Helena's Leah Esposito was named a CoSIDA College Division Academic All-American of the Year, and Lyle Pocha was named to the Academic All-America First-Team for track & field/cross country.

The CoSIDA Academic All-America College Division Track & Field/Cross Country Teams are comprised of student-athletes from NAIA, Canadian and two-year institutions. The teams consist of 10 members with the most outstanding student-athlete named the Academic All-American of the Year.

To be eligible for All-America, a student-athlete must be named to the Academic All-District team. A committee then establishes the All-America team based on the all-district teams.

Esposito was the NAIA Indoor Track and Field mile champion and earned All-American honors in cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field. She was also the winner of the A.O. Duer Award for 2015-16, the highest academic honor presented by the NAIA.

Esposito is a two-time national champion and 16-time All-American across the three disciplines. She has a 4.0 GPA and hopes to attend veterinary school after graduation.

"Leah is more than deserving of this honor," track coach Harry Clark said. "She has shown time and time again that she is a fierce competitor and a huge part of our success. What she does in the classroom is just as impressive."

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Joining Esposito on the list is Pocha. The senior distance runner finished his career with a second-place finish in the 1,500 at the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships. Pocha is a multiple-time All-American and finished in the Top 10 at the NAIA Cross Country National Championship the past two seasons.

"Lye improved tremendously during his time at Carroll," Clark said. "I am excited to see him close out his career with a runner-up finish at nationals. He was a true leader for our team this year and I am proud of what he accomplished in the classroom. He has helped set a tone of excellence that we hope will build on moving forward."

He earned a 3.69 GPA in chemistry and has already accepted a job in his field in New Mexico.

The pair are the first in Carroll history to receive Academic All-America honors.


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