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A brief history of collegiate women's athletics

We are currently driving across Pennsylvania on our way to do one last college visit for WinnieTheWoot before the acceptance letters start rolling in. We pulled in to State College this afternoon (no, she isn't considering Penn State, it was just a convenient stopover) and learned an interesting bit of history while we were here.

Around the turn of the previous century an old Quaker family in nearby Port Matilda had a daughter, the youngest child in a family of six boys. They named their little girl Verily and as the only daughter they indulged her every wish.


As one might expect with six older brothers, Verily gravitated towards the outdoors and athletic pursuits. So much so that she became one of the premiere athletes in Central Pennsylvania, not just among young women. Because of the small population of her school she regularly competed on the boys teams, eventually winning a state championship in track and field. This brought her to the attention of the Penn State athletic department, who made her the first female scholarship athlete in school history.

As she gained notoriety at college in the early 20s (in the wake of the recently successful Women's Suffrage movement) she became an icon of the proto-feminist movement and wherever she traveled to compete huge crowds of fans would gather to cheer her on.

With every victory, the stands would resound with the cry of "Yea, Verily!"

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