Maren E. Seidler, J73 — Track & Field, Swimming

Introduction of Maren Seidler, presented by Kristen Morwick, Tufts Head Women's Cross Country and Track & Field Coach

In a year when we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Title IX, it is such a tremendous honor for me to present this award to a true pioneer in women’s athletics and track & field, Maren Seidler. Mention was just made that two current women’s track & field Jumbos won NCAA championships this year – well, it was people like Maren Seidler who paved the way for that to happen. And when you consider some of the achievements I’m about to share, it’s hard to fathom how many NCAA championships Maren Seidler would have won if the NCAA sponsored women’s sports when she was a student at Tufts.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Maren came to Jackson College at Tufts in 1969….get this…after having already competed at age 17 in the 1968 Olympic games in Mexico City. Due to the lack of an established women’s track & field program or shot put coaching at Jackson at that time, Maren practiced with the men’s team at Tufts and or trained on her own. The NCAA didn’t sponsor women’s sports at the time, so while at Tufts, Maren qualified for and won the 1971 national championship in shot put at the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (or “AIAW”) national meet.

After graduating in 1972, Maren would go on to establish herself as one of the greatest American female shot putters in history.

Between 1968-1980, Maren won four consecutive United States Olympic Trials in shot put and represented the United States in three Olympic games. She would have competed in a fourth Olympic Games in 1980, but the U.S. boycott of the Moscow games made that impossible.

Maren represented the United States in three Pan American Games in 1967, 1975 and 1979, winning a silver medal in 1979 and finishing 4th and 5th in her two previous appearances.

And if that weren’t enough, guess how many U.S. Championships Maren won in the shot put? She won 17 of them! -- 11 outdoors and 6 indoors.

And in 1979, Maren set an American shot put record of 19.09 meters….For the metrically-challenged in the room, that equates to 62' 7 3/4".

As the Boston Globe wrote in a 1973 profile: “For a period of 13 years, Maren Seidler totally dominated shot putting in the United States.” The article continues, “Ms. Seidler was one of a new self-confident, unapologetic breed who refused to play by the old rules for female athletes. They didn’t use the back door of the gym anymore. They did not suffer foolish questions or stomach-churning clichés gladly.”

Maren helped usher in a new era for women in sports, and as the first American woman to throw the shot more than 60 feet, Maren was inducted into the United States Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2000.

And tonight, during a year when celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Title IX, we also celebrate Maren Seidler and proudly induct her into the Tufts Athletics Hall of Fame.