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Popp, Holder Named 2018-19 Peter Mazza Award Winners

Travon Holder, his mother, and Dr. Mazza (left), Lexi Popp and Dr. Mazza (right)
Travon Holder, his mother, and Dr. Mazza (left), Lexi Popp and Dr. Mazza (right)

WESTFIELD, Mass.  – Westfield State senior women's track sprinter Lexi Popp (Westford, Mass.) and senior running back Travon Holder (Hartford, Conn.) were both named as the 2018-19 Peter Mazza Award winners at the Owls Student-Athlete Advisory Committee's Senior and Awards banquet on April 30.

The Peter Mazza Athletics Award is named in honor of Dr. Peter Mazza, the former vice-president of student affairs at Westfield State who was, and still remains a big proponent of the student-athlete experience. The award recipient must excel in academics, athletics ability, sportsmanship, character, service, leadership, and personal development.

A four-year track and field athlete for the Owls, Popp set two indoor records this year. She re-set her own 400 meter record with a time of 56.70 seconds, and ran a time of 25.76 seconds in the 200 meters to break an eight-year school record.

Popp capped off her stellar indoor season finishing seventh in the nation in the 400 meters, earning All-America honors in the process. She has qualified for the 400 hurdle national championships that will take place this Thursday, May 23 in Geneva, Ohio.

Off the track, she has been a standout student as well, maintaining a strong GPA in the Psychology and Coaching program while also being a leader in the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.

Holder has been four year standout running back for the Owls' football team. He rushed into the Owls' record books this year, tying the school record for touchdowns with his 38th against Western Connecticut. He is a three time all-conference selection and was named to the D3 All-New England team this year, as well as the New England Football Writers Division 2 and 3 All-Star team.

Over his career, Holder has played in 38 games, and ranks among the school's all-time leaders with 3,428 career rushing yards, 37 career rushing touchdowns, and 3,952 all-purpose yards, and tied the career touchdown record with 38 total TDs.

Holder has been working with the youth in his hometown of Hartford, and plans to continue even after commencement this past Saturday.