May 30, 2014 10:00 AM by Jordan Mason
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Three members of the Air Force track and field team - junior Rebecca Esselstein, senior Josh Nielsen and senior Regan Rogers - were named the Capital One Academic All-District VII Team for track and field and cross country, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced.
The trio was honored with first-team distinction, which will put them all on next month's national ballot.
One of just two juniors on the list, Esselstein, who claimed Academic All-District honors for the second straight year, holds a 3.97 GPA in astronautical engineering. An all-MW honoree for the second time as a member of the distance medley relay, Esselstein ran on the squad that placed third at the conference meet with the fourth-fastest time in Academy history. Individually, the junior clocked the ninth-fastest 800-meter time in Air Force history (2:14.09), while competing in four cross country meets, including the conference and regional championship meets.
Rogers used a 3.90 GPA in biology (minor in German) to earn her first Academic All-District selection. After recording a season-best clearance of 5'6½" in the high jump at the Air Force Team Challenge, the senior finished eighth at the Mountain West Indoor Championships. Rogers added a season-best outdoor clearance of 5'6" at the Bryan Clay Invitational to rank second on the team during both seasons.
Like his classmate, Nielsen also picked up his first Academic All-District honor. Earning a double-major in computer science and pre-med, the senior earned all-conference honors as the leadoff leg for the 4x400-meter relay that finished third at the MW Indoor Championships. Nielsen led the team during in the 400-meter run during the outdoor season (49.08 at the Beach Invitational), while ranking second on the team during the indoor season (49.39 at the MW 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.