Health and Fitness

50 Years of Title IX: How Pasadena swimmer Jennie Jacobsen-Huse changed the game of water polo


PASADENA, Calif. — Should you step onto the pool deck at Pasadena Excessive Faculty, you are strolling into Jennie Jacobsen-Huse’s workplace and down reminiscence lane.

Jacobsen-Huse is an athletic director at PHS.

She additionally swam at her alma mater, and in 1970, needed to commerce the backwards and forwards for one thing a bit of extra dynamic: water polo.

The one downside was that ladies water polo wasn’t quite common. Pasadena Excessive actually did not have a workforce.

So on the similar pool the place she has since coached and led, Jacobsen-Huse and her buddies began one.

“They gave us pool time, they gave us water polo balls, and some of the other high school students who were boys coached us,” stated Jacobsen-Huse.

They performed after swim season and on their very own time.

Two years later, she went to the College of California – Santa Barbara and began once more, making a workforce, coached by the boys, with no main trophy to chase.

It caught on.

“The first year, we each hosted a tournament: Santa Barbara, San Diego and Chico State,” stated Jacobsen-Huse. “It was great, we were undefeated!”

All of them shared a much bigger win.

It was the primary yr of Title IX, which protects folks from discrimination primarily based on intercourse in schooling or actions that obtain federal monetary help.

It meant ladies may play.

“We were celebrating that this passed, but we had no idea how long it would take for it to actually go into effect,” stated Jacobsen-Huse.

By her senior yr, she traveled out of state for competitions.

However she would spend many years extra pushing for official illustration throughout the California Interscholastic Federation, the NCAA, and the Olympics.

These efforts would later get her inducted into the Water Polo Corridor of Fame.

Which, after all, means she and her teammates had been profitable … finally.

CIF acknowledged woman’s water polo in 1998, and it grew to become an Olympic sport in 2000. The NCAA did so in 2001.

Jacobsen-Huse by no means noticed her efforts grow to be a actuality as a participant, however she certain did see it by way of.

“It makes me almost a little emotional honestly,” stated Kara-Leigh Huse, who has all the time had her function mannequin by her facet. “Not only did she pave the way in water polo for us, and for me, but she’s also my mom.”

By the point she began taking part in competitively, ladies had alternatives at each degree. Immediately, the NCAA has 65 colleges with ladies’s water polo.

Kara-Leigh Huse earned a scholarship to the College of Southern California. Her mother acquired to listen to her daughter’s identify introduced from the stands.

And in 2010, 40 years after Jacobsen-Huse’s first workforce led the way in which, Kara-Leigh Huse and her Trojans gained the nationwide championship, etching their very own place in historical past.

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