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6 Flames Earn VaSID Academic All-State Honors

July 30, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Clockwise from top left: Hunter Winstead, Graham Hansel, Alicia Finnigan, Jovaine Atkinson, Molly Reagan, Evangeline Crist

Clockwise from top left: Hunter Winstead, Graham Hansel, Alicia Finnigan, Jovaine Atkinson, Molly Reagan, Evangeline Crist

Liberty student-athletes Jovaine Atkinson, Evangeline Crist, Alicia Finnigan, Graham Hansel, Molly Reagan and Hunter Winstead have earned spots on the 2017-18 Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) Academic All-State Team.

Every Commonwealth college and university, including NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA and independents, had the opportunity to submit student-athletes to be honored. To be eligible, student-athletes were required to have a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or better. The student must have achieved sophomore status, and he or she could not have been in the first season of competition at their current school.

A native of Spanish Town, Jamaica, Atkinson was a standout on and off the track in 2018. The redshirt sophomore earned Google Cloud Academic All-District honors and was voted Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year for men's indoor track & field, thanks to his 3.79 GPA as an aeronautics major. The Big South Outstanding Men's Track Performer earned All-America honors with a fourth-place finish in the men's 60 hurdles at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships.

Crist graduated in May with a 3.85 GPA as a business administration marketing and advertising major, following a record-breaking career for the women's tennis team. The Lilburn, Ga., native graduated as the Lady Flames' all-time leader in singles (92) and doubles (94) wins. Crist was the recipient of the 2018 Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award, honoring the top graduating senior student-athlete at Liberty University.

A junior swimmer from Sugar Land, Texas, Finnigan has maintained a 4.0 GPA as an interdisciplinary studies major throughout her time at Liberty. She was the recipient of the prestigious NCAA ELITE 90 Award after qualifying for the NCAA national meet for the second year in a row. Finnigan was also a second team Google Cloud Academic All-American and the CCSA Women's Swimmer of the Year in 2018.

Hansel graduated in May with a 3.97 GPA as an exercise science major, earning the Big South Conference's prestigious George A. Christenberry Award for Academic Excellence. The distance runner from Powassan, Ontario, Canada makes his second straight appearance on the VaSID Academic All-State squad. Hansel earned All-Big South honors with a 12th-place finish at the 2017 Big South Cross Country Championships.

A junior post player on the Big South champion women's basketball team, Reagan earned her second degree in as many years, graduating with an MBA and a 4.0 GPA in May. One year earlier, the Braintree, Mass., native had completed a bachelor's degree in criminal justice with a 3.96 GPA. Reagan was named to the 2018 Big South All-Academic Team.

Winstead earns his second consecutive VaSID Academic All-State nod after garnering All-America recognition for his work in the classroom and as a long snapper as a redshirt senior. The native of Raleigh, N.C., was named to the 2017 STATS FCS All-America second team and was voted to the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-America second team. Winstead maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout his undergraduate (government & international relations) and graduate (MBA) studies.

Liberty's 2017-18 VaSID Academic All-State Team Honorees
Name, Class, Hometown, Cumulative GPA, Major, Sport
Jovaine Atkinson, R-So., Spanish Town, Jamaica, 3.79, Aeronautics, Men's Track & Field

Evangeline Crist, Sr., Lilburn, Ga., 3.85, Business Administration Marketing & Advertisement, Women's Tennis

Alicia Finnigan, Jr., Sugar Land, Texas, 4.00, Interdisciplinary Studies, Women's Swimming & Diving

Graham Hansel, Sr., Powassan, Canada, 3.97, Exercise Science, Men's Cross Country/Track & Field

Molly Reagan, Jr., Braintree, Mass., 3.96 (UG)/4.00 (G), Criminal Justice (UG)/MBA (G), Women's Basketball

Hunter Winstead, R-Sr., Raleigh, N.C., 4.00 (UG)/4.00 (G), Government & International Relations (UG)/MBA (G), Football