Londonderry’s Noelle Lambert of the UMass Lowell Women’s Lacrosse team has been selected as a Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Achievement Award recipient.
The award is intended to honor student-athletes who have overcome great personal, academic or emotional odds to achieve academic success while participating in intercollegiate athletics.
“Winning this award is such an honor because of the other well-deserving candidates,” Lambert said. “There are so many athletes who are faced with insurmountable odds against them. I’m very excited to share this award with my teammates, coaches and everyone else who’s helped me in my journey.”
A moped accident on Martha’s Vineyard in 2016 resulted in the amputation of Lambert’s left leg above the knee. She returned to UMass Lowell with a newfound sense of determination, though, working tirelessly to get back on the field.
Lambert received her first running prosthesis in April 2017 and was cleared to play for her junior year. In her first game back with her prosthetic leg, she scored a goal en route to the River Hawks’ 16-1 victory against Hartford. She also improved in the classroom over the course of her college career, completing her time at UMass Lowell with a 3.53 GPA.
The other four recipients of the 2019 Wilma Rudolph Award were Madeline Banic, University of Tennessee; Sunkyu Paul Bin, University of Maryland; Maggie Nichols, University of Oklahoma; and Levi Prater, University of Oklahoma.
Woman of the Year, too!
Lambert was also chosen by UMass Lowell as a nominee for the 2019 America East Woman of the Year award, as announced by the conference office on Tuesday afternoon.
The honor recognizes the conference’s female student athlete that best distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate career in areas like academic achievement, athletic excellence, service and leadership. To be nominated, student-athletes must have completed intercollegiate eligibility in their primary sport by the end of the 2019 spring season or received their undergraduate degree prior to the conclusion of the summer 2019 term, while having maintained a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.50 (4.0 scale).
One of 10 female nominees, Lambert recently received the Chancellor’s Courage Award for her comeback after losing her left leg above the knee in a moped accident on Martha’s Vineyard in the summer of 2016. She also started the Born to Run Foundation, a nonprofit that is dedicated to provide child amputees with a specific prosthetic that will allow them to run again.
The nominees will be narrowed down to three female finalists, which will be announced by the conference office on Wednesday, May 29. The winners of the 2018 America East Man and Woman of the Year will be honored at the league’s annual end of the year awards dinner on Thursday, June 6th.
Kelly Freitas of the River Hawk Field Hockey team was honored as the 2016 America East Woman of the Year.
The America East Woman of the Year will then be forwarded to the NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee. The selection committee will select the top 10 winners in each NCAA division (I, II and III). From among those 30 honorees, the selection committee will determine the top three in each division. Finally, the members of the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics (CWA) will vote from among the top nine to determine the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year.
America East began honoring a Woman of the Year in 2006 and introduced the Man of the Year award in 2015.