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History of Women in Sports Timeline
Part 7 - 1998-1999
"Now any kind of girl is more likely to get involved in sports."
Michelle Akers, Soccer Champion
- 1998 - A crowd of 24,597 shows up in Knoxville to watch the #1 Tennessee Lady Vols defeat the #3 UConn Huskies, 84-69, setting a collegiate women's basketball attendance record.
- 1998 - Alison Nicholas wins the U.S. Open by carding a 10–under-par 274, the lowest winning score in the tournament's 52–year history.
- 1998 - Women’s Ice Hockey (won by the US) and Women's Curling become Olympic medal sports in Nagano, Japan for the first time.
- 1998 - Fifteen-year-old Tara Lipinski edges teammate Michelle Kwan and ecomes the youngest woman ever to win the Olympic gold medal in figure skating.
- 1998 - Brandy Fisher of Potsdam, NY, a senior at the University of New Hampshire, wins the first-ever Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award as the nation's top collegiate women's ice hockey player. She leads the Lady Wildcats to the first ever national championship.
- 1998 - April Heinrichs, a 1991 Women’s World Cup team member, becomes the first woman named to the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
- 1998 - Jockey Cindy Springman-Noll, a mother and a college graduate, earns the title of the nation's winningest female jockey for 1998.
- 1998 - Basketball player Chamique Holdsclaw wins AAU's James E. Sullivan Memorial Award. She is named the AP Player of the Year for leading Tennessee's Lady Vol's to a 39-0 season and their third straight NCAA championship, as well as the Player of the Year award presented by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. Tennessee coach Pat Summitt wins her fourth Naismith coaching award, as well as is named Associated Press Coach of the Year.
- 1998 - US sprinter Marion Jones (10.83) dashes to victory in the women's 100 and the 200 meters and the long jump at the World Track and Field Championships. She is the first athlete in 50 years to do so.
- 1998 - Organizers for the Boston Marathon announce male and female race winners will get a $5,000 raise in 1998 and earn $80,000 each for winning the event.
- 1998 - Wanda Rucker becomes the first woman to win a Tournament Trail bass championship. Rucker's five-bass limit weighed 16 lbs., 4 oz., topping 342 other anglers.
- 1998 - Cynthia Cooper scores 25 points, helping the Houston Comets win the first WNBA Championship Game by defeating the New York Liberty, 65-51, before a sellout crowd at the Summit.
- 1998 - Five ECAC member schools -- New Hampshire, Providence, Maine, St. Lawrence and Niagara -- offer scholarships for women to play ice hockey. The Minnesota Gophers offer 10 scholarships.
- 1998 - Canada wins the second 3 Nations Cup ice hockey tournament held in Finland.
- 1998 - Kenya's Tegla Loroupe runs the fastest women's marathon ever when she wins the 1998 Rotterdam Marathon in a time of 2 hours, 20 minutes and 47 seconds.
- 1998 - The US National Women's Basketball Team wins the gold medal at the 1998 World Championships in Berlin.
- 1998 - Christina Sanchez, 26, is the first female matador to fight in Madrid's famed Les Ventas ring.
- 1998 - There are 1,900 girls who wrestled during the 1997-98 school year. In the first year the National Federation of State High School Associations tracked girls in wrestlting (1984-85), just 6 were counted.
- 1998 - The IAAF announces women's pole vault and the hammer throw will be added to the 1999 World Championships and 2000 Olympics, meaning for the first time women will compete in the same number of field events as men.
- 1998 - USA Hockey reports the number of women's and girls' teams registered with the organization is 1,077 for 1997-98, up dramatically from 149 in 1990-91. Women's ice hockey is among the fastest growing sports.
- 1998 - Ann Trason completes ultrarunning's Grand Slam: the Western States 100, the Vermont 100, the Leadville trail 100 and the Wasatch Front 100. She completes five 100-mile races in only 14 weeks.
