Thompson Earns Prestigious Christenberry Award

Senior Katie Thompson has been awarded the Big South Conference's prestigious George A. Christenberry Award for Academic Excellence.

The award is given to the male and female student-athletes who attain the highest GPA during their undergraduate collegiate careers. It is the eighth consecutive year with a record total, and the fourth-straight year at least eight student-athletes have been honored.

Big South member institutions nominate one male and one female undergraduate student-athlete for the annual Christenberry Award. 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. 

"Congratulations to these 12 outstanding student-athletes as recipients of the Christenberry Award, the Big South Conference's highest academic honor," said Big South Conference Commissioner Kyle B. Kallander. "To think that they all completed their undergraduate academic career with perfect GPAs, especially with the demands placed on them as student-athletes, is truly incredible. To be winners both on the field of play and in their academic careers truly exemplify the highest ideals of the Big South Conference."

Thompson becomes the first Blue Hose since the 2017-18 academic year when Janie Miles (Women's Basketball) and Jonathan Turley (Men's Soccer) earned the honors.

Earlier this spring, she became the first women's tennis player in league history to win back-to-back Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards since 2016 and 2017 and the seventh player overall to earn multiple scholar-athlete of the year honors.

Thompson is an Early Childhood Education major holding a 4.0 GPA.

She appeared in 12 matches during the abbreviated 2020 spring season (five singles, seven doubles), and her 6-1, 6-4 singles victory against Winthrop on March 12 tied the PC Division I program record for career wins in Big South matches (14). During the fall season, Thompson earned a flight win at the Elon Fall Invitational, as well as a doubles victory at the ITA Regionals with Beth Taylor. A 2019 All-Conference honoree in doubles, Thompson also paired with Beth Lacey for two wins at the Furman Duals while adding two victories in singles action. Thompson claimed two singles wins and a doubles victory at the Wofford Invitational in November.

In her career, Thompson finished her career with 55 combined wins, which included 33 singles wins throughout her time as a Blue Hose. Thompson ranks third in career singles win percentage at .569 (33-25) and leads the Blue Hose in doubles win percentage at .688 (22-10). 

Below are the 2019-20 Big South Conference Christenberry Award candidates, as nominated by their institutions. Each individual receives a personalized medallion for this achievement.


Female Nominee (Sport)

Male Nominee (Sport)


Madison Baiotto (Swimming)

Ian Rees (Soccer)

Charleston Southern

Caroline Edmondson (Track & Field)

Jaret Bennett (Baseball)


Allison Chandler (Golf)

Brian Stepanek (Soccer)


Jennifer Jackson (Swimming)



Courtney Kanetzke (Track/Cross Country)



Erica Cosimo-Bradfield (Soccer)

Jonathan Napier (Lacrosse)

High Point

Charis Dinger (Track/Cross Country)

Grey Little (Baseball)


Dana Joss (Lacrosse)

Teagan Stephenson (Golf)

Presbyterian College

Katie Thompson (Tennis)

Garrett Jones (Baseball)


Brittany Rinaldi (Lacrosse)

Jacob Wilkinson (Soccer)

UNC Asheville

Adee Weller (Swimming)

Tyree McFalling (Track & Field)

USC Upstate

Riley Popplewell (Basketball)

Jordan Warnock (Golf)


Karina Grant (Track & Field)

Zak Butt (Golf)