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Plant City Courier

40 greats who blossomed in the 40 years of Title IX

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Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 06:43 PM

"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity.''

That's an excerpt from the Education Amendments of 1972, Public Law 92-318, Statute 235.

It's commonly known as "Title IX'' and it was signed into law on June 23, 1972.

Title IX has been a catalyst in the rise of girls and women's sports. To commemorate the 40-year anniversary of Title IX, The Tampa Tribune remembers 40 female athletes from Hillsborough County who made a significant impact.

Roberta Albers, King (1964)

At 14, Albers became the nation's No. 1-ranked girls golfer and set a record by becoming the youngest semifinalist at the U.S. Women's Amateur. She won the women's national championship as a University of Miami freshman in 1965 and played 10 years on the LPGA Tour.

Judy Alvarez, Jefferson (1962)

Alvarez reached the nation's No. 6 ranking in 1964, when she defeated two future Wimbledon champions – Billie Jean King and Virginia Wade. Alvarez, who honed her game at Cuscaden Park, attended the University of Tampa. After leaving the pro tour, she was ranked No. 1 in the USTA 35s and 40s divisions.

Caroline Annis, Plant (1998)

She was only the second Florida runner to win four consecutive individual cross-country state champions, and added six more individual state titles in track and field. She became an All-American at Stanford University and maintained her running interest, becoming the second U.S. women's finisher at the 2005 Boston Marathon.

Chelsea Baker, Plant City Little League

Baker received national attention in 2010 while dominating youth baseball – that's baseball, not softball – as a 13-year-old knuckleball pitcher. Baker learned the pitch from former big leaguer Joe Niekro, who died in 2006. Baker carried on his legacy by tossing two perfect games against the guys. Baker's feats were spotlighted by CNN, ESPN, Sports Illustrated and "Good Morning America.''

Beth Bauer, Bloomingdale (1998)

A three-time state high-school champion and the nation's No. 1-ranked junior golfer, Bauer also won two consecutive Rolex Tournament of Champions titles, becoming the only player to win that event in back-to-back years. She became the nation's No. 1-ranked player in women's college golf while playing for Duke University and was the 2002 Rookie of the Year on the LPGA Tour.

Brooke Bennett, Durant (1998)

Bennett was a three-time Olympic swimming gold medalist. She won the 800-meter freestyle at the 1996 Atlanta Games, then captured the 400 and 800 freestyle at the 2000 Sydney Games. She narrowly missed qualifying the 2004 Olympic team. Inducted into the U.S. Swimming Hall of Fame in 2010, she now works as a broadcaster.

Harriet Brumfield, Robinson (1981)

Brumfield scored 1,082 points and 682 rebounds, averaging 23.9 and 12.9, respectively, in two seasons for Robinson basketball after moving from Germany. She was named to five prep All-American teams (Street & Smith's, Parade Magazine, Scholastic Coach, Converse and adidas). She scored a school-record 1,956 career points at Vanderbilt University, tried out for the 1984 U.S. Olympic Team and played one season professionally in France.

Jordan Burgess, Berkeley Prep (2012)

As a 6-foot-1 outside hitter and catalyst of a Class 4A state championship team, Burgess was the Gatorade National Player of the Year, the first Florida athlete ever selected for that volleyball honor. She was the Florida Player of the Year for two seasons, Florida's Miss Volleyball and an AVCA/Under Armour All-American. She's headed to Stanford University.

Kellie Catanach, Plant (2008)

As the daughter of the University of Tampa volleyball coach, Catanach was destined for greatness in the game. She finished her four-year volleyball career as Duke University setter with 5,364 assists to rank second all-time for the Blue Devils and ninth all-time in the ACC. As a junior, Catanach was named ACC Player of the Year and third-team All-American.

Damu Cherry, Leto (1996)

Two one-hundredths of a second. That's how little time separated Cherry from a medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. At age 30, she clocked a 12.65 in the 100-meter hurdles to finish fourth, but that still made for a great story, considering her track and field performances at Leto High and USF were modest. Cherry missed the 2004 Games while serving a two-year suspension for a banned steroid, though she has denied intentionally using any performance-enhancing substance.

