St. John's Athletics Holds 15th Annual Women In Sports Day

Yankees color commentator and keynote speaker Suzyn Waldman addressing student-athletes and faculty at the Women In Sports Day reception.

Jan. 31, 2012

Queens, N.Y. -- On Jan. 28, 2012, St. John’s athletics gathered for its 15th annual Women In Sports Day celebration where student-athletes, staff and fans came together to recognize the accomplishments of females in the sports community. The event ran in conjunction with the women’s basketball game against No. 2 Notre Dame, where a St. John’s comeback attempt came up just short as the Red Storm fell to the Fighting Irish 71-56.

“We are proud of the growth of Women In Sports Day at St. John’s,” said Associate Vice President of Athletics Kathy Meehan. “Suzyn Waldman offered her inspiring story of the trails she blazed for women in sports as the color commentator for the New York Yankees. Her passion and her fight are great examples that our women student-athletes can learn from.”

"For the past 15 years, Women In Sports day has become a traditional and signature event at St. John's University," remarked  Mary Pelkowski, Associate Dean for Student Engagement. "It is a day where the University Community comes together to celebrate and recognize Women's Athletics and the contributions that have been made on the court, field classroom and in the service of others. The Division of Student Affairs is grateful to collaborate on this event each year and recognize the many talented individuals that represent St. John's." 

The festivities began with a pre-game multi-sport clinic for children 12 and under that allowed them to learn skills and spend time with many of St. John’s women’s student-athletes. Members of the volleyball, soccer, track & field, dance, cheer and basketball teams came out to provide instruction for the clinic participants. The clinic brought out about 130 participants and raised $885 to benefit the WBCA’s Play4Kay initiative for breast cancer research and awareness.

At 12 p.m., the St. John’s women’s basketball took on last year’s national runner-up No. 2 Notre Dame in front of 1,808 fans. The Red Storm battled hard throughout, and despite a strong second-half run, the Fighting Irish came out victorious 71-56. Senior forward Da’Shena Stevens and junior guard Shenneika Smith both finished the game with 10 points to lead St. John’s.

Following the conclusion of the basketball game, the annual dinner and awards ceremony was held at Marillac Terrace. The reception was highlighted by keynote speaker Suzyn Waldman who has served as the color commentator on New York Yankee radio broadcasts since 2005. In the mid-1990s, Waldman was a play-by-play announcer for the Yankees on local WPIX TV broadcasts making her just the second woman to serve that role for a major league team.

Members of the St. John’s athletics community were recognized at the dinner for their efforts both on the athletic fields and beyond. Senior tennis player Nakita Austin, senior track & field athlete Chanel King and senior volleyball player Darlene Ramdin were all awarded for their outstanding athletic and academic achievement during their Red Storm careers. Assistant Athletics Director, Director of Facilities & Operations Laurajean Holmgren was also recognized by the BIG EAST Conference for her contributions on National Women and Girls in Sports Day.

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