MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – To celebrate the 35th anniversary of National Girls & Women In Sports Day, Penn State Harrisburg will host a free virtual panel comprised of five accomplished girls and women on Wednesday night, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m.
The hour-long event will be moderated by local sports reporter Allie Berube and feature former Duke field hockey player and current Randolph-Macon assistant coach Morgan Bitting, two-time Olympian and Olympic silver medalist Hyleas Fountain, six-time state champion and USA Field Hockey Hall-of-Fame head coach Linda Kreiser, and 11-year old track & field national champion Paige Sheppard.
Through an online webinar, the five panelists will share their unique stories highlighting their athletic experiences, be it as athletes, coaches, and/or members of sports media. Those interested in attending virtually should reserve a spot and register by visiting the panel's Eventbrite page.
Berube has been with ABC27 Sports since 2018. Prior to starting with the local network, she served as a sports reporter and anchor at WDVM in Hagerstown, Md. The Fairfax, Va. native is a Syracuse graduate and while enrolled at SU, she covered 18 of the Orange's Division I athletic programs as a reporter, including working closely with the school's football and men's and women's basketball teams. At ABC27, Berube developed the first series highlighting women and girls in sports titled "Like a Girl." She continues to provide coverage of local athletics, including Penn State Harrisburg men's basketball's run in the NCAA Tournament last spring.
Bitting, a two-time PIAA field hockey state champion and star at nearby Lower Dauphin High School, was a four-year player and three-year starter for Duke before recently joining the coaching staff at Randoph-Macon. During her time in Durham, N.C., she helped guide the Blue Devils to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, including a run to the national semifinals during her freshman campaign, and represented Duke in the NFHCA Division I Senior Game in 2018. She also thrived academically and was selected to the 2018 All-ACC Academic Team after earning Duke's Heidrick Family Leadership Postgraduate Scholarship and securing a pair of NFHCA Scholar of Distinction honors. Following graduation, the Hummelstown, Pa. native joined the R-MC staff in the fall of 2019. Working with the team's forwards and midfielders, Bitting helped transform the Yellow Jackets into one of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference's (ODAC) top offenses during her first season as an assistant.
Fountain, one of the world's top track & field athletes, is a two-time Olympian who won silver in the heptathlon at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. She joined the legendary Jackie Joyner-Kersee as the only American women to earn an Olympic medal in the event. She also broke Joyner-Kersee's American, Olympic Trials, and USA National Championship records in the 100m hurdles of the heptathlon during the 2008 Olympic Trials. In addition to her Olympic success, Fountain also matched the American record in the women's pentathlon at the 2010 World Indoor Championships. The Harrisburg, Pa. native was a star at Georgia, winning a combined four NCAA Individual National Championships in the heptathlon, pentathlon, indoor long jump, and outdoor long jump to go along with seven all-America honors in 2003 and 2004. A graduate of nearby Central Dauphin East High School, she began her collegiate career at Barton Community College and while there, she won five National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Championships. Fountain has also served as an assistant coach at North Carolina A&T and Bethune-Cookman.
A USA Field Hockey Hall-of-Famer and member of the U.S. Women's National Team from 1972 to 1979, Kreiser has been the head field hockey coach at nearby Lower Dauphin High School for 43 years. Her illustrious career has included six state championships, more than 800 victories, and the guiding of dozens of athletes to collegiate playing careers at some of the top programs in the nation. Kreiser served as chairperson of the USA Field Hockey Indoor Committee from 1990 to 2000 and was the vice president of national teams from 1990 through 1993, during which time she was instrumental in the starting of the organization's futures programs. Kreiser continues her involvement with USA Field Hockey as a player on the U.S. O-60 Masters team and a Masters Hockey committee member. In addition to her historic achievements on the sidelines at LD, she also coaches at The Nook Academy.
Sheppard, a national champion and three-time USA Track & Field New Jersey (USATF-NJ) Mid-Distance Athlete of the Year, has already amassed numerous accolades and accomplishments as a track & field and cross country runner at the age of 11. She's earned gold and silver medals at both the indoor and outdoor national championships, as well as two first-place finishes in the 800m run at the Colgate Women's Games, and in the fall of 2019, Sheppard won the Footlocker/New Balance Cross Country Championship in the 10U age group. In addition to her love of running, she also enjoys volleyball, drawing and painting, interior design, and reading, particularly the Harry Potter and Hunger Games series. Sheppard is committed to her studies and has excelled in the classroom as a straight-A student.
Each year, National Girls & Women In Sports Day inspires girls and women to play and be active to realize their full power. The Women's Sports Foundation (WSF) is encouraging participants to take part in the nationwide celebration by sharing their stories and spreading their experiences on social media using the hashtags #NGWSD and #LeadHerForward.