40 Moments in UW Women's Sports Since Title IXForty years after the passage of Title IX, we highlight 40 key moments that helped shape the last 40 years in Husky women's sports. GoHuskies.com will release 10 moments each day, leading up to the anniversary of the passage of Title IX on June 23.
Moment in Husky Women's Sports History
Just months after the passage of Title IX, Lynn Colella becomes Washington's first Olympic medalist of the Title IX era, winning silver in the 200-meter butterfly to add to the two gold medals she earned at the previous year's Pan-American Games. Having come to Washington in the pre-Title IX era, Colella practiced mostly with the UW men's team throughout her career.
Under first-year coach Steve Suttich, the UW volleyball team wins 37 matches, still a record. Suttich led the UW to the AIAW national tournament in both 1979 and 1980.
Lisa Baughn becomes UW's first volleyball All-American, leading the Huskies to a 10th-place finish at the 1980 AIAW Championships.
Washington's women's crew wins its first national title, and the first of five-straight that the Huskies will bring back to Montlake. Eight years later, the women of that eight-oared crew would become the first Husky women's team ever inducted to the Husky Hall of Fame.
Regina Joyce wins the 3,000 meters at the NCAA Championships, becoming the first NCAA champion in UW women's sports history. Joyce would go on to win the first-ever NorPac Cross-Country Championship the following fall, and take second in the 1982 NCAA Cross Country meet. One of UW's first women's Olympians, Joyce set school records in four events, and was the first collegian ever to break nine minutes in the 3,000 meters.
Yumi Mordre becomes the first Husky gymnast to win an NCAA title, winning both the vault and beam at the 1987 NCAA Championships. Mordre also becomes UW's first gymnastics All-American, and the first Husky to be named Conference Gymnast of the Year. She is elected to the Husky Hall of Fame in 1995.
Husky shot putters Jennifer Ponath, Shirley Ross and Meg Jones finish first, second and fifth at the NCAA Championships, leading the UW women to a program-best 10th-place finish. From 1986-88, Husky women's throwers would combine for 11 All-America honors and two NCAA titles, including Helena Uusitalo's javelin win in 1986.
Led by Amy Mickelson and Karen Deden, Washington's women's basketball team finishes a program-best 28-3, including a win over No. 2 Stanford at Hec Ed. The team's 17-1 record is good for a share of the program's first Pac-10 title, and is followed by a run to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. Over the next decade, Washington women's basketball will enjoy some of most fervent fan support in the nation and become Seattle's most popular women's team.
The UW women's soccer and softball programs are started. Over the next 20 years, these programs will produce some of Washington's most talented female student-athletes, including U.S. Soccer star Hope Solo, and World Series-winning pitcher and 2009 College Player of the Year Danielle Lawrie.
Husky softball makes its debut on the diamond -- well, actually on the Astroturf at Husky Stadium, where the team first practiced before construction of Husky Softball Field was finished later that year. Early games were played at Hidden Valley Park in Bellevue. While the beginnings were humble, the seeds of success were there ... players like Michelle Church, Mindy Williams and Jen Cline would go on to form the core of a team that would reach the NCAA Championship game in just three short years.
Behind the arm of Heather Meyer and the bat of Jen Cline, Husky softball goes 59-9 to win its first Pac-10 hampionship and make its first of 10 College World Series appearances, reaching the championship game.
Just a sophomore at UW, Aretha Hill makes her first of three appearances at the Summer Olympics. Hill, who would later become Aretha Thurmond, would become Washington's most accomplished women's track and field athlete of all-time, winning four U.S. discus titles and appearing in three Olympic Games. Her lifetime best of 216 feet, 1 inch still ranks as the sixth-best ever by an American woman.
In the first year that the NCAA sponsors women's rowing, Washington outpaces the field for its first of back-to-back NCAA team titles -- the first official NCAA titles ever won by a Husky team in any sport, men or women (previous national titles in football and men's crew were not in NCAA sponsored events).
Appearing at the NCAA Gymnastics Championships for the third time in five years, Washington places a program-best seventh overall, led by All-Americans Klara Kudilkova and Tiffany Simpson. The 1998 team finished with a stellar 17-7 overall record, and won the program's first NCAA West Regional Championship.
