Sac State celebrates National Girls & Women in Sports Day

Female student-athletes reflect on their experience as women in sports


Sara Nevis

The women sprinters pose for a photo at the Sac State track and field Halloween costume contest at the Hornet Stadium Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. They won first place out of five teams in the costume contest.

Allisyn Mayhew and Sara Nevis

Sacramento State is recognizing its female student-athletes today for the 35th National Girls & Women in Sports Day, which acknowledges the accomplishments and inequality of women in sports. 

Although female athletes have worked hard to pave the way for future generations, there are still barriers to be broken between men and women’s sports. 

Senior outside hitter Macey Hayden said people still don’t give women’s sports the same attention that they do men’s. 

“The first year I started playing here and kind of the years following that I realized that when you go to a men’s basketball or football or any men’s sports a lot of fans come out all the time pretty much no matter what,” said Hayden. “But then it would come to our game days and we wouldn’t be bringing in nearly as many fans.” 

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Hayden said her favorite part of being a Sac State student-athlete is everyday she gets to fall in love with her sport all over again. 

“Every practice that I’ve ever got to play with my team, just everyday I find a different connection or new love for the sport I’m playing and a new love for my teammates and how hard that they worked,” Hayden said. 

Female athletes have worked hard over the years to get women’s sports the recognition it deserves, but track and field’s La Trouchka Duke said women athletes are still compared to male athletes when it comes to their athletic abilities. 

Duke said this comparison is what pushes her to work harder and train harder. 

“It just always feels as if it’s a competition to me, like I have to prove myself capable of doing things more than the male counterparts have to do,” said Duke. “Because the direct comparison is ‘oh you’re good at this, especially as a girl,’ or ‘especially as a woman.’” 

Duke recalls the excitement and empowerment she felt to become an athlete at Sac State and have Kimberly Graham-Miller, a Black female, as her coach. 

“For me, I had never had a woman as my coach ever for anything other than volleyball, and even then it got switched over to a man that took over her position,” Said Duke.

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“It’s impacted me in that just looking at her and all of her successes and everything that she does for us as a team, she’s really a role model,” said Duke. “So aside from just being my coach I can look up to her and I see my myself in her and that I can see that she did it so I can do it”.

Junior guard Jazmin Carrasco said she has several role models that she looks up to including Serena Williams, Candace Parker and Diana Taurasi. 

“They’re powerful, they’re strong, they stand for what they believe in and they speak up on the important things,” said Carrasco. 

Carrasco said there will always be men stereotyping and bringing down successful women, but these are the barriers that need to be broken. 

As a smaller woman that plays basketball, Carrasco said she hopes to make a difference for all the girls out there who have always been told they can’t play due to their size.