Richard M. Hackett/Times-Call
On June 23, the landmark Title IX legislation officially will turn 40-years old. That’s four decades and several generations worth of standout female athletes who have reaped athletic opportunities that previously were unavailable for women.
Title IX has meant so much more than simply fielding women’s teams in order to fulfill federal regulations. It has meant giving young women other options to pursue their dreams. It has created greater opportunities to earn collegiate scholarships, allowing for better educational opportunities and, in turn, more lucrative and fulfilling professional careers.
Although four decades have passed, the significance of Title IX has not been lost on the current generation of prep stars. A look at how a few of the best area athletes regard the continuing impact of Title IX:
VALARIE ALLMAN (Completed junior year at Silver Creek last month by setting state discus record at state meet; BoCoPreps.com track Athlete of the Year): “It’s crazy to think that not too long ago I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to find something that I love and have a passion for. Being able now to be in position to compete at the college level, it is going to open doors and opportunities that women didn’t have before (Title IX).”
KAILEY EDWARDS (Led Legacy girls basketball to Class 5A state title; BoCoPreps.com girls basketball Player of the Year will play next season at University of Denver): “We went to a Title IX banquet last year and were able to meet all these athletes — CU players, DU players, USA wrestlers, swimmers — and it was amazing to see the wide range of women doing amazing things. I would definitely make sure I told my girls all about it if I ever got into coaching.”
KELLY GRAHAM (Recent Longmont grad, and 2011 BoCoPreps.com volleyball Player of the Year, will continue career at McNeese State): “It makes us realize how much of an opportunity that we have and to not take anything for granted. I consider myself lucky for the opportunities I’ve been able to have.”
EMMA LAZAROFF (Duke-bound star from Centaurus lacrosse; set national high school record with 143 goals): “For me to be able to play at a college like Duke, and have that opportunity now, it would have been unrealistic. I’m extremely thankful that women are able to get into, and play, at those kinds of schools.”
BELLE MOREL (During just-completed junior season, ranked second in state in goals while leading Peak to Peak to Class 3A state title; BoCoPreps.com girls soccer Player of the Year): “My mom told me a story of how she and a friend tried out for the track team in high school. Right before the first meet her coach came up to them and said they couldn’t compete because track was a contact sport. It was unbelievable. It makes me very thankful for my opportunities and I’m hopeful it keeps improving.”
Follow Pat Rooney on Twitter: @prooney07