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Archive for Thursday, June 27, 2013

Letter: True champions

June 27, 2013

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To the editor:

In 1969, I began running on our high school’s track. Almost every evening I ran hurdles or the quarter mile. There was no competition for me to participate in because I was a teenage girl. My running happened alone, after our high school track team (only boys) finished on the track.

In 1971, our central Kansas high school finally awarded the girls a track team. We were given the high school boys old, gray warm-ups and an enthusiastic, but clueless, teacher as a track coach. My junior-high-age sister and I pooled our money and bought one pair of track shoes between us. We didn’t care, because finally we got to compete! The high school girls were given the opportunity to function as a team, and we learned to give our all when we thought we had nothing left to give.

When I heard the news that our Kansas University women had won the NCAA Championship, I was flooded with emotion and, for a moment, felt like I was rounding the final curve in the 400 meters. I am so very proud of our KU team. Thank you from every Kansas woman who has ever strapped on a pair of track shoes, whether it was in the early years of Title IX or yesterday. You are truly our champions!

Comments

Leslie Swearingen 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Great letter! Praise to this woman for her and her sister sticking it out when it sounds like they had little support in the beginning. That is why sports is so important for the girls as well as the boys. They teach self discipline, perseverance and the will to keep going, attributes that are needed in every aspect of life.

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Virgil_Caine 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I follow a lot of different sports, but that's an aspect of women's athletics that I don't step back and appreciate often enough. Women have come such a long way just to be able to compete. Stories like this one need to be passed down through the generations. Thanks for sharing.

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Jennifer Klopp 9 months, 3 weeks ago

We've come a long baby, haven't we? I ran on a cinder track in Junior High (if you fell down---Owwee!) and lifted weights made of cement in coffee cans and metal bars. We had fun! Our sweat suits were gray or.....gray. Congratulations to the KU Women's Track and Field Team. We are very proud of you!

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