American Women’s Track and Field, 1895–1980

A History


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About the Book

In 1895 the Vassar College Athletic Association ignored the constraints placed on women athletes of that era and held its first-ever women’s field day, featuring competition in five track and field events. Soon colleges across the country were offering women the opportunity to compete, and in 1922 the United States selected 22 women to compete in the Women’s World Games in Paris. Upon their return, female physical educators severely criticized their efforts, decrying “the evils of competition.”
Wilma Rudolph’s triumphant Olympics in 1960 sparked renewed support for women’s track and field in the United States. From 1922 to 1960, thousands of women competed, and won many gold medals, with little encouragement or recognition. This work is a history, based on many interviews and meticulous research in primary source documents, of women’s track and field, from its beginnings on the lawns of Vassar College in 1895, through 1980, when Title IX began to create a truly level playing field for men and women. The results of Amateur Athletic Union Women’s Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Championships since 1923 are given, as well as full coverage of female Olympians.

About the Author(s)

The late Louise Mead Tricard, was a member of the 1959 Pan American team and had worked extensively with the U.S. national and international track and field teams. She was a retired guidance counselor and lived in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Louise Mead Tricard
Format: softcover (6 x 9 in 2 vols.)
Pages: 760
Bibliographic Info: 84 photos, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008 [1996]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3893-8
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5537-9
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

Choice Outstanding Academic Title
“a must for all interested in the history of women’s track and field…. All levels”—Choice; “astonishing…. Tricard’s landmark reference work is based on interviews with remarkable characters and a wealth of primary source documents…excellent 38-page bibliography…the 43-page index is superb”—The International Journal of the History of Sport.