WESTFIELD, Mass. -– Senior track and field athlete Lauren Gilderdale (Monterey, Mass./Housatonic, Conn., High) and senior volleyball middle hitter Brianna Starkey (Rockland, Mass.) have been honored as the Westfield State University Female Athletes of the Year for the 2019-20 academic year.
Gilderdale has been a key component of the women’s track and field team as the Owls have won four-straight MASCAC women's indoor track and field championships. She won the weight throw event with a college-best throw of 17.25 meters, or 56’ 7.25” at the 2020 MASCAC indoor championships. Gilderdale also qualified for the NCAA Championships 2020 indoor meet, but the championship was canceled a day before it was to start due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gilderdale has also won a total of six MASCAC individual titles over the past three years in the indoor and outdoor throwing events, including the shot put event at the 2020 indoor championship with a distance of 12.94 meters.
Starkey served as co-captain of the women’s volleyball team, leading the Owls to the number one seed in the MASCAC playoffs this past season thanks to a perfect 7-0 MASCAC record.
Starkey finished the 2019 season leading the Owls with 348 points, 279 kills and 82 blocks. She was named to the MASCAC All-Conference team for a third straight season.
The Owls won the MASCAC title with a 3-1 win over Framingham State in the championship match, earning the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament, where the Westfield lost to eventual Elite Eight participant Clarkson in the opening round.
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