Matt Gelso earns first-team Academic All-America honor
Special to the Sun
University of Colorado senior ski team member and national champion Matt Gelso of Truckee was selected to the 2009-10 ESPN The Magazine first-team Academic All-America at-large team earlier this month.
Voted on by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), Gelso earned the 49th CoSIDA Academic All-America honor in CU history and the 20th first-team accolade.
and#8220;Itand#8217;s an honor to be named Academic All-America,and#8221; said Gelso, a former junior standout with Far West Nordic and 2006 Truckee High grad. and#8220;As I said for the all-district honor, the fact that there are 12 sports combined into one on the at-large team and only 15 student-athletes from all those sports makes the first team, thatand#8217;s cool to be a part of.and#8221;
Gelso earned the honor after being named on one of the eight first-team Academic All-District teams in May. Of the 96 student-athletes nominated, Gelso was one of 15 named on the first team in its entirety and the only skier honored. He became the fourth CU student-athlete named to the menand#8217;s at-large team (the fifth menand#8217;s at-large team honor), the fourth skier to earn mention on the team and the first skier to earn first-team Academic All-America honors in CU history.
He joins Kelly McCann (third team, 1996), Oldrej Valentia (second team, 1998) and Linda Wikstrom (second team, 2000) as ski team members honored on the teams and joins Chris Severy (cross country, third team, 1996), Tim Jenkins (tennis, second team in 1997; first team in 1998) and Valentia on the menand#8217;s at-large teams.
Gelso won seven races in his career, including the 2010 NCAA Championship in the 10K classic race. He became just the second American-born skier to win that race at NCAAs, where he also finished third in the freestyle race to end his career with 22 podium appearances, which is tied for fourth-most in CU history.
His performance at NCAAs helped the Buffaloes to a second-place team finish and he earned two first-team All-American honors, giving him three career first-team and five overall All-America honors. Gelso tied a CU record for a menand#8217;s Nordic skier by winning five consecutive races near the end of his career. He also won the CU Athlete of the Year award.
Gelso graduated in May with a degree in Business Finance while maintaining a career 3.78 grade point average. A model of consistency, he was a member of CUand#8217;s Deanand#8217;s List (3.5 or higher) and the Big 12 Commissionerand#8217;s Honor Roll (3.0 or higher) in each of his eight semesters. He also was a four-time member of the Division I National All-Academic ski team. Just prior to graduation, Gelso was awarded the Big 12 Conference Medal award, given for accomplishments in the classroom and in athletic competition and CUand#8217;s Scholar Athlete Award for holding the highest GPA among senior male student-athletes.
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Students frustrated at the cancellation of sports waved signs and delivered speeches at a Truckee High School protest in an attempt to return to the field this year.