- 1998 - The Marylebone Cricket Club, the game's last bastion of male exclusivity and cricket's former world governing body, votes to admit women as members for the first time.
- 1998 - The LPGA rookie Se Ri Pak, 20, of South Korea wins her first major championship and becomes the youngest woman to win the LPGA Championship, firing a final round 68 at the DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, DE. She is named the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year for golf.
- 1998 - Tennessee Vols junior basketball player Chamique Holdsclaw is awarded the Honda Broderick Cup, which is awarded to the nation's top female athlete.
- 1998 - Houston forward Sheryl Swoopes scores 10 of her team's last 17 points, leading the Comets to a 80-71 victory and their second straight WNBA Championship.
- 1998 - Lindsay Davenport captures her first grand slam title by defeating defending champion Martina Hingis 6-3, 7-5 at the U.S. Open, not losing a set en route to the title. Davenport is the first American-born woman to win the US Open since Chris Evert won the last of her six singles titles in 1982.
- 1998 - U.S. Soccer star Mia Hamm scores her 100th career international goal and adds another, helping the U.S. defeat Russia 4-0 in the Nike U.S. Women's Cup series in Rochester, N.Y.
- 1998 - Se Ri Pak posts the lowest LPGA score ever with a 10-under par 61 in the second round of the Jamie Farr Kroger Classic.
- 1998 - Bonnie Blair is inducted into the International Skating Union Hall of Fame.
- 1998 - Tennis star Venus Williams records a 127 mph serve – the fastest ever in women's tennis – against Mary Pierce at the European Championships.
- 1998 - Steffi Graf captures her 105th career singles title at the Leipzig Open and breaks Martina Navratilova's record for career earnings with $20,445,842.
- 1998 - According to a survey conducted by the Chronicle of Higher Education, 40% of athletes at Division I schools in 1997-98 were women, a 5% increase from 1996-97. Women also received 40% of athletic scholarship budgets, up 14% from the previous year.
- 1998 - Gymnist Nadia Comaneci is honored as the recipient of the Women's Sports Foundation's Flo Hyman Award. The Flo Hyman Memorial Award is given by the Women's Sports Foundation in
honor a captain of the 1984 Olympic Silver Medalist United States Women's Volleyball Team.
- 1999 - WTA teenagers Serena and Venus Williams become the first sisters to win singles titles on the same day when Venus captures the IGA Superthrift Tennis Classic hours after Serena's victory at the Open Gaz de France.
- 1999 - Tennessee's Lady Vols player Chamique Holdsclaw is named to her third All American basketball team by the AP, the first woman to make the team three times. She is one of only four players to ever make the Kodak All-American Team four times.
- 1999 - Canada again wins the gold medal in the Women's World Championship for ice hockey held in Espoo, Finland, on March 8-14, followed by silver medalists US and bronze Finland.
- 1999 - At the college level, 23 schools are expected to compete in Division I women's ice hockey in 1999-2000. There are more than 40 schools playing women's varsity hockey at some level, prompting the NCAA to put women's hockey on the fast track for championship approval.
- 1999 - Alaska native Katie Johnson, a junior at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY, wins her third straight individual combined cross-country ski championship sponsored by the US Collegiate Ski Association in Mammoth Lakes, CA on March 13.
- 1999 - Golfer Amy Alcott is inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame on March 22. Her career included 29 victories and five major championships.
- 1999 - Chamique Holdsclaw is named the Player of the Year by the AP for the second time on March 25 - the first woman to win the award twice. She finishes her basketball career at Tennessee with 3,025 points and 1,295 rebounds, number one on the University of Tennessee career list for both categories. She is also named as the female Naismith Player of the Year by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
- 1999 - Chamique Holdsclaw becomes the first woman basketball player to win the Sullivan Award, the nation’s top amateur athlete award.
- In Minnesota, the number of high schools offering girls' ice hockey has grown from 24 in 1994 to 110 for the 1999-2000 season.
