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May 4, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Will Starke (men’s golf) and Sam Chiodo were named AgSouth 2015 Male and Female Athletes of the Year, it was announced on Sunday. Both Starke and Chiodo were recognized before Sunday’s baseball game at Carolina Stadium.

A native of Chapin, S.C., Starke has elevated his game this season to become one of the top collegiate golfers in the country. Starke earned first-team All-SEC honors after finishing in the top 15 in eight of 10 events this season, including six top fives and a tournament win. His six top-five finishes are tied for the most in a single season in school history, and his 11 career top-five finishes are tied for the third most in school history. His stroke average of 69.97 ranks fourth in the SEC and 10th nationally and is currently the lowest all-time at Carolina for a single season. He has also shot in the 60s 18 times, with seven coming in the final round.

Chiodo, the equestrian team’s western captain this year, helped lead the Gamecocks to their third national championship in program history. She went 13-3 this season and earned First Team All-America honors by the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA). Chiodo went undefeated at home this season, going 4-0-1. She also went 5-1 on the road, and posted the best SEC record by a Gamecock western rider this season (5-0-1). Chiodo went 3-0 at the NCEA National Championship, posting South Carolina’s highest horsemanship score in all three of its competitions in Waco. She was named to the NCEA All-Championship Team and also earned All-SEC honors.

The Athletes of the Year awards are sponsored by AgSouth Farm Credit, a member-owned lending cooperative and a member of the Farm Credit System. AgSouth Farm Credit has been providing financing to rural America for nearly a century.