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Meet 10 women who blazed a trail in sports in Franklin County

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Many standout female athletes and coaches have made a mark on Franklin County sports over the years.

And Title IX’s passing in 1972 paved new sports avenues for women around the country.

Here are a few of the county's women's sports pioneers and their accomplishments.

Betsy Mitchell

Betsy Mitchell

Mercersburg Academy has a rich history of athletes competing in the Olympics, and Mitchell might be one of the most successful members of that history.

Mitchell graduated from the academy in 1983 and immediately went on to have Olympic success in swimming.

At the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Mitchell took home gold in the 400 medley relay and silver in the 100 backstroke.

At the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, she earned a silver medal in the 400 medley relay.

In between her two Olympic appearances, she won nine NCAA titles as a member of the Texas Longhorns, which won three national titles during her time there.

She set a then-American and world record in the 200 backstroke at the 1986 World Championship Trials, leading to her being named American Female Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World Magazine that year.

She is currently the Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation at Caltech.

Neely Spence

Neely Spence

Neely Spence Gracey, of Superior, Colo., finishes the 120th Boston Marathon on Monday. Neely is formerly of Shippensburg and graduated from Shippensburg University. She placed ninth among over 14,000 female runners and was the first American to cross the line.
Charles Krupa, AP

Spence is one of the best track stars to ever come from Shippensburg. She piled up accolades during her time with both the Greyhounds and the Shippensburg University Raiders.

A multiple-time state champion, she still holds the Franklin County high school record in the 3,200-meter run.

With the Raiders, she was an 8-time NCAA Division II National Champion and a 11-time NCAA All-American.

She has competed on the international level as well, in addition to finishing as the top American at the 2016 Boston Marathon.

Marshay Ryan

Marshay Ryan

Marshay Ryan competes in the triple jump during the SEC championships recently. Ryan hit 44-0 to place third.
Courtesy, Auburn University

Ryan did it all for Chambersburg.

She’s a five-time state champion across triple jump and long jump, setting records in that department across the district and Mid-Penn. She still holds the county records in both those events.

In 2013, she recorded a 40-11.5, which was the highest in the country that year. That led to her being named the USA Today High School Sports Pennsylvania Girls' Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

She then went on to Auburn and had immediate success, being named an All-American on multiple occasions.

She also competed at the Olympic Trials in 2016.

Audrey Hall

Audrey Hall

Hall was at the helm for one of the most dominant teams to ever come from this area.

She was the head coach of the McConnellsburg girls basketball team in 1990-91. That team went undefeated en route to a PIAA Class A Title.

Her time in athletics hasn’t stopped, as she is helping shape the present and future class of athletes.

She currently works on the PIAA District V committee, as the Director for Field Hockey, Sportsmanship, Female Officials Rep and Girls Athletics Rep.

Becky Stoner

Becky Stoner

Becky Stoner was a dominating force during her time with James Buchanan.

She graduated in 1995, and remains the girls basketball’s all-time leading scorer, totaling 1,683 during her time with the Rockets. That mark would put her near the top all-time in the county.

Her success continued at Millersville, where she is currently 4th on the school’s all-time assist list.

Liz Sanders

Liz Sanders

Sanders had a standout field hockey career with Waynesboro during the mid-90s, but her contributions haven’t stopped since then.

She went on to have a successful career at James Madison, as she currently sits in the top-10 in school history in goals and points.

Her journey saw her become an assistant coach at multiple schools, and now she is helping guide the future of field hockey, co-founding In The Zone, a program to help grow the game of field hockey.

Stephanie Prothro 

Stephanie Prothro 

Prothro was a star on the diamond for the Trojans in the early 2000s.

She was one of the best players during her time, and her impact on the game has continued long after graduating.

She was a standout on the University of Alabama, being named SEC Pitcher of the Year in 2006. She helped lead the Crimson Tide to multiple SEC titles and three College World Series appearances. 

Prothro became head coach at Birmingham-Southern and Samford before returning to Alabama as the pitching coach, a position she has held for 11 years.

Alison Van Scyoc

Alison Van Scyoc

Alison Van Scyoc
Courtesy of Shippensburg Athletics

Van Scyoc has been a staple of Shippensburg softball for almost two decades.

In the mid-2000s, she was a leader for the Greyhounds, playing varsity all four years, earning All-Mid Penn honors in each one.

She then went on to the University of Virginia, where she was a four-year starter and three time ACC All-Academic Team.

Now, she is the head coach at Shippensburg University, a position she has held since 2016.

She reached the PSAC Tournament in each of her first four seasons.

Kim Spriggs

Kim Spriggs

Spriggs accomplished a lot during her tenure at McConnellsburg.

She was a star on the track, racking up seven state titles across indoor and outdoor track. Some of the school records she set during her time from 1983-85 still haven’t been beat to this day.

But not only was she successful on the track. She was a leader on the court as well.

She totaled 1,615 points during her career, at one point holding the school record for most points in a game.

Her success continued at Northwest Missouri State, earning Division II All-American honors.

Candy Angle

Candy Angle

Angle was the benchmark for success for basketball at Greencastle.

She was the first Greencastle girl to eclipse the 1,000-point mark. It’s an accomplishment that has only been reached a handful of times since she graduated in 1987.

Her athletic career didn’t stop there, as she was frequently seen on the triathlon circuit for years following her time in Greencastle.

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