After etching her name in the conference record books, Westfield State's Jessie Cardin earned the 2018 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year award which is decided by the eight Athletic Directors around the league.
Cardin, a women's cross country and track and field student-athlete, left her mark in 2017 as the first-ever cross country student-athlete to win four straight MASCAC Runner of the Year honors. Over her four year career with the Owls, she helped them to three MASCAC Team titles in 2014, 2015 and 2016. She was also the MASCAC Rookie of the Year in 2014. Her success didn't stop at the conference level. She qualified three times for the NCAA DIII Cross Country Championship. She finished 20th in 2016 and 36th in 2018 to earn All-American accolades.
Continuing into the indoor track and field season, she was a MASCAC individual champion nine times while also crossing the line first as a member of the 4x800 relay in 2017 and 2018. She currently holds the MASCAC and New England Alliance records in the 5,000 meters (18:37.33) which she achieved at the 2017 indoor championship.
Most recently, she qualified for the NCAA DIII Indoor Track and Field Championship in the 5,000 meters and finished 11th. Over her career, she earned All-Region honors from the United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) three times and helped the Owls to back-to-back MASCAC Indoor titles in 2017 and 2018.
In outdoor track and field, she was a MASCAC champ in nine events plus the 4x800 relay twice to lead the Owls to three-straight league crowns from 2016-2018. Her time of 10:46.12 in the 3,000 meter steeplechase broke the MASCAC and Alliance records at this year's outdoor championship.
During her career, she qualified twice for the NCAA DIII Outdoor Track and Field Championship in the 3,000 meter steeplechase in 2016 and 2018. Last Saturday, she earned All-American accolades with a seventh place finish in the event and finished ninth in 2016, one spot shy of All-American honors.
Cardin not only excelled as an athlete, but as a student as well. She graduated earlier this month with a degree in elementary education and a 3.95 GPA. On May 4, she was named one of the Massachusetts 29 Who Shine, an award given by the Governor's Office to a student from each of the state's 29 campuses. The award recognizes excellence among public education. She was also named the 2018 Westfield State Senior Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, to the Chi Alpha Sigma National Honor Society and a four-time MASCAC All-Academic and Westfield State Athletic Directors 3.0 honor roll honoree.
When she wasn't racing or in the classroom, Cardin helped to raise money with the team to support shelter animals and raise breast cancer and Alzheimer's awareness. She also was a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and assisted with their Secret Santa program.
The MASCAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year has been awarded annually since 1980 to a student-athlete who has excelled in both the classroom and field of play while maintaining at least a 3.20 cumulative grade point average through their last year of athletic eligibility.