Track-and-field standout Karen (Blair) Troianello (’80 Comm.) became the face of the benchmark equal rights case against Washington State University.
Blair vs. Washington State University was a milestone for women’s rights in Washington, setting a precedent for public four-year colleges and universities. The case went to the state Supreme Court, which—in 1987—ruled in favor of the coaches and athletes.
Coaches and female athletes at WSU had sued the university in 1979 over inadequate funding and other support for women’s athletics under the state Equal Rights Amendment, enacted the same year as Title IX of the Education Amendments Act. The 1972 federal law states: “No person … » More …
Four years after Title IX was enacted, I headed off to WSU, hoping to study journalism and run track. At that point, I hadn’t even heard of Title IX, the landmark legislation that codified gender equity in education, though it probably played a role in my high-school sports career. It may be why the cross-country coach had to let a few of us girls turn out with the boys’ team—because we didn’t have one of our own.
I barely remember how I found my way onto the track team. In my memory, I saw a notice on a bulletin board and showed up for the … » More …
Playing in the most competitive collegiate conference for women’s golf has its challenges.
It also has its benefits.
“We get to play with some of the best golfers in the world,” says Kelli Kamimura, who is starting her ninth season as coach of Washington State’s women’s golf team. “The Pac-12 is tough. It’s definitely the powerhouse conference right now.”
Sixteen of the past 25 national championships have been won by Pac-12 schools, including current champ Arizona State, which in May set a Division I record with its eighth NCAA golf title. Two other Pac-12 teams also won trips to nationals last spring.
It took a while for the guys to start passing her the ball during pickup games at the gym.
Jeanne (Eggart) Helfer ’82 stuck with it, spending much of her free time back in 1977 simply running the length of the basketball court waiting for a chance to show she knew her way around the paint. It was her first semester at Washington State, a few months before she would start setting school records, and Helfer patiently waited for the guys to discover what her older brother and his friends already had learned back in Walla Walla.
In March, alumni and team members of men’s crew, the oldest sport club at WSU, gathered for Cougar Crew Days, as they do each year. But this year’s celebration had special significance: 40 years of rowing competitions.
Rich Stager ’74 and Ken Abbey, vice president of business affairs, formed the crew team in 1969, built the Cougar Shell House on the Snake River, and appointed landscape architecture professor Ken Struckmeyer as the first coach. The team entered competition in 1973.
The Cougar Crew Days included a banquet, auction, and the annual race between team members and alumni. According to Doug Engle ’80, they raised … » More …
Washington State University women’s rugby team members explain the basics of the game. In the 2008-09 season, the Cougs took third in the nation for Division II women’s rugby after going undefeated in league play and regionals.
On a frosty Saturday morning in early December, Martin Stadium rings with the thud of tackles and calls for a pass. Football season ended two weeks before, so the voices on the field aren’t quarterbacks and safeties. They are the voices of the fly-half and fourteen other players on the WSU women’s rugby team facing off against Eastern Washington University.
In dark crimson jerseys with black letters and striped crimson-and-gray socks, the WSU women quickly take command on the snow-dusted field with strong team play and swift runners. Players pass the ball—roughly the same shape but larger than a football—run or kick as they advance … » More …