Mallory Code, Chamberlain (2002)

After a lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis, Code died on Nov. 9, 2009. She was 25. But she packed so much into that quarter-century. She and sister Whitney helped Chamberlain win state golf titles in 1999 and 2000. She earned a scholarship to the University of Florida. She won four AJGA titles. She played the piano, danced and was a highly sought-after inspirational speaker. She was featured on HBO's "Real Sports'' and the "Today'' show. Her golf was superb. Her attitude was off-the-charts. "My life is perfect in almost every way,'' she once said.

Whitney Code, Chamberlain (2000)

One of the most accomplished girls golfers in Tampa history, Code won the individual state championship as a sophomore. She was runner-up as a freshman, junior and senior. Along with younger sister Mallory, Code helped Chamberlain to the state golf titles in 1999 and 2000. Code earned a golf scholarship to the University of Florida.

Katrina Colleton, East Bay (1988)

Colleton was a two-time Hillsborough County Player of the Year who set an East Bay record for career points (1,528) while averaging 21.8 points and 11.2 rebounds as a senior. She signed with Maryland, where she had 833 career points. Maryland was 22-8 in her senior season, when she averaged 13.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. A third-round selection of Los Angeles Sparks in the 1997 inaugural season, she played four seasons in the WNBA.

Maritza Correia, Tampa Bay Tech (1999)

She was a six-time state champion swimmer at TBT and a three-time junior national champion. At the University of Georgia, she captured SEC freestyle titles in every event – from the 50 to the 1,650 – and also claimed five individual NCAA championships. In 2004, she became the first black woman to make a U.S. Olympic swim team. At the Sydney Games, Correia won a silver medal for her part in the 4x100 relay.

Kayla Cox, East Bay (2010)

Cox helped the Indians to a softball state championship with dominant pitching. She was 18-1 as a senior with a 0.19 ERA and 282 strikeouts. She had five consecutive shutouts in the postseason and closed her prep career with 18 strikeouts against Niceville in the state final. She played one season at N.C. State, but transferred to the University of Tampa, where she became a first-team All-American after going 16-2 with a 0.34 ERA this season. She worked 83 2/3 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run.

Beth DiPietro, Riverview (2003)

DiPietro, a right-handed pitcher, was the catalyst behind the Sharks winning two softball state titles, plus a runner-up finish as a senior. DiPietro was a career 78-16 with 980 strikeouts, including a 23-4 mark with a 0.23 ERA as a senior. As a junior, DiPietro was recognized by Sports Illustrated after registering 28 strikeouts (believed to be a national record) in an 11-inning game against Gaither. DiPietro played at Auburn University.

Candice Dupree, Wharton (2002)

Dupree, who averaged 21.1 points and 17.5 rebounds as a senior basketball player, was the first Wharton athlete to have a retired jersey. She was a third-team All-American at Temple University, where she averaged 17.4 points as a senior and was named Atlantic 10 Conference player of the year. She finished as Temple's second all-time leading scorer with 1,708 points. In 2005, she won a gold medal with the USA Basketball Team in Turkey. She was a first-round selection, No. 6 overall, of the WNBA's Chicago Sky in 2006 and made the league's All-Star Game in her second season.

Jackie Eisenhauer, Armwood (1987)

Eisenhauer twice led Hillsborough County girls basketball players in scoring – 18.8 points per game as a sophomore, 23.0 as a senior – and was second at 22.0 as a junior. She was named The Tampa Tribune Female Athlete of the Year for all sports in 1986-87. As a senior, she helped Armwood to a 25-2 mark and the state's final four. At the University of South Florida, she scored 1,470 career points and was a third-team freshman All-American in 1988.

Lucy Giovinco, Tampa Catholic (1975)

She became one of the most decorated amateur bowlers in history. She was a seven-time member of the U.S. National Team and won the National Amateur championship in 1996. But her crowning moment occurred in 1976. As a 19-year-old student at Hillsborough Community College, she was the youngest winner of the AMF World Cup in Tehran, Iran.

Wanda Guyton, Hillsborough (1984)

After leading the Terriers to the Class 4A basketball state final, she made an even bigger mark at the University of South Florida, where she finished as the school's all-time leading scorer (1,820 points) and rebounder (1,077), although Jessica Dickson broke the scoring mark 18 years later. In 2002, her No. 50 jersey was retired by USF. Guyton won back-to-back championships with the WNBA's Houston Comets. And in 2009, two years after retiring from 18 seasons of professional basketball, she was part of the inaugural class for the USF Athletic Hall of Fame.

