Award Honorees

Jill (Lindquist) Hanson '70

In the late '60s, there weren't a lot of opportunities for girls who wanted to be in sports. So Jill Lindquist created her own opportunities.

"Several times, [track coach] Bob Rogness would take me to races where I'd compete against collegiate girls," she says. "I also remember my phy ed teacher at Middle School West, B.K. Stein, and her husband taking me to races."

With high school sports not being an option for girls, Jill turned to the next most athletic activity she could think of: cheerleading.

"It was very prestigious to be a cheerleader," she says. "And the only reason I got to be one was because I could do a handspring on the ice. So they really couldn't keep me off the squad."

In the classroom, she had a lot of trouble with math, but turned the corner thanks to a teacher who wouldn't give up on her.

"Math was not my area, but I had a crush on Mr. Deidrich" she says. "He made me feel that I could learn math. He was just a really nice man."

Jill took her love of athletics to Buffalo, Minn., where she taught physical education for 34 years. She also coached pretty much every sport you can think of, and is still running strong in her 25th year of coaching cross country.

"In cross country, everybody has success, and everybody gets to play," she says. "There's no sitting on the bench for a time out. And the kids really do keep me young. Kids get you excited about things, and get you doing stuff you normally wouldn't do."

As for her own high school years, she's happy to have been at a place that let her be herself.

"I wanted to be a boy. I wanted to play sports and do all the stuff they wouldn't let us do. So at MHS I learned how to march to a different drum and still be OK with it. I could do what I wanted and still be accepted."

After graduation, Jill attended Gustavus Adolphus College where she made her mark competing on their girls softball, track, swimming, basketball and tennis teams, all newly formed after the adoption of Title IX of the Education Amendments in 1972. Jill was inducted into the Gustavus Adolphus College Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995.


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