- 1999 - A. J. Mleczko is named the recipient of the 1999 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award on March 25. Mleczko of Nantucket, MA, is a senior forward from Harvard University. The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is given annually by the USA Hockey Foundation to the women's intercollegiate varsity ice hockey player who displays the highest standards of personal and team excellence during the season.
- 1999 - Teams from Harvard, Brown and New Hampshire travel more than 1,000 miles to play in the second American Women's College Hockey Alliance national championship at Mariucci Arena with the host Minnesota Gophers. Jen Botterill's goal at 8:01 in overtime lifts Harvard past New Hampshire 6-5 in the AWCHA championship game on March 27.
- 1999 - In a historic tennis match-up, the Williams sisters - Venus and Serena - meet in the women's final of the Lipton Championship. Venus wins the match, beating Serena two games to one, and winning $265,000. She has won all three meetings between the sisters. This all-sisters women's final is the first since the Open era began in 1968. The only other time sisters met in a final was at Wimbledon in 1894 when Maud Watson defeated her older sister, Lilian.
- 1999 - Purdue (34-1) becomes the first team from the Big Ten Conference to win the NCAA Division I title before 17,773 fans on March 28. Led by seniors Stephanie White-McCarty and Ukari Figgs, the Boilermakers overcome Duke 62-45 for their first NCAA title. Carolyn Peck, in only her second season, becomes the first African-American woman to coach a team to the women's national championship. She will be the coach and general manager of the WNBA's expansion Orlando Miracle.
- 1999 - American swimmer Jenny Thompson wins three gold medals in the women's short-course championships in Hong Kong, sets a new world's record, and is named the female swimmer of the meet.
- 1999 - Jockey Julie Krone, 35, thoroughbred racing's most successful woman rider, announces her retirement in April, after 3,541 races, 3,500 wins, and more than $80 in earnings over her 18-year career. She is the only woman to win a Triple Crown race - riding Colonial Affair in the 1993 Belmont Stakes.
- 1999 - Louise Smith, age 82, a stock car racing pioneer, becomes the first woman inducted into the International Motor Sports Hall of Fame, in Talladega, AL, in April. She got her start in racing in 1945, winning 38 races while barnstorming tracks from Canada to Florida in the 1940s and ‘50s.
- 1999 - In April, about 60 professional women tennis players sign a petition asking the WTA for equal prize money with the men at all four Grand Slam tournaments.
- 1999 - Dodo Cheney, 82, the winner of more national tennis titles than anyone in history, scores her 300th victory in her hometown of LaJolla, CA. The daughter of May Sutton, the first American to win a singles title at Wimbledon (1905), she started playing at tennis at age eight.
- 1999 - The inaugural race of the six-race Women's Global GT Series - a companion circuit for the new American Le Mans Series - takes place on April 18 at Road Atlanta. Over 60 women drivers qualified for the series, under the leadership of veteran Indy driver Lyn St. James. Other events in the series include June 27: Mosport, Toronto; July 25: Sears Point, CA; August 1: Portland, OR; Sept. 18: Petit LeMans, Road Atlanta; Oct. 10: Laguna Seca, CA; and Nov. 7: San Diego Grand Prix.
- 1999 - Ethiopia's Fatuma Roba wins her third Boston Marathon in three years, becoming only the second woman in history to accomplish that feat. She finishes in just over two hours and 23 minutes. She is the first African woman to win the race.
- 1999 - Louise Sauvage, 25 of Australia, wins her third women’s wheelchair division for the Boston Marathon, narrowly beating long-time champion Jean Driscoll by a second.
- 1999 - Mia Hamm tied the career record for international goals scored in women's soccer with her 107th goal, helping the US team win 3-0 over the Netherlands on May 16 in Chicago. Hamm tied the record set by Italy's Elizabetta Vignotto who played in the 1970's and '80's.
- 1999 - Golfer Annika Sorenstam fires an 11-under-par 61, the best score in LPGA history on a par-72 course, during the opening round of the Sara Lee Classic in Nashville.
- 1999 - On May 22, Mia Hamm scores her 108th career
goal in a 3-0 victory over Brazil in Orlando, making her the world-record holder (male or female) for international goals scored in a career.
- 1999 - The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame opens it doors on June 5 in Knoxville, TN with the cutting down of a ceremonial net. It is the first Hall of Fame dedicated to any woman's sport.
- 1999 - In June, Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli wins the HP-LaserJet Women's Challenge, the richest event in women's cycling ($125,000). She dominated the 12-day event from start to finish.
- 1999 - Carolina Morace becomes the first female coach of a men's professional soccer team in Italy, signing a 2-year contract in June. The former star striker for the Italian women's team scored 105 goals in 151 games for Italy, one of only three women in history to score more than 100 times in international play. Morace retired in 1997.
- 1999 - The openning game of the Women's World Cup of Soccer at the Meadowlands in NJ set a new world's record for a women's sporting event with 78,972 fans watching the US national team beat the Danish national team, 3-0, with goals by Mia Hamm (her 110th international goal), Julie Foudy, and Kristine Lilly. The attendance topped the 76,489 soccer fans that watched the United States win the Olympic gold medal in 1996 in Athens, GA.
- 1999 - Juli Inkster becomes just the second woman to complete a career Grand Slam in professional golf when she wins the LPGA Championship in June. She won the US Open earlier this year, as well as the Dinah Shore and du Marurier Classic as a rookie in 1984. Pat Bradley was the first to complete the modern career Grand Slam.
- 1999 - Two women make Sports Illustrated's "Our Favorite Athletes of the 20th Century" listing: runner Wilma Rudolph (No. 14) and tennis player Chris Evert (No. 20).
- 1999 - Laura Harper, a spin bowler from Cornwall, is named to
the West of England boys cricket team. She has already achieved representative honors in the women's game, earning a berth on the England under-17 squad. Harper took up the sport at age 8.
- 1999 - A record 7.5 million girls and young women play soccer in the United States.
- 1999 - The US national team wins the Women's World Cup with one perfectly timed save from goalkeeper Briana Scurry and five perfectly placed penalty kicks. The U.S. Women's World Cup team wins back the World Cup trophy in front of 90,185 fans in Pasadena and a world-wide television audience of an estimated 40 million. After battling to a scoreless tie through the match and two overtime periods, the American women beat the China team 5-4 on penalty kicks.
- 1999 - In the first-ever WNBA All-Star game, the Western
Conference defeated the Eastern Conference (79-61) in a game noted for excellent defensive play by the West. The game was played in front of 18,649 in a soldout Madison Square Garden, including 5 members of the World Cup soccer team. It was broadcast to more than 125 countries in 20 languages. Lisa Leslie was named the game's MVP after scoring 13 points for the West.
- 1999 - July 23: Happy 27th Birthday Title IX! About 31,000 women were involved in college sports in 1972; that number has more than tripled. Spending on athletic scholarships for women has gone from less than $100,000 to almost $200 million. There was an average of 2.1 women's teams at colleges in 1972. That number is now at a record 7.7 per school.
- 1999 - The WNBA announces it will expand by four teams in 2000, doubling its original size to 16 clubs by adding franchises in Indiana, Miami, Portland and Seattle.
- 1999 - Women's pro golf purse totals stand at $36.2 million. This is triple the 1988 total of $12.5 million; a figure nearly triple that of the 1978 total of $3.9 million. In 1950, the total was just $50,000.
- 1999 - Australian Aleysha Healey rides Eunuch to victory in the third annual Desert Sands 2000 camel race in Boulia, Queensland (pop. 300). Some of Australia's finest outback camels show their paces as up to 80 riders and beasts race.
- 1999 - At the Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba, eight new women's events are introduced: soccer, weightlifting, shooting, pole vaulting, hammer throw, modern pentathalon, water polo and beach volleyball. The Pan Am Games serve as Olympic qualifiers for women's softball, field hockey, rythmic gymnastics, team handball, triathalon, and the equestrian show jumping and 3-day event.
- 1999 - South African swimmer Penny Heyns twice breaks the world record in the 100-meter breaststroke in July, one day after twice breaking the world record in the 200-meter event. Heyns edged the mark with a swim of 1 minute, 6.95 seconds.
- 1999 - There are 16 new women's events planned for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Syndey: women's weightlifting, trap shooting, skeet shooting, duet synchronized swimming, synchronized diving, 2 km walk, 500, 1,000 and 3,000 meter cycling, water polo, pole vault, triathlon, taekwondo, hammer throw, modern pentathalon and trampolining.
- 1999 - Swimmer Anna-Karin Kammerling of Sweden sets a new world and European record in 50-meters butterfly with a time of 26.29 seconds in July.
- 1999 - Girls are joining team sports in record numbers and their participation rates are rising faster than those of boys in almost every category, a study by the National Sporting Goods Association shows. The NSGA study looked at statistics for baseball, basketball, soccer, softball and volleyball from 1990-98 for youths who played at least twice in the same sport in the same year. It divided participants into two classes -- ages 7 to 11 and 12 to 17 -- and in almost every sport girls outpaced boys, the study found. Soccer is one of the most popular sports for girls; one-third of all soccer players are female. Among soccer players 12 to 17, girls' participation rose 17.6% to about 1.8 million from 1990 to 1998, while boys' participation fell 3.2% to about 2.2 million, the study found. In baseball, participation among girls 7-11 rose 20.5% to about 1.07 million. In contrast, participation by boys fell 1.9%, although more boys -- about 4.7 million -- were on the field.
- 1999 - Aree Wongluekiet becomes the youngest U.S. Girls' Junior Golf Championship at 13 years, 3 months, 7 days.
- 1999 - Sheryl Swoopes records the WNBA's first triple-double with 14 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists on July 27 as the Houston Comets rout the Detroit Shock 85-46.
- 1999 - Cindy Springman-Noll, currently ranked 18th among all jockeys nationwide, so far in 1999 her purse has exceeded $1 million at Altoona's Prairie Meadows Racetrack alone. In her 11th year of racing, Springman-Noll earned the title of the nation's winningest female jockey in 1994 and 1998.
- 1999 - Catherine Reddick, a 17-year-old high school senior from Birmingham, AL, scores the lone goal as the United States beats Mexico 1-0 for the Pan American Games gold medal in soccer.
- 1999 - For the first time in its 75 year history, General Mills will feature soccer players on the Wheaties box. Women's World Cup players Michelle Akers, Brandi Chastain, Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly and goalie Briana Scurry will be pictured on one of five special-edition boxes.
- 1999 - Tegla Loroupe of Kenya sets the world record for the one-hour run, covering 11 miles, 696 yards to beat by 272 yards the old mark set in 1981.
- 1999 - Steffi Graf (30) announces her retirement from tennis in August. Graf, who dominated women’s tennis for a decade, won 22 Grand Slam singles titles and had 107 victories on the WTA Tour. She won more than $20 million in her career and spent a record 377 weeks as No. 1 in women’s rankings. In 1988, she completed a “Golden Slam,” winning the four majors and adding the Olympic gold.
- 1999 - Canadian Heather Fuhr wins the USA Ironman triathlon for women held in Lake Placid, NY in mid-August in the first national Ironman event ever held inside the continental US. Fuhr, the 1997 world chamipon, finishe the course in 9:51:38. Mary Uhl, a meterologist from Santa Fe, NM, finishes second in 10:3:22. The event is a qualifier for the Ironman World Championship in October in Hawaii.
- 1999 - Marion Jones, the world's fastest woman, takes the women's 100 meters in 10.70 seconds, a championship record and fastest time of the year, winning the world title for a second consecutive time at the World Championships in Seville, Spain.
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