Sports

5 Iowa women in sports you should read about on International Women's Day

Gina Rogers announces at the conclusion of Wednesday's Class 4A quarterfinal between Pella and Lewis Central at the girls' state basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena. She is the first woman to be placed in the PA role on a regular basis. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Gina Rogers announces at the conclusion of Wednesday's Class 4A quarterfinal between Pella and Lewis Central at the girls' state basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena. She is the first woman to be placed in the PA role on a regular basis. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
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The Gazette has featured countless stories about women making an impact in Iowa in the past. On this International Women's Day we take a look back at some examples in the world of Iowa sports.

 

Izzy Steele

Izzy Steele is an athlete, a leader, a chatterbox.

She’s also a U.S. Army private, second class.

A senior at Lisbon High School, Steele didn’t spend a summer filled with bonfires and Snapchats. Instead, there were countless push-ups and situps, and the acquaintance with an 8-pound rifle she hauled non-stop throughout a 10-week basic-training mission at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

“My grandpa (Bob Steele) was in the Army. My dad (Kevin) was a captain in the Army and was deployed twice,” Izzy said before the Lions prepared for a volleyball match Tuesday night against Central City.

“I love America. When I turned 17, my dad talked to me about this. I knew it would be a life-changing thing, and I was nervous about it. But when I talked to the recruiters, they won me over.”

Also involved in soccer, basketball, student council and speech, Steele was a starter for the volleyball team last year as a junior. She understood a summer away from the team would put her behind her teammates and her opponents.

And she didn’t hesitate. Read more about her...

Gina Rogers

This wasn’t a token deal. 

“This wasn’t just about getting a woman behind the microphone,” said Jean Berger, executive director of the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union. “This was about getting a qualified woman.”

Gina Rogers of Cedar Rapids spent the first three days of the girls’ state basketball tournament at the officials’ table, serving as public address announcer.

“It’s kind of a dream come true,” the 52-year-old Rogers said Wednesday morning. “I’d been trying to get on for years."

Rogers is the first woman to serve as a regular as a girls’ state basketball PA announcer. She has held a similar position for multiple sports at Cedar Rapids Washington for about 15 years. Read more about her...

 

Mia Laube

"When I was about nine or 10 years old, one of my high school basketball idols gave me a piece of paper with a quote printed on it. It is a quote I will never forget.

“Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become, and the hours of practice, and the coaches who have pushed you, is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back ... play for her.”

That same Mia Hamm quote was read to my teammates and me in the back hallway last night before we began the Class 4A state championship game. At once, I looked back on my basketball career." Read more about her...

Jennie Baranczyk

Reflection will have to wait.

“We’re not in that mode yet,” Drake University women’s basketball coach Jennie Baranczyk said. “We’re still focused on being the best we can be in practice and in games.”

As dominant as the Bulldogs have been in the Missouri Valley Conference the last two-plus years, their postseason fate is anything but guaranteed.

In fact, the MVC is likely a one-bid league for the NCAA tournament, with an automatic berth going to this week’s conference tournament champion. And that’s it.

“We can’t worry about the NCAA,” senior Paige Greiner said. “In our opinion, we still have three games to win before we can think about it.” Read more about her...

 

Deb Remmerde-Leusink

Deb Remmerde (now Deb Remmerde-Leusink) of Rock Valley made 133 straight foul shots for NAIA Northwestern College in Orange City in 2006. That broke the previous-mark of 126 by Daryl Moreau of New Orleans De La Salle High School, set in 1978-79.

How much attention did Remmerde get during her streak?

“A ton,” she said with a laugh while remembering it Thursday. “When I ended up missing one, CBS’ “The Early Show” called. Throughout the streak, there was a lot of talk about it.”

The NCAA Division I women’s record for consecutive free throws is 70, owned by Bowling Green’s Lauren Prochaska in 2010. The D-I men’s record is 85, set by Butler’s Darnell Archey from 2001 to 2003. Read more about her...

 

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