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LUCY FOMENKO
December 05, 1960
Swim team suffragette
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December 05, 1960

Lucy Fomenko

Swim team suffragette

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Lithe, lissome Lucy Fomenko, 18, is hardly the Amelia Bloomer type, but she nonetheless has managed to strike a blow for equality between the sexes. A coed at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, Mich., Lucy was spotted diving for fun one day by Ford's Swim Coach John O'Hara, who promptly urged her to try out for the swimming team. "She was better than any diver I had," he explains, adding only if pressed that his team was an all-male outfit. Lucy accepted the challenge, and eventually found herself in her first dual meet—competing against men from another school. "I did feel funny," she concedes, "walking onto the board in front of all those boys." But she took first place.

As Lucy's diving successes continued, other Henry Ford coeds clamored to join the team. And Coach O'Hara, the man who started it all, proceeded to get alarmed. "It was a ticklish situation," he says. "We never really knew when the girls were coming into the pool." Reluctantly, therefore, Coach O'Hara assented when the college decided to bar women from men's competition. Expelled from the men's squad, Lucy is now campaigning for Henry Ford to start a women's team.

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