Tennis player Kristina Kraszewski, just a freshman, becomes the first Husky tennis player to earn All-America honors. Kraszewski would go on to win two more All-America honors and was the first Husky ever to be ranked No. 1 in the nation.
Led by All-American Anna Aoki, Washington's cross country team breaks into the top-10 at NCAAs for the first time, finishing ninth overall in coach Greg Metcalf's first year at the helm of the distance program. Over the next decade, Metcalf would build Washington into one of the nation's elite distance programs, winning Pac-10 and NCAA Championships, and mentoring distance runners to more than 65 All-America awards in track and cross country combined.
Head coach Lesle Gallimore is NSCAA Coach of the Year after leading the Husky women's soccer team to a program-best 18-3 record and the program's first-ever Pac-10 title -- indeed, the first-ever by any Pac-10 women's soccer team outside the state of California. Gallimore's Huskies ranked second in the nation in attendance, and peaked as high as No. 2 in the national rankings before reaching the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
Goalkeeper Hope Solo caps a brilliant UW career with her third All-America honor, and her fourth All-Pac-10 selection. Solo leaves UW with all-time records in shutouts, saves and goals-against average, and takes the team to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances for the first time since 1996. The Richland native, who is drafted No. 4 overall in the 2001 WMLS Draft by the Philadelphia Charge, will over the next decade become one of the most well-known female athletes in the world -- and unquestionably the biggest star in Husky women's sports history -- as the starting keeper for the U.S. Women's National Team.
One month after scoring 43 points in front of the largest crowd in Husky history at Hec Ed, Giuliana Mendiola is named Pac-10 Player of the Year -- the first such honor in program history. A two-time honorable mention All-American, Mendiola would finish her career as the only player in Pac-10 history to total 1,500 points, 700 rebounds and 600 assists, and led the Huskies to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament in 2001.
Tennis coach Patty McCain is named ITA National Coach of the Year after leading the Huskies to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, and a third-place finish at the ITA Indoor Nationals. In just eight years at Washington, McCain took a program that had never produced an All-American to seven NCAA Tournaments, and mentored 12 Huskies to All-America acclaim, putting Washington on the map as one of the top women's tennis programs in the United States.
On the final day of the NCAA Women's Golf Championships, the Huskies fire a 4-under 284, surging from 14th in the standings up to sixth, the program's best-ever finish. Three Huskies finish under par in the final round, including Paige Mackenzie (68), Lindsay Morgan (70) and Ashley Bickerton (70), with Mackenzie placing 11th overall.
At the 2004 Pac-10 Track and Field Championships, UW freshman Ashley Lodree joins U.S. track and field legend Gail Devers and Stanford alum Tracye Lawyer as the only women in Pac-10 history to score in a sprint, hurdle and jumps event at the same meet. Lodree would duplicate the feat as a senior in 2007, placing fourth in the 100-meter dash, second in the 100-meter hurdles and third in the long jump, and would finish her career with a then-UW-record six All-America honors, multiple school records, and marks among UW's all time top-10 in a remarkable 12 different events.
Catcher Kristen Rivera is named Pac-10 Softball Player of the Year -- remarkably, the first Husky ever to earn the honor, despite many World Series appearances in the program's first decade. Rivera would repeat the honor the following season, finishing her career as UW's career leader in home runs with 79 and leading the team to two Women's College World Series appearances.
Head coach Jim McLaughlin leads Washington volleyball from worst in the Pac-10 in 2000, the last year before his arrival, to first in the Pac-10 in 2004, the first conference title in program history. The 2004 team would go on the reach the first Final Four in program history, a feat they would then repeat in each of the next two seasons. McLaughlin was named National Coach of the Year in 2004, and has since led the Huskies to nine-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
Behind a goal by All-American Tina Frimpong, the UW's women's soccer team beats Maryland, 1-0, to reach its first-ever NCAA Tournament Elite Eight, a feat they would repeat six years later. Frimpong would complete her career as Washington's all-time scoring leader, and the only Husky ever to twice earn the honor of Pac-10 Player of the Year, before launching a successful professional and international career.
