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Hansel to Receive Christenberry Award

May 16, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Graham Hansel is Liberty's 25th recipient of the Christenberry Award all-time.

Graham Hansel is Liberty's 25th recipient of the Christenberry Award all-time.

Liberty men's track & field/cross country senior Graham Hansel has earned the Big South Conference's prestigious George A. Christenberry Award for Academic Excellence, the conference announced today.

The Christenberry Award is given to the Big South Conference male and female student-athletes who attain the highest GPA during their college careers. Each recipient of this year's Christenberry Award has attained a 4.0 GPA for their entire undergraduate collegiate careers.

Hansel will graduate with a 4.0 GPA and a bachelor's degree in exercise science, Saturday at Williams Stadium.

The other members of this year's record nine-member Christenberry Award class include Gardner-Webb women's track & field athlete Gabrielle Cortese (exercise science), Gardner-Webb women's soccer player Jessica Ferguson (chemistry/Spanish), Charleston Southern softball player Laina Holmgren (social and human sciences), High Point women's soccer player Aley Kate McKinley (business), Presbyterian women's basketball player Janie Miles (biology), Gardner-Webb men's track & field athlete Keaton Poole (business administration), Winthrop women's cross country runner Emily Sparrow (English) and Presbyterian men's soccer player Jonathan Turnley (physics/chemistry).

The conference will formally present the awards on May 31 at The Marriott Resort in Hilton Head, S.C., as part of the league's annual spring meetings and Hall of Fame Dinner.

The honor is named for George A. Christenberry, the former President of Augusta College (now Augusta University) and one of the founders of the Big South Conference. A member of the Big South Hall of Fame, Christenberry served as the league's first president from 1983-86.

A native of Powassan, Ontario, Canada, Hansel recently wrapped up his collegiate career with a sixth-place men's steeplechase finish at the 2018 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Hansel's steeplechase personal best (9:17.47) came in 2015, the same year he won the event at the Duke Invitational.

Hansel placed inside the top 25 at each of his four Big South Cross Country Championship appearances (2014-17), including a 12th-place finish in 2017 which earned All-Big South honors.

Hansel was a member of the 2017 VaSID Academic All-State team. He was also named to the 2016 Big South All-Academic team for men's cross country.

Liberty has now had a Big South-record 25 student-athletes receive the Christenberry Award all-time. Hansel joins Jeremy Graves (2004) as the Flames' only men's track & field student-athletes ever to earn the honor.