COLORADO SPRINGS — May 16, 2017 — Seven Chadron State College track and field athletes were honored by the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference as All-Academic First Teamers, in a release issued this week at RMACSports.org.
The seven first teamers match last year’s showing by the Eagles, and are three more than any other conference school produced.
Nicky Banzhaf, of Chadron, leads them off alphabetically. Banzhaf, the 2015 RMAC Cross Country Academic Runner of the Year was named to the RMAC All-Academic First Teams all three seasons in 2015-16, before missing cross country and indoor track this year due to injury. She ended the season ranked 16th in the league at 5000 meters, with a new school record of 17:34.76. Banzhaf has a 3.97 grade point average in education.
Taylor Dick, the 2017 RMAC Indoor Track and Field Summit Award recipient, had a 4.0 GPA at semester, studying health and physical education. He competed primarily at 1500 meters this season, but also ran some 800 and 4×400 relay for the CSC men. Dick is a Douglas, Wyoming, native.
As he prepares for the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Championships, Alejandro Garcia of Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, earns his fourth selection to the conference academic teams. His 4.0 in health and physical education has earned him numerous academic superlatives, including two-time RMAC Academic Athlete of the Year and the 2017 NCAA Elite 90 Award in cross country. He will look to repeat as Academic All-American as he has now earned trips to nationals in both cross country and outdoor track.
Making her first appearance at nationals in two weeks will be Ashlyn Hanson, the RMAC runner-up in the hammer throw. She makes her second appearance on the academic squads after earning First Team honors during indoor season as well. Hanson is an elementary education major with a 4.0 GPA from Seward, Nebraska.
Mel Herl, of Eaton, Colorado, has a 3.78 GPA for her graduate studies in organizational management, nearly identical to the 3.77 she had for her undergraduate degree. Herl’s three entries into the NCAA Outdoor Championships will be as the favorite in the shot put and hammer throw, and the second favorite in discus. This is her third placement on the RMAC All-Academic First Team.
Cory Martens takes his talents to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in two weeks for the first time in his career. The redshirt sophomore from Newton, Kansas, also has his first spot on the academic teams after being named to three consecutive honor rolls. Martens, the RMAC discus champ, has a 3.86 HPA in health and physical education.
Finally, the second of the returning Academic All-Americans, Stachia Reuwsaat lands on her sixth career academic all-conference team. The senior from Black Hawk, South Dakota, will try to become CSC’s first-ever three-time NCAA champ when she competes in the long jump on Thursday, May 25, at nationals. Reuwsaat, and former two-time Academic Athlete of the Year, is a legal studies major with a 3.97 GPA.
The RMAC Academic Athletes of the Year for outdoor season were Dante Carter of CSU-Pueblo, and Alicja Konieczek of Western State.
Honor Roll recipients for CSC are those who meet the minimum requirements for the First Team ballot, but were not among the top 10 in their gender, as voted upon by the league’s sports information directors.
They are, for the men’s team: Zach Doffin (Stanton, Nebraska); Josef Gertner (Fort Morgan, Colorado); Blake Jacobs (Highlands Ranch, Colorado); Frantzlee LaCrete (Lewellen, Neb.); Cory Salitrik (Rock Springs, Wyoming); Gregg Peterson (Highlands Ranch); Eric Yager (Hot Springs, South Dakota); Austin Fajfer (Highlands Ranch); and Matt Klein (Scottsbluff, Nebraska).
Honor Roll recipients for the women’s team include: Taylor Allison (Gordon, Nebraska); Maddie Brashears (Fort Morgan); Haley Gallagher (Erie, Colorado); Tessa Gorsuch (Rapid City, South Dakota); Tory Snyder (Pierre, South Dakota); Maggie Vinton (North Platte, Nebraska); Callie Johnson (Casper, Wyoming); and Cassidy Johnson (Rock Springs).