Rea earns Big South's prestigious George A. Christenberry Award

Rea earns Big South's prestigious George A. Christenberry Award

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Campbell senior Kelsey Rea is one of eight Big South student-athletes to earn the prestigious George A. Christenberry Award for Academic Excellence, the conference office announced Wednesday afternoon. The award is the highest academic honor presented annually by the Big South, given to the male and female student-athletes who attain the highest GPA during their undergraduate collegiate careers.

The conference will formally present the awards on Thursday, June 1 at The Marriott Resort in Hilton Head, S.C., as part of the league's annual Spring Meetings and Hall of Fame Dinner.

"The Christenberry Award is the highest academic honor awarded to Big South student-athletes," said Big South Conference Commissioner Kyle B. Kallander.  "It is incredible to think that a record eight individuals completed their undergraduate academic career with perfect GPAs, especially with the demands placed on them as student-athletes.  We congratulate Serena, Connor, Nicolin, Taylor, Jessie, Audrey, Kelsey and Hunter for their accomplishments in the classroom and on the field of play.  Their academic careers truly exemplify the highest ideals of the Big South Conference."

Rea, a mid-distance specialist, graduated from Campbell this past weekend with a B.S. in Biology (Physician's Assistant Studies). The Pinehurst, N.C. native was recently named the 2017 Big South Women's Outdoor Track & Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year, becoming the first Campbell athlete to ever win the award. She boasted a perfect 4.0 GPA throughout her Campbell career on her way to five Big South All-Academic Team selections and one CoSIDA Academic All-District award in 2015.

Rea left her mark in the Campbell record books as she was part of the women's distance medley relay team that broke the school record, running the 800m leg for CU. The group posted a time of 11:59.41 at the Camel City Elite Invitational on Feb. 4, 2017. Rea also ranks fourth on Campbell's all-time top-10 list in the women's indoor and outdoor 800m with personal-best marks of 2:17.94 and 2:15.89, respectively.

Rea is the eighth Campbell student-athlete and the second from the track & field program to earn the Christenberry Award in its 22-year history. Laura Verschuren, a former Camel distance runner, won the award in 2013 with a 4.0 GPA. Other Christenberry Award recipients from Campbell include Carol Wynee (Softball, 1987), Lucynda Hicks (Women's Basketball, 1989), Andrea Boda (Women's Tennis, 1993), Shaela Churchill (Softball, 2014), Brandon Wilson (Baseball, 2014) and Tori Griffin (Softball, 2016).

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