Sportswomen of Colorado Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Jan 25, 2024

Denver, CO – January 25, 2024 – Sportswomen of Colorado will honor the past, present, and future when they host their 50th Anniversary Awards Celebration on March 17, 2024, at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center.

The awards, which are presented annually, recognize the achievements of female athletes, coaches, and contributors to female athletics in Colorado. This year’s winners represent a wide range of sports, including basketball, soccer, volleyball, racquetball, and even long range golf and Ninja Warrior. Special awards include Contribution to Sport, Career Achievement, and the Dorothy Mauk Pioneer Award.

Portland Thorns and U.S. National Team soccer player Sophia Smith, Grandview High School basketball player Sienna Betts, Masters duathlete, Carol Whipple, University of Colorado basketball coach JR Payne, professional heptathlete Anna Hall, and Colorado State basketball player McKenna Hofschild, highlight the list.

Melissa Ward, Captain at United Airlines, and former University of Southern California basketball player, national champion and avid golfer, and Kirstie Ennis, a decorated athlete and amputee who has conquered some of the highest peaks in the world, will be the speakers at this year’s banquet. Former TV Sports Reporter Marcia Neville and Susie Wargin, Denver Broncos Radio Sideline reporter and DJ on 103.5 The Fox, will emcee the event and present the awards.

The highlight of the evening will be the surprise announcement of the Sportswoman of the Year Award presented to Colorado’s most outstanding athlete based on her 2023 achievements.

Learn more about the banquet and register for this amazing event online.

Sportswomen of Colorado Award Honorees

Sport Categories
Sienna Betts – Basketball – High School (Grandview High School)
Jaylyn Sherrod – Basketball – College (University of Colorado)
Addison Ritzenhein – Cross Country – High School (Niwot High School)
Morgan Manley – Diving – High School (Denver East High School)
Carol Whipple – Duathlon – Masters
Saylor Swanson – Flag Football (Arvada West High School)
Logan Hale – Golf – High School (Erie High School)
Morgan Miller – Golf – College (University of Colorado)
Monica Lieving – Golf Long Drive – Professional
Lauren Burt – Gymnastics – High School (Lakewood High School)
Jessica Hutchinson – Gymnastics – College (University of Denver)
Betty Nelson – Lacrosse – High School (Columbine High School)
Sam Thacker – Lacrosse – College (University of Denver)
Jaleesa Himka – Ninja Warrior (University School of Colorado Springs)
Erika Manilla – Racquetball – Professional (Denver Athletic Club)
Nicki Fraser – Soccer – High School (Rock Canyon High School)
Shyra James– Soccer – College (University of Colorado)
Sophia Smith – Soccer – Professional (Portland Thorns FC)
Addie Osborne – Softball – High School (Erie High School)
Kenzie Middleton – Softball – College (Colorado Christian University)
Sahvanna Jaquish – Softball – Professional (Team USA)
Madison Mintenko – Swimming – High School (Pine Creek High School)
Quinn Bernthal – Tennis (Fairview High School)
Emma Stutzman – Track and Field – High School (Pomona High School)
Hannah Miller – Track and Field – College (Colorado School of Mines)
Anna Hall – Track and Field – Professional
Maira Carreau – Triathlon – College (University of Denver)
Steph Popelar – Triathlon – Masters
Delaney Russell – Volleyball – High School (Valor Christian High School)
Carter Booth – Volleyball – College (University of Wisconsin)
Persaeus Gomez – Wrestling – High School (Pomona High School)
Marissa Gallegos – Wrestling – College (Colorado Mesa University)

Special Awards
Brihanna Crittendon – Most Promising (Riverdale Ridge High School)
Lorne Donaldson – Contribution to Sport (REAL Colorado Soccer Club)
Kirstie Ennis – Most Inspirational
McKenna Hofschild – Career Achievement (Colorado State University)
Zoe Martin – All-Around (Colorado Academy)
JR Payne – Joan Birkland Leadership Award (University of Colorado, Basketball)
Scott Stocker – Dorothy Mauk Pioneer Award (Sports Journalist)
University of Denver Lacrosse Team and Head Coach Liza Kelly

Two of this year’s honorees will become members of the Hall of Fame for receiving three awards in the same sport. Special congratulations to Colorado Mesa University wrestler Marissa Gallegos and Valor Christian graduate and professional track and field athlete, Anna Hall, who enter the Sportswomen of Colorado Hall of Fame this year.

 “The achievements of the 2023 award honorees and the people they work with and those who support them are truly inspiring,” said Sportswomen of Colorado President Laura Fischer. “Their dedication, hard work, and commitment to excellence serve as an example to all young women.”

About Sportswomen of Colorado:
Founded in 1974, Sportswomen of Colorado is a community-based organization that supports and honors female athletes, celebrates their achievements and recognizes those whose efforts have advanced girls’ and women’s individual and team sports endeavors. Sportswomen of Colorado also runs a scholarship program, funding sports camp experiences for deserving girls aged 9-13.