Billy Beseman and Chandler Nelson of the University of Sioux Falls Track and Field/Cross Country Team have been named to the 2019-20 Academic All-America® Division II Men's Track and Field/Cross Country Team, selected by CoSIDA, according to an announcement on June 24.
Beseman was named to the first team and Nelson was a second team honoree as both USF standouts were honored with CoSIDA Academic All-American honors for the first time.
The Division II Academic All-America® program is being financially supported by the NCAA Division II national governance structure to assist CoSIDA with handling the awards fulfillment aspects for the 2019-20 Division II Academic All-America® teams program. Despite the cancellation of spring competition during COVID-19, CoSIDA continued its sponsorship of the Academic All-America awards program. Student-athletes were selected based on career statistics. The 15 CoSIDA Academic All-America® Division II men's track/cross country first team members hold a composite 3.88 GPA. Thirteen members of the 45-player first, second and third teams honorees hold a perfect 4.00 cumulative GPA. Seventeen CoSIDA Academic All-America® Division II men's track/cross country selections are repeat picks.
Beseman and Nelson were selected first-team Academic All-District® on May 30 and advanced to the CoSIDA Academic All-America® ballot.
"We are exceptionally proud of Billy (Beseman) and Chandler (Nelson) for their quality performances in competition and in the classroom. They have been outstanding teammates and epitomize what a student-athlete is all about. Both Billy and Chandler have shown leadership in performance whether it was academic or athletic," said USF Director of Track and Field/Cross Country Doug Petersen.
Beseman, the son of Bob and Karen Beseman, graduated in May, 2020, with a Master of Business Administration degree. A native of Perham, Minn., he is a two-time All-American (DMR, 2018, 2019). Beseman was twice selected to the Academic All-District® Men's Track & Field/Cross Country VII Teams, as selected by CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America).
In 2019, Beseman earned first team All-American honors at NCAA DII Indoor Nationals in 2019 as USF set school record of 9:48.74 in the distance medley relay. He was also part of USF's first team All-American Distance Medley Relay (8th place) at the 2018 NCAA DII Indoor Championships as that team finished in 9:55.01. In total, he has earned eight Academic All-NSIC honors in cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field. Four times, he has been selected to the All-NSIC Academic Team of Excellence.
At USF, Beseman has five top-five rankings on ranking second in 1,000 meters with 2:26.96 in 2019; fifth in 800-meters in 1:54.96 in 2019 and first in distance medley relay with school record 9:48.34 in 2019 at DII indoor nationals. He owns the second best 800-meters time outdoors with a 1:52.53 clocking with the fourth-ranked 1,500 meters of 3:50.29 in 2019.
Beseman helped lead USF to its first ever NSIC Cross Country Championships in 2018 and part of the team that was fifth at the NCAA DII nationals, which was an all-time program best. In the 10K at the 2019 NCAA DII Cross Country Championships he ran a 31:52.2 for a 133rd place finish, which was also the fastest 10K of his career. At the 2019 NSIC Championships, Beseman, who was a team captain, placed 49th with a time of 27:43.3. At the 2020 NSIC Indoor Track and Field Championships, Beseman was a member of the winning DMR and was also second in the 1,000 meters in 2:29.22, a title he won at the 2019 NSIC Indoor Championships. He was also on the eighth-place 4x400 meter relay. In his career, Beseman has 12 individual or team titles and finished in the top-six in cross country or track and field 42 times. Three times, he has been on the winning DMR team at the NSIC Championships.