50 Years of Title IX: How Pasadena swimmer Jennie Jacobsen-Huse changed the game of water polo – What We Know!

PASADENA, Calif. — When you step onto the pool deck at Pasadena Excessive Faculty, you’re 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, wished to commerce the backwards and forwards for one thing slightly extra dynamic: water polo.

The one drawback was that ladies water polo wasn’t quite common. Pasadena Excessive definitely didn’t have a workforce.

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

“They gave us pool time, they gave us water polo balls, and a number of the different highschool college students who had been boys coached us,” mentioned 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 over again, making a workforce, coached by the boys, with no main trophy to chase.

It caught on.

“The primary yr, we every hosted a event: Santa Barbara, San Diego and Chico State,” mentioned Jacobsen-Huse. “It was nice, we had been undefeated!”

All of them shared a much bigger win.

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

It meant ladies might play.

“We had been celebrating that this handed, however we had no concept how lengthy it might take for it to really go into impact,” mentioned Jacobsen-Huse.

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

However she would spend a long time 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, in fact, means she and her teammates had been profitable … finally.

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

Jacobsen-Huse by no means noticed her efforts turn into a actuality as a participant, however she positive did see it by way of.

“It makes me virtually slightly emotional truthfully,” mentioned Kara-Leigh Huse, who has all the time had her function mannequin by her facet. “Not solely did she pave the way in which in water polo for us, and for me, however she’s additionally my mother.”

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

Kara-Leigh Huse earned a scholarship to the College of Southern California. Her mother received to listen to her daughter’s title 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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