(St. Peter, Minn. – Thursday, November 14, 2002) – The College Sports Information Directors of America released its 2002 District Five Verizon Academic Team and two Gustavus football players were honored for their success on the field and in the classroom. Senior linebacker Ben Spilseth and senior running back Andy Traetow were both named to the first team. Over 120 athletes were nominated for the District Five team which consists of four-year collegiate institutions from the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana.
Spilseth, a Willmar, Minnesota native, is a three year starter who has started and played in six games this season. He ranked in the top 20 in NCAA III in tackles per game after four games (11.0) before suffering an ankle injury and missing three games. He maintains a 3.95 grade point average with double majors in biochemistry and chemistry.
Traetow, a Jackson, Minnesota native, is a two-time first-team all-conference selection who was selected to the Verizon Academic All-District second team last year. He has rushed for 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons. This year he has carried the ball for 1,154 yards and 10 touchdowns while averaging 6.1 yards per carry. Traetow, player of the week in the MIAC four times, holds the school record with 1,190 kick return yards. He maintains a 3.57 grade point average while majoring in elementary education.
The Gustavus football team completes its 2002 season this Saturday at Azusa Pacific. The Golden Gusties have compiled a record of 6-3 overall and 5-3 in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.