In a stellar year for female high school athletes in Stamford, Julie Osipow stood taller than all the rest.
Osipow, the star center fielder for Westhill’s softball team, was named tonight as the 24th recipient of the Allyson Rioux Award, which is given to the city’s most outstanding female student-athlete.
“It’s a huge honor,” Osipow said. “I’ve been playing sports since I was about 3. It’s great to get recognition for it, and to be honored after someone like Allyson Rioux, who was such a great athlete and person, makes it very special. I’m very humbled by it.”
Rioux, who was named to All-State teams in three sports at Westhill and was a second team All-American selection in softball at the University of Massachusetts, died of a brain tumor in 1989 at the age of 27.
Osipow, who has been considered one of the best center fielders and hitters in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference the past two seasons, was also the goalkeeper for the school’s soccer team and played for the Stamford Spinnakers hockey team.
“A lot of kids don’t play three sports anymore,” said Francene Moavero, Rioux’s sister and a board member on the award committee. “She not only played three sports but really excelled at them. We had a preliminary vote and she was the frontrunner, then we kept talking about the other candidates and she kept coming up.”
Rioux will receive a $5,000 scholarship.
Osipow is the seventh recipient from Westhill. Jillian Masi was the last one, in 2007. Stamford High’s Karlie Tiscia won the award last year.
The selection of Osipow is even more impressive given the field she was up against.
“There are so many girls in other years that would have won hands down,” Moavero said.