Kate Soma caps an outstanding career with a win in the pole vault at the NCAA Championships -- the first national title by a Husky woman in any individual sport since 1988. The NCAA runner-up at each of the two previous NCAA meets, Soma overcomes a frightening accident with a broken pole to win the meet, and with it, her fifth-career All-America honor, a then-program record.
Led by Pac-10 Player of the Year Sanja Tomasevic and Honda Award winner Courtney Thompson, Washington goes 32-1 and sweeps all six NCAA matches en route to winning their first NCAA Championship. The title is the first by a UW team outside of the crew program, and the first of three NCAA championships UW women's teams will win over the next four-and-a-half years.
Golfer Paige Mackenzie fires a three-under 69 in the final round of the Pac-10 Championships to become the first Husky to win medalist honors at the prestigious event. A three-time All-American, Mackenzie will go on to finish eighth at the 2006 NCAA Championships and has won over $500,000 in six professional seasons, mostly on the LPGA Tour.
In one remarkable final lap of the women's 1,500 meter final at the NCAA Championships, junior distance runner Amy Lia goes from last place -- a full 25 meters behind the leaders with just 250 meters to go -- to first, breaking her previous personal best by nearly four seconds. The title is the first on the track for a UW women's athlete since 1981.
Goalkeeper Hope Solo and rower Anna Mickelson become the first Husky women to earn Olympic gold medals. Solo, a 2002 UW grad, earns a shutout against Brazil in the gold medal game, while Mickelson rows the USA to a two-second win over runners-up Holland. Mickelson -- a threetime NCAA champion at Washington in 1999 (varsity fours), 2001 and 2002 (varsity eights, both years) -- also becomes the first Husky woman to win two Olympic medals, adding to the silver she won in 2004.
In what is called at the time one of the greatest seasons in the history of women's cross country, Washington goes undefeated to win program's first NCAA Championship. In an unprecedented feat of dominance, Husky runners finish first through sixth at the 2008 Pac-10 Championships, held on the home course of national No. 2-ranked Oregon. Despite resting some of its key competitors, Washington wins easily again at the NCAA West Regional, before claiming the NCAA title behind All-America performances by Christine Babcock, Kendra Schaaf, Mel Lawrence, Katie Follett and Amanda Miller.
Behind the electric arm of pitcher Danielle Lawrie, Washington captures its first-ever Women's College World Series championship, becoming the fourth different UW sports team to win an NCAA team title. Lawrie, who starts every game of the postseason for the Huskies, sweeps College Player of the Year honors from the NCAA and USA Softball -- a feat she would repeat in 2010, adding the prestigious Honda Award, given to the nation's top female college athlete.
Following up on their NCAA cross country title from the fall, Katie Follett (1,500m), Mel Lawrence (Steeplechase) and Anita Campbell (10,000m) all win Pac-10 track titles, the most ever won in one year by the Huskies.
In just her third year at the helm of the Husky gymnastics program, Joanne Bowers is named West Region Coach of the Year, leading UW to fourth at the prestigious Pac-10 Championships, their best finish in six years. Over the next three seasons, Bowers would continue to build up the Washington program, including a No. 11 national ranking in 2011, and a win over No. 1-ranked UCLA in 2012.
Venise Chan and Denise Dy form one of the best one-two combos in the country, both earning top-16 seeds in the NCAA Singles Championships and advancing to the NCAA Doubles quarterfinals as a duo. UW makes the second round of the team tournament.
Hope Solo leads the United States to second place at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. Solo's performance in the quarterfinal win over Brazil is hailed as one of the greatest in women's soccer history, and makes the former Husky an international sensation. That fall, she would be chosen as a celebrity contestant on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," placing fourth overall.
Freshman SooBin Kim makes a huge splash in just her third college tournament by shooting a school record 200 (-13) to win the Stanford Intercollegiate. Kim would finish the 2011-12 year with the second-lowest stroke average in UW history (73.38), and would be named second-team All-Pac-10, the first Husky in six years to earn the honor.
Competing in her hometown of Des Moines, Iowa, sophomore Katie Flood blew past the competition to win the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field 1,500-Meter Championship. Earlier in the year, she led Washington cross country to a second place finish at the NCAA Championships, and anchored UW's national championship distance medley relay team.
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