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Photos: Gallery | Colorado Springs Gazette, News

Breaking Blue: New Mexico provides Air Force with standout athletes

Though New Mexico, with a population just over 2 million, is among the 15 least-populated states in the country, its proximity to Colorado has helped it to provide Air Force with several standout athletes. Here are some examples from recent years:

(by Brent Briggeman, The Gazette)

Rachael Bradley-Powers, volleyball (Albuquerque)

The 2016 graduate and product of Sandia High School is listed among the Falcons’ all-time career leaders (in the Division I era) in digs (fifth, 893) and aces (fourth, 90).


Santo Coppola, football (Santa Fe)

The senior defensive end from St. Michael’s High School has 54 career tackles (third on the team) with 7.5 tackles for loss and four sacks. He set his career high with six tackles at Michigan.



Zach Johnson, men’s track (Farmington)

The 2017 graduate established the Falcons’ record in the 100-meter dash at 10.43 seconds and was the runner-up in the event in the Mountain West this past spring. He was a three-time conference champion as part of the 400 relay, in which he is also part of the program record.

Armed Forces Bowl Football

Travis Dekker, football (Albuquerque)

The tight end and 2009 graduate out of La Cueva High School caught 42 passes for 551 yards and five touchdowns before signing as an undrafted free agent with the Green Bay Packers (though he never played because of his military commitment). He recently completed medical school at Georgetown and is serving as an orthopedic surgery resident at Duke University Hospital.

Donna McWilliam/AP


Marek Olesinski, men’s basketball (Roswell)

The 6-foot-9 center was named team MVP as a senior in 2014-15 and ranks No. 2 in single-season 3-point percentage at 49.0 in 2012-13. He was an honorable mention all-Mountain West selection.



Andrea Seazzu, men's soccer (Albuquerque)

Seen as the goalkeeper of the future for the program, the sophomore from Early College Academy has recorded shutouts in his two games this season for the 6-1 Falcons.