-by Morgan Aguilar, student staff
Her name is Shalaya Kipp, perhaps you’ve heard of her. She has her own Wikipedia page. If not, this is one of my attempts to make sure the entire world does. Kipp was recently named the 2012 College Women’s Athlete-of-the-Year as selected by the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. Let’s take a look back at why the committee may have considered her the best choice for such an esteemed title, shall we?
In 2012, Kipp won the Pac-12 and NCAA 3,000-meter steeplechase titles. Before I move on, let me make sure you understand what that means. Kipp did not lose a single collegiate race in the steeplechase in the year 2012. At one race, she clocked the fastest collegiate time of the season.
Now, they have a record for EVERYTHING in sports. While watching a football game on TV, you may hear the announcer saying that one receiver is trying to break his team’s record for most yards in a rookie season, while an offensive lineman is about the break the record for most blocks in the entire NFL in one season, or something. It can all get very detailed and confusing, which is why I encourage you to really consider what it means to win an NCAA title, and to be the fastest of any collegiate athlete in an event.
There are over 140 division I NCAA schools who compete in the 3,000 meter steeplechase every year, and Kipp was the fastest of all the women at these schools in 2012.
Then, Kipp decided to represent not only the buffs, but the United States of America, when she qualified for the Olympic Games in London. Kipp placed 3rd at the qualifying round, and twelfth in the world at the Games.
I feel like it can be easy to become desensitized to the amazing feats that human beings accomplish each year. Sometimes the media cling to one award-winning author, singer or athlete at a time, making it difficult to remember that there are amazingly inspiring stories going on elsewhere.
It is also important to me that we recognize female athletes, as 2012 was the 40-year anniversary of Title IX. I am confident in saying that Patsy Mink, author of the earliest draft of the title, would be extremely proud of CU-Boulder’s own, Shalaya Kipp.