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On Jan. 21, millions of people globally joined together in Women’s Marches to show support for progressive causes. An estimated 500,000 demonstrators descended on our nation’s capital for the main march alone.

Among them were Swarthmore student-athletes who, like their sisters across the country, can trace part of their empowerment to Title IX, the groundbreaking federal legislation that outlawed sex-based discrimination in education and fostered immense growth of women’s athletics. This year marks its 45th anniversary.  

“If not for Title IX, we wouldn’t be competing in the same capacity we are today,” says Christina Labows ’18, a women’s lacrosse team member. “It is important to me that our country does not take steps backward with regards to equality for women.”

“What motivated me to participate in the march was this really intense collective feeling I had to take part in the resistance against Trump’s presidency,” says field hockey player Clare Perez ’18. “I was tired of just feeling angry about everything, and I wanted to actually take action and be part of something.”

“I used to let other people take the activist stand because I was afraid of taking it myself,” adds teammate Lizzy Stant ’19, “but at this point, I’m more afraid of what’s going to happen to our country and planet if we just sit around.”

“People often forget that Title IX is only 45 years old. I am so privileged not just to have access to the education at Swarthmore, but also to be able to play softball for all four years,” says Sara Planthaber ’17. “People in positions of privilege need to be more aware and stand up.” 

Other Athletics Honors


Lindsay O’Sullivan ’20 ranked second in free- throw percentage in the Centennial Conference.


Liz Staton ’19 broke a 20-year-old school record in the 200-yard breaststroke at the Gettysburg Invite.
Clare Cushing ’20 was voted Most Outstanding Rookie at the Centennial Conference championship.
By an amazing 120 points, men’s swimming won its first conference title.


Maggie O’Neil ’17 won the Coach I Open shotput and Centennial Conference Athlete of the Week.
John Gagnon ’17 set a program record in the 3,000-meter run by nearly 10 seconds.

Black History Month

In order to celebrate Black History Month, we honored a few of our community members whose character and contributions enriched Swarthmore Athletics’s history, on and off the field: