Throughout history, women have redefined what’s possible in sports, fitness, and play, while being at the forefront of the fight to make fitness and athletic opportunities equitable and accessible to all. Yet, the accomplishments of many women who have achieved greatness in our industry have often been unnoticed, downplayed, or forgotten.  

This Women’s History Month, we asked the women of Asphalt Green to nominate a woman in sports, fitness, and play that has inspired them.  

Read on to learn more!  

Maritza Correia McClendon- 

photo taken from 

Nominated by Maria Gerena, Community Programs Manager 

“An often-overlooked Latina figure in sports is Maritza Correia McClendon. She was the first Puerto Rican of African descent to join the US Olympic swim team. Maritza not only broke barriers, but also became the first black woman to earn a place in the US Olympic swim team and win an Olympic medal. Her accomplishments in swimming and her commitment to promoting diversity in the sport make her a noteworthy candidate to be recognized during Women's History Month for her significant contributions to sports.” 

As Maria noted in her nomination, McClendon was the first Black woman to make a US Olympic Swim team and win an Olympic medal. She accomplished this feat despite being diagnosed with severe scoliosis during childhood. Today, she travels the country speaking about the importance of water safety and is a leading advocate for the expanding access to swim instruction.  

Tia-Clair Toomey-

photo taken from

Nominated by Jennifer Polzak, Director of Membership & Fitness 

“Growing up I was a dancer, I played high school volleyball, basketball, and ran track. In college I became fond of long-distance running, then in my 30’s (and now 40!) became passionate about powerlifting and Olympic lifting. Needless to say, I’ve had many women in sports and fitness impact my everchanging urge to be fit and athletic. ALL of which deserve more highlighting- because they are queens of their sport! But I’m currently still in my lifting weights era and am inspired by six-time CrossFit Games Champion (and Fittest Woman on Earth) Tia-Clair Toomey (and she’s also a new mom- Strong mom’s rock).”

Today, Toomey holds more title wins in CrossFit Games competition than anyone in history. In her book, The Heart Is the Strongest Muscle, she provides a framework for athletes to build mental strength and resilience. She also runs a gym and fitness brand with her husband called PRVN, which has empowered countless fitness enthusiasts to reach new heights along their journeys.  

Caitlin Clark  

photo taken from The New York Times 

Nominated by Shakia Ortiz, Community Programs General Manager  

“In honor of Women's History Month, I nominate Caitlin Clark, the exceptional Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball team guard. Caitlin's outstanding skills on the court, particularly her scoring ability, playmaking, and leadership, have elevated her team and brought significant attention to women's college basketball. Her dedication, hard work, and resilience inspire me and countless others, showcasing women's remarkable potential and impact in sports. Her achievements and character, both on and off the court, make her a role model and an overlooked figure worth celebrating in sports and fitness.” 

This year, in her remarkable season for Iowa’s Women’s Basketball team, Clark broke the NCAA Division I all-time scoring record for both men and women. She also broke the record all-time record for 3-pointers made in a single season, beating the record previously held by current NBA player Stephen Curry, widely regarded as the best shooter in NBA history. Off the court, Clark founded the Caitlin Clark Foundation, whose mission is to “uplift and improve the lives of youth and their communities through education, nutrition, and sport—three pillars Caitlin believes were foundational in her success.” 

Fighting For Equitable Access to Sports, Fitness, and Play  

We take great inspiration from these women who have all opened doors for athletes of all backgrounds. At Asphalt Green, providing girls and women with equitable access to sports, fitness, and play is essential to our mission. Today, Asphalt Green is a premier destination for female athletes and fitness enthusiasts of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities.  

Learn More About Our Mission