the award originated in 2004. In addition to her academic and athletic commitments, Leake assumed roles of responsibility and leadership while at the Academy, including a post as Assistant Director of Academics for Cadet Squadron 16. She also found time to serve as the driving force behind numerous community service projects.
Leake joins a pair of Falcon men's swimmers as winners of the MWC Student-Athlete of the Year award. John Dayton earned the honor in 2003 and Matt Karmondy did so in 2006. Dayton and Karmondy were also NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship award winners as well.
Loseth graduated in December, 2007, with a 3.92 grade point average in finance after competing as a two-sport star for the Lobos. A four-time All-American for the New Mexico ski team, Loseth also participated for two years as a member of the Lobos' soccer squad. He guided New Mexico to the 2004 NCAA Skiing Championship as a freshman, the first NCAA title in school history. As a junior, Loseth was a major contributor on the 2005 NCAA runner-up men's soccer squad and an All-American for the ski team that finished second at the 2006 NCAA Championships. A native of Oslo, Norway, Loseth was also part of two NCAA men's slalom team champions in 2004 and 2006. This past season, he was named the 2007 Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association Men's Skier of the Year. A three-year MWC Scholar-Athlete honoree, Loseth also recently earned his third ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America award while landing on the university's Dean's List for the fourth consecutive year. An active participant in several community service projects, Loseth used his athletic success to help others, serving as a mentor for several young skiers.