Francis Marion University athletic officials have announced that three former Patriot student-athletes - baseball pitcher Jeremy Halpin, volleyball player Krissy Burt Owens, and men's soccer player Alvaro Figuerola - will be the newest inductees into the FMU Athletic Hall of Fame.
The induction ceremony will take place during Homecoming activities on Saturday (Feb. 12). The ceremony will occur at approximately 3:45 p.m. in the Smith University Center gymnasium, between the women's and men's games of the FMU and Augusta State University basketball doubleheader.
Halpin, a native of Rome, N.Y., played three seasons of baseball at FMU, compiling a 17-8 mark between 1995 and 1997. He had a career earned run average of 3.61 in 47 career appearances with 135 strikeouts in 177 innings pitched. FMU was a combined 72-54 during his tenure on the squad.
He earned the B.B.A. degree in management in 1997. He is currently employed by Lanier Worldwide Inc. as a commercial sales representative, and he resides in Myrtle Beach.
During his senior year, Halpin set an FMU record for wins with a 13-2 mark, a victory total that led the PBC and tied for the NCAA Division II national lead. The 6-3 right-hander ranked 20th nationally with a 2.51 ERA, while fanning 81 batters in 97 innings and allowing opponents a .239 average.
He earned All-Peach Belt Conference and All-South Atlantic Region (first team) honors following his senior year and was named to the 1997 All-State squad, one of only three non-Division I players to make the team. He was also recognized as the 1997 FMU team most valuable player.
Halpin played several years in the Baltimore Orioles minor league system, before ending his playing career in the independent (AAA) Atlantic League.
Owens played three seasons of volleyball at FMU (1996-98) after transferring from Lewis-Clark State College. The Clarkston, Wash., native earned the B.S. degree in psychology in 2001. Now married, and the mother of a 16-month-old boy, she resides in Sherwood, Ore., and is employed by U.S. Bancorp (Equipment Finance) in Tigard, Ore., near Portland.
As a middlehitter, she was a three-time All-Peach Belt Conference performer and earned conference Player of the Year honors in 1996. As a sophomore in 1996, she ranked third nationally in hitting percentage (.464), a figure that also set a PBC single-season record. The following year, she ranked 11th nationally in hitting percentage (.379).
She ended her career with 1,183 kills and an amazing .399 hitting percentage - second-best all-time in the Peach Belt. She also recorded 116 solo blocks, 218 block assists, and 292 digs in 336 career games. Her career high for kills in a match was 27.
She helped guide the Patriots to a three-year record of 87-12, including two conference tournament titles, two regular-season titles, and the program's first-ever NCAA Division II national tournament bid in 1998.
She was a member of the 1996 squad, led by first-year head coach Jerry Pruitt, that completed a "worst-to-first" season. FMU had tied for last place in the PBC in 1995 with a 12-29 mark, but rebounded to a 28-2 record in her first year in Florence and won the PBC regular-season crown.
Figuerola, played three seasons on the Patriot soccer team (1996-1998) after transferring from Tusculum College. The Miami, Fla., native received a B.A. degree in Spanish in 1998. He currently lives in Bradenton, Fla., and works as a tennis instructor for junior players at the prestigious IMG company. IMG is recognized as the world's premier sports and lifestyle marketing and management firm. He has been with IMG for the past six years.
Figuerola also lettered for one year (1997) in tennis at FMU.
During his Patriot soccer career, the 5-7 midfielder amassed 21 goals and 10 assists in 58 matches. He was an All-Conference selection in 1997 and 1998, and a first-team All-Region and All-American choice in 1998. During that 1998 season, he tallied 14 goals and six assists as FMU recorded its best record ever (at that time), 15-4-1. He was also named the FMU team MVP in 1997.
He helped the Patriots to a three-year mark of 38-18-3, including three trips to the Peach Belt Conference Tournament semifinals. Figuerola played briefly with a professional soccer A league following his career at FMU.
The three join 25 current members in the FMU Athletic Hall of Fame, which was formed in 1991.