CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Seven women athletes from West Texas A&M University, including an Amarillo native, were announced as the first recipients of a new scholarship endowment on Tuesday.
Each athlete represents one of the WTAMU women’s athletics teams, according to university officials, and were the first chosen for awards from the Judy Fugate Lady Buff Scholarship endowment that was established in April.
As previously reported by MyHighPlains.com, Fugate is an Amarillo resident who played badminton and bowled for WTAMU during the 1960s and 1970s, before Title IX guaranteed equal access and quality in the athletic programs of federally-funded educational institutions. She set up the endowment, a $1.85 million gift to the One West campaign, with the intent to help ensure that top women athletes receive annual scholarships.
“These recipients are outstanding representatives of WT Athletics—all of them terrific students, accomplished competitors and servant leaders,” said Michael McBroom, director of intercollegiate athletics. “They are shining examples of the positive impact Title IX has had on our country and our University, and I know they are honored to be part of this inaugural class.”
The student-athletes that received scholarships, according to WTAMU, included:
- Emma Patterson, volleyball: Patterson, a sophomore psychology major from Amarillo, “is coachable, a great teammate, and pushes everyone to do the same in the most encouraging way possible,” said Coach Kendra Potts. “Emma is also one of the best teammates off the court. She takes the time to build relationships with her teammates and demonstrates the true definition of a servant leader.”
- Jayla Burgess, basketball: Burgess is a sophomore biology major from Tulsa, Oklahoma, who was in the starting lineup of all 37 games of the 2021-22 season, with 159 rebounds, 50 assists, 41 blocks and 33 steals on top of a 51.9 percent shooting average and a 70.8 free-throw average.
- Alyssa Campbell, golf: Campbell, a senior business management major from Lancaster, South Carolina, is captain of the women’s golf team and currently holds the third-best single season stroke average in the program’s history, among other records. In the 2021-22 season, she won her first collegiate event and helped the team set a new scoring record and place sixth in the national championships.
- Elliot Harrison, track & field: Harrison is a sophomore sports and exercise science major from Artesia, New Mexico. A 2022 All-Academic for U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association and two-time USTFCCCA All-South Central-Regional competitor, Harrison competes in 400-meter hurdles, 100-meter hurdles, 60-meter hurdles, heptathlon, long jump and pentathlon.
- Reagan Matacale, soccer: Matacale, a senior finance major from Lucas, is known for her dedication to training and her exuberant playing style. She was chosen for the 2020 Lone Star Conference All-Freshman Team, the 2021 All-LSC Second Team and the 2021 LSC All-Tournament Team.
- Antonella Periotti Omisolo, golf: Omisolo, a sophomore accounting major from Cordóba, Argentina, powered through a wrist injury during the spring 2022 season to finish sixth at the LSC Conference Championship, then 12th in the nation, the third-best individual placement in program history.
- Emilee Wilson, softball: Wilson, an Esko, Minnesota, native, is pursuing a master’s degree in counseling. A member of the national championship team in 2021, Wilson pitched the winning game against defending national champions Augustana, helping the Lady Buffs advance to the championship series.
As noted by WTAMU officials, this is the 50th year since Title IX was passed. The university today hosts women’s teams in basketball, softball, cross country, golf, soccer, indoor and outdoor track and field, and volleyball.