Donnelly, Nelson Selected CoSIDA Academic All-America

Posted on June 21st, 2022 by

AUSTIN, Texas – The 2022 CoSIDA Academic All-America Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country Teams were announced Tuesday and Gustavus student-athletes Birgen Nelson (Jr., Edina) and Elizabeth Donnelly (Sr., Langely, Wash.) were selected First and Second Team Academic All-America, respectively. Academic All-America Teams recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom.

Elizabeth Donnelly

Donnelly, a sociology and anthropology double major with a 3.98 GPA, earned two All-America honors during the 2022 season by taking seventh place in the 800-meter at the NCAA Indoor Championships and fifth place in the 800-meter at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Donnelly is a four-time MIAC champion, winning the 2022 outdoor 800-meter, 2022 outdoor 4×400 relay, 2022 indoor 600-meter, and the 2020 distance medley relay. Donnelly has claimed five All-Conference honors and USTFCCCA All-Region honors in the 4×400 relay and 800-meter in 2022. She was also a member of the winning sprint medley relay team at the 2022 Drake Relays. Donnelly holds school records in the indoor 800-meter (2:11.97), indoor 1000-meter (2:53.02), indoor 600-meter (1:33.38), indoor 4×400 relay (3:55.24), outdoor 800-meter (2:08.60), and outdoor 1500-meter (4:35.68).

Birgen Nelson

Nelson, a political science and classical languages double major with a 3.98 GPA, makes her second appearance on the All-America Team after earning Third Team CoSIDA Academic All-America honors last year. Nelson capped her junior season by winning the national championship in the 100-hurdles at the 2022 NCAA Outdoor Championships with a Division III meet record time of 13.44, breaking a 24-year old record. Nelson also earned All-America in the 400-hurdles at the outdoor championships with a runner-up finish, repeating as a dual All-American in the 100- and 400-hurdles. Prior to the national meet, Nelson earned MIAC Outstanding Track Athlete and Outstanding Performance of the Meet at the 2022 MIAC Championships where she won all four of her events. The Outstanding Performance of the Meet came in the 100-hurdles where she broke her own conference record with a time of 13.71. Nelson is a five-time All-American after taking second in the 100-hurdles and fifth in the 400-hurdles at the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Nelson also took seventh in the 60-hurdles at the 2022 NCAA Indoor Championships. She was the first Gustie woman in program history to earn Indoor All-America in an individual track event. Nelson is the school record holder in the outdoor 100-hurdles, 400-hurdles, 4×100 relay, and indoor 60-hurdles, 4×400 relay, and 200-meter. Nelson has claimed 10 All-Conference honors and five conference titles. She was recently named the USTFCCCA North Region Track Athlete of the Year. After earning Third Team honors last season, Nelson joins an elite group of 30 Gustavus student-athletes to earn multiple Academic All-America honors.

Donnelly and Nelson bring Gustavus’s CoSIDA Academic All-America all-time count to 129, which ranks first in the MIAC (56 more than the next institution), 12th in NCAA Division III, and 34th among all NCAA divisions. Nelson and Donnelly garner the Gustavus women’s track & field/cross country program’s ninth and 10th CoSIDA Academic All-America honors. Nelson and Donnelly are also the sixth and seventh Gusties to earn Academic All-America honors for the 2021-22 academic year, marking the most Academic All-Americans in one year for Gustavus since 2007-08 when there were eight.

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 358
  2. Washington University 207
  3. Emory University 192
  4. Johns Hopkins University 187
  5. Nebraska Wesleyan University 187
  6. Augustana College 177
  7. Carnegie-Mellon University 169
  8. Calvin University 144
  9. Illinois Wesleyan University 142
  10. Rose Hulman Institute of Technology 140
  11. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 130
  12. Gustavus Adolphus College 129

One Comment

  1. Sandy Gilbert says:

    So very proud of Elizabeth Donnelly our “Island Girl.”
    We have watched her run since she was probably two.
    Congratulations and what a great school for her to shine.
    Thanks for sharing as it means so much to her home fans. We love to follow our island kids.
    Congratulations to Birgen as well👏👏