Nelson Selected CoSIDA Academic All-America Third Team Posted on August 10th, 2021 by

AUSTIN, Texas – Gustavus women’s sprinter Birgen Nelson (So., Edina) has been selected to the 2020-21 CoSIDA Academic All-America Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country Third Team, which was announced Tuesday. Academic All-America Teams recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom.

Birgen Nelson

Nelson, a political science and classical languages double major with a 3.97 GPA, is a two-time All-American after taking second place in the 100-hurdles and fifth place in the 400-hurdles at the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Championships. She is the first All-American for Gustavus in both the 100- and 400-hurdles. Nelson took second place in the 100-hurdles at the 2021 MIAC Outdoor Championships and placed third in the 200-meter to earn a pair of All-Conference honors. She currently owns four school records in the outdoor 100- and 400-hurdles, and indoor 60-hurdles and 200-meter.

Nelson garners Gustavus’s 122nd CoSIDA Academic All-America honor, which ranks first in the MIAC (52 more than the next institution), 12th in NCAA Division III, and 34th among all NCAA divisions. Nelson is one of just three sophomores on the 46-member Academic All-America Team. There are 16 members on the First Team, 15 on the Second Team, and another 15 on the Third Team. 

Nelson garners the Gustavus women’s track & field/cross country program’s eighth CoSIDA Academic All-America honor and first since Elizabeth Weiers in 2015. She is also the fifth Gustie to earn Academic All-America honors for the 2020-21 academic year, marking the most for Gustavus since the 2013-14 year. The most Academic All-Americans in one year for Gustavus is eight, which happened in 2007-08.

To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.

CoSIDA Release

Most Division III Academic All-America Honorees

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology 339
  2. Washington University 194
  3. Emory University 192
  4. Nebraska Wesleyan University 185
  5. Augustana College 176
  6. Johns Hopkins University 169
  7. Carnegie-Mellon University 158
  8. Calvin 139
  9. Rose Hulman Institute of Technology 134
  10. Illinois Wesleyan University 133
  11. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 127
  12. Gustavus Adolphus College 122

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