Amber Henson, Sickles (2011)

Henson was in double digits for scoring and rebounding during her three seasons with the Gryphons. But her proudest moment occurred as a senior, when she averaged 20.7 points, 13.6 rebounds and led Sickles to its first Final Four appearance. She had a career 2,027 points and 1,218 rebounds. She made the Parade All-America team and played in the McDonald's All-America Game. She is now at Duke University, where she was limited to eight games as a freshman because of a knee injury.

Sherisha Hills, Academy of the Holy Names (1998)

Hills made four trips to the state's Final Four, winning a state championship as a sophomore. The three-time Hillsborough County Player of the Year was named to the Parade Magazine All-American Team. She set a Hillsborough County record with 2,539 career points. As a senior, she averaged 25.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 5.6 assists. Hills signed with Notre Dame, averaging 22 minutes and starting two NCAA tournament games, but transferred to Florida, where her career was halted by a series of knee injuries.

Sarah Kirkwood, Plant (2004)

Kirkwood was an outside hitter in volleyball who led Plant to three consecutive state championships while earning Gatorade Florida Player of the Year honors. At the University of Virginia, Kirkwood was a four-time All-ACC performer and the league's Freshman of the Year in 2004. She established school records for career kills and service aces. Last season, Kirkwood became an assistant volleyball coach at New York University.

Kim Little, King (1992)

Little was a three-time Tribune Girls Golfer of the Year, which sounds like a unique distinction. But Little's older sister, Tracy, also achieved the honor three straight years. The younger Little made a serious run at individual state titles each season, finishing third, fourth and fourth. She attended the University of Florida, where she was twice a first-team All-SEC selection and helped the Gators to a ninth-place national finish in 1996.

Andrea Luallen, Chamberlain (1983)

Luallen, among the most phenomenal youth swimmers in Tampa history, was a state champion in the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke. She participated in the National Sports Festival and was invited to the U.S. Olympic Committee Training Camp in Colorado Springs. Luallen signed with the University of Texas and was a member of the 1984 national championship team. But while training for the Olympic Trials, she suffered a shoulder injury and was forced to retire from the sport. She has returned in later years, though, while becoming a national champion in the Masters swimming program.

Theresa Manuel, Middleton (1944)

Manuel ran the 80-yard hurdles and was the third leg of the 440 relay at the 1948 London Olympics. At the Tuskegee Institute, now Tuskegee University, she set a school record for most points in a basketball game with 57. She set the national college record for the 50-yard hurdles on a dirt track at the University of Chicago in 1947. Manuel coached Middleton, her alma mater, to three state titles in girls basketball and also coached the sport for seven years at Hillsborough before her retirement in 1988.

Stacia Masters, Leto (1993)

Masters scored a state-record 72 goals in 19 games and helped the Leto girls soccer team to a 16-0 regular season. She earned Parade All-America honors and was named state player of the year. She signed with Notre Dame and helped the Fighting Irish to the 1995 national title, which included a 1-0 semifinal victory against North Carolina, the nine-time defending national champion. She also played on Town 'N Country Heather's 1995 national champion in the U.S. Youth Soccer Association.

Maddie Martin, Plant (2010)

Martin's accolades included the Gatorade Florida Volleyball Player of the Year, plus being a two-time prep All-American and four consecutive state championships at Plant. She signed with Penn State University, where she participated in the Nittany Lions' fourth consecutive national championship as a freshman in 2010. She has become a regular in the starting lineup heading into her junior season.

Sue Moucha, Tampa Catholic (1976)

Born with cerebral palsy, Moucha overcame her disability to become a championship-level swimmer. She is a four-time participant in the International Paralympic Games, where she won seven medals. She was a member of the world-record 4x50 freestyle team at the 1998 World Disabled Swimming Championship. What's more, Moucha, a Brandon resident, is a regular participant – and winner – at able-bodied events in swimming, biking and running.

Ashley Mullis, Berkeley Prep (1992)

Mullis won four consecutive volleyball state titles with the Bucs. She was named first-team All-American. After playing one season at Ohio State, Mullis transferred to the University of Florida, where she was a two-time All-SEC selection and a second-team All-American. She was a key player on UF's 1993 Final Four team. After just three seasons at UF, she finished third in kills, fourth in attacks and fifth in digs on the school's all-time lists.

