By Randy York, The N-Sider
Last Monday night launched Women’s Week on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s campus, and to no one’s surprise, athletics was center stage to encourage and motivate those celebrating National Women’s History Month in March.
“The most outstanding thing about the five-woman panel in the West Stadium Club was the array of experience they represented,” said Briana Zabierek, a senior captain from Lockport, Ill., who earned All-America athletic and academic bowling honors last year.
One of the five panelists was Gazmine Mason, “my very own teammate, all the way through to a woman who was here at Nebraska when women’s athletics was just beginning,” Zabierek said.
The Impact Frost Had on Women Proved Legendary and Started a Revolution
“Carol Frost was, by far, the most inspiring of all for me,” Zabierek said. “The impact that she had on women in athletics has proved to be legendary. She left a legacy by starting a revolution here at Nebraska.”
When Keith Zimmer, Nebraska’s senior associate athletic director for Life Skills and the N Club, awarded Frost a varsity letter at the panel’s conclusion Monday night, “I almost started tearing up,” Zabierek said.
“I had only listened to her speak for about an hour, but she elicited such an emotional response for her dedication and her hard work,” Zabierek said. “Each of the women on the panel shared a common characteristic – working hard and never stopping until they got what they worked for. I definitely learned from all of them, and that’s what I can rely on to pursue the same kind of success in my future endeavors.”
Moderator Focused on Questions that Can Help Student-Athletes' Growth
Ashley Stone, who directs Nebraska Athletics’ Post Eligibility Programs, focused on the questions to ask the panelists. They discussed how their athletic journeys have helped them grow as people and how they have faced challenges because of gender.
They discussed the barriers that they have faced, how mentors have influenced them and how women’s sports have changed. They also shared concerns they have, what advice they would offer to pursue athletics and how men can help make the opportunities more equitable.
Each panelist encouraged student-athletes to believe in themselves and recognize that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.
Panelists Explain History Holding Nebraska Back and the New Road Ahead
Panelists explained the history that held women’s athletics back and how the future depends on what they are willing to create. Frost, in particular, described why she did not like the road she was forced to walk on and why she was willing to be a pioneer to pave a different road. The five panelists included:
Carol Frost: The mother of sons Steve and Scott Frost (quarterback for Nebraska’s 1997 National Championship football team), Carol graduated from Nebraska in 1967 and went on to win the gold medal in discus in the 1967 Pan American Games. She also represented the United States in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. After earning her master’s degree from UNL in 1972, Frost served as the head coach of the Husker women’s track and field program. She led Nebraska to its first-ever Big Eight Conference Championship while sweeping league titles both indoors and outdoors. In 2004, Frost received Nebraska’s prestigious Dr. Barbara Hibner Trailblazer Award.
Nicole Simon: A Toronto, Canada, native and Husker track and field athlete, Simon graduated from Nebraska with a Business Administration degree in 1985. While graduating in just 3½ years, Nicole made an impact with the following accolades: 1) first Nebraska track and field athlete to earn CoSIDA Academic All-American honors; 2) part of eight Big Eight Conference championship teams; 3) was a four-time All-American; 4) was an eight-time Big Eight champion; and 5) was a four-year letterwinner. Nicole has worked for State Farm the past 28 years and remains involved in athletics as a volunteer track official, a board member for the Relay Club and a member of the Nebraska Hall of Fame committee. Nicole is also the proud mother of Maddie Simon, who is a current Nebraska women’s basketball student-athlete.
Gazmine Mason First African-American Bowler to Earn Junior Olympic Gold
Gazmine Mason: A native of Cranston, Rhode Island, Mason is a member of the UNL Bowling team, majoring in Business Administration. A top recruit coming into Nebraska, Gazmine has been instrumental in Nebraska’s national prominence, helping the Huskers win the 2015 NCAA National Bowling Championship while earning the following honors – NTCA All-America honors; Academic Big Ten honors; the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award; and a member of the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team. Gazmine also has been a member of the U.S. Junior Olympic Bowling Team the past two years. She recorded the highest pin fall while earning gold in all events, including singles. She is the first African-American to earn a Jr. Olympic gold medal.
Kathi Wieskamp: A four-year Husker volleyball letterwinner, Wieskamp graduated from Nebraska in 1988 with a K-12 Physical Education degree and coaching endorsement. As a volleyball student-athlete, Kathi received multiple Conference Player-of-the-Week honors. She made the All-Tournament Team, earned All-Conference honors and became the tournament’s MVP. She helped the Huskers reach the 1986 NCAA Volleyball Championship game. Kathi began her teaching and coaching career at Lincoln Southeast, where she coached volleyball for 15 years. In addition to broadcasting Nebraska volleyball games with NET, Kathi is currently in her third year as the Director of Athletics for the Lincoln Public Schools, overseeing athletic programs for the entire school district.
Pat Logsdon: A part of the Nebraska Athletic Department since 1979, Logsdon currently serves as the Executive Associate Athletic Director for Administration and Nebraska's Senior Woman Administrator to the NCAA and the Big Ten Conference. In this role, Pat serves on the Big Ten Sports Management Council, overseas Nebraska Athletics’ Gender Equity Plan and serves as the sport administrator for volleyball, beach volleyball, softball and men’s and women’s gymnastics. Early in her career, Pat spent 23 seasons working in Nebraska football operations, including six seasons as Nebraska’s Director of Football Operations. She was the first female to serve as an NCAA Division I Director of Football Operations.
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