Patriots named to Chi Alpha Sigma honor society

Francis Marion University athletic officials recently announced the names of 10 Patriot student-athletes named to the university's chapter of Chi Alpha Sigma, the National College Athlete Honor Society.

To earn a place in this honor society, a student-athlete must be at least a junior, have a 3.40 cumulative grade point average on a 4.00 scale, and have an endorsement from his or her respective head coach.  The nominees are then screened by a selection committee.

The 2013 inductees are men's basketball player Tyler Deihl (Woodstock, Ga.), women's cross country runner London Barnhill (Hemingway, SC), men's tennis player Tim Ruepke (Bremen, Germany), softball players Kristie Hanewinckel (Dunnellon, Fla.) and Olivia Zielinski (Greenville, S.C.), volleyball players Jessica Imbimbo (Hudson, Fla.) and Paige Perreault (Kankakee, Ill.), and women's soccer players Yasmin Bunter (Fleet, England), Kristina Marra (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), and Brittney Smith (Arkport, N.Y.).

Ten current Patriot student-athletes were previously inducted: men's soccer player Chuy Cruz (Austin, Texas), baseball players Addison Dunn (Warren Pa.) and Dalton Gress (Aiken, S.C.), golfers Sebastian Backlund (Bollebygd, Sweden) and Travis Gantt (Greenwood, S.C.), volleyball player Liz Drewry (Richmond, Va.), women's tennis players Mona Blauen (Cologne, Germany) and Kerry Hall (Durbin, South Africa), softball players Tristan Faile (Lancaster, S.C.) and Olivia Ferguson (Roanoke, Va.).

Chi Alpha Sigma was founded in May 1996 by DePauw University head football coach Nick Mourouzis.  The organization currently has 229 chapters in 41 states.  Francis Marion is one of only seven chapters in South Carolina, and FMU was the first school to have a chapter in the Palmetto State.

Over the past 13 years, 123 different FMU student-athletes have earned this honor.

Chi Alpha Sigma's purposes are: to encourage and reward high academic scholarship of college athletes at four-year accredited institutions; to recognize outstanding academic achievement by intercollegiate varsity letterwinners; to encourage good citizenship, moral character, and friendship among the high academic achievers in college athletics; to recognize and honor the individual athlete, his/her team, sport, athletic department, and college or university; and to mentor and to provide leadership to other athletes.