Eileen Murfee, Berkeley Prep (1992)

Murfee won four consecutive volleyball state titles with the Bucs, then played on two national championship teams at Stanford University. Murfee's block sealed the 1994 victory against UCLA, and former Berkeley teammate Kelly Flannigan, in the NCAA championship match. She finished as the Florida Player of the Year at Berkeley. She also played in the Olympic Festival and the World University Games.

Chelsea Nauta, Tampa Prep (2007)

Nauta, the most successful female swimmer in Hillsborough County prep history, was a seven-time state champion, becoming only the seventh Florida female swimmer with that distinction. Dominant? She capped her career by winning the 100 freestyle by almost two seconds and the 200 freestyle by almost four seconds. She was named first-team All-SEC at the University of Georgia, where she was part of a 4x200-meter freestyle relay team that won the NCAA championship and set an American record. Last summer, she swam the second leg of the 4x200 relay team that set a world record at the World University Games.

Missy Patterson, Bloomingdale (1995)

Patterson helped Bloomingdale to the Class 4A state championship in 1993 and was twice named The Tampa Tribune's Hillsborough County Softball Player of the Year. She set the county record for single-season strikeouts (265) in 1995, although that mark was broken. Patterson earned a scholarship to Coker (S.C.) College and was named Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference Player of the Year in 1996 and 1997.

Sarah Peifer, Tampa Prep (1996)

Peifer was a three-time Mizuno High School Volleyball All-American and leader of two state championship teams at Tampa Prep. At Duke University, she became a first-team All-ACC player, leading the Blue Devils in kills, attempts, service aces and digs. But her volleyball career was short-circuited by three shoulder surgeries and one knee operation that forced her to give up the sport as a Duke senior.

Teona Rodgers, Wharton (2007)

Rodgers ended her high-school career as the nation's second-fastest hurdler. She captured three individual state championships in track and field, including two in the 100-meter hurdles while setting a state-meet record in 13.33 and one in the 200-meter dash. Rodgers received the Bill Shields Award, which goes to Hillsborough County's top track and field athlete. She earned a scholarship to Florida State University. In 2008, Rodgers won a 100-meter hurdles gold medal at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Poland.

Monica Triner, East Bay (1995)

Triner's dominant softball career makes her arguably the greatest athlete – male or female – in East Bay history. In 1995, she helped District 13 to a Big League World Series title. As a prep senior, she batted .442 and had a 0.09 ERA as a pitcher. Triner was inducted into the University of South Florida Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011. She is the only two-time All-American for USF softball and helped the Bulls to NCAA tournament appearances in 1997 and 1998. She held 21 school records, including 23 career homers, when she graduated and her retired No. 17 is displayed at the USF Softball Stadium.

Carvie Upshaw, Brandon (1985)

As a 6-foot-5 center, Upshaw helped the Eagles to 30 straight wins before they fell in the 1985 Class 4A state semifinals. She signed with the University of New Orleans, where she finished second all-time in scoring (1,759 points), first in rebounding (1,124) and first in blocked shots (492). She had 11 seasons of professional experience – with stints in Italy, France, Israel, Brazil and Poland – before her career ended with a torn Achilles tendon in 1997. In the Italian League, she blocked 20 shots in one game.

Lyra Vance, Tampa Prep (1984)

Vance is considered a cornerstone of Tampa Prep's volleyball dynasty. She won the state championship in each of her four seasons with the Terrapins and was named The Tampa Tribune's Female Athlete of the Year in 1983. She had a similar role at the University of Florida, where she helped the Gators to their first NCAA tournament bid and a Sweet 16 finish one season later. She left Gainesville holding eight Gators career records.

Heidi Walker, Bloomingdale (1990)

Walker, part of a dynamic swimming family at Bloomingdale and Brandon high schools, was a three-time The Tampa Tribune Girls Swimmer of the Year in Hillsborough County. She won the 100-meter butterfly state championship in 1988. She earned a scholarship to the University of Georgia, where she became an All-American in 1992.

Faith Woodard, Riverview (2013)

Woodard, one of the county's top dual-sport athletes, has twice been named The Tampa Tribune's Girls Sport Athlete of the Year … and her senior year hasn't yet begun. As a junior, she won the Class 4A state track and field high-jump title with a leap of 5 feet, 8 inches, then placed sixth in the 400-meter run. She also averaged 21 points per game in basketball. As a sophomore, she was second in the state high jump and averaged 18.2 points in basketball.

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