Last week, we featured former female William & Mary athletes with incredible accomplishments; this week is no different. Even though it’s impossible to highlight each and every outstanding W&M female athlete, as we’d always leave someone out, we’ve had a lot of fun writing these articles.
Thankfully for us, W&M has fielded some historic players over the years: from field hockey, to soccer, to basketball and beyond, the school has had no shortage of female athletes to chronicle. So, who makes the list this week in our part-two edition of W&M’s Influential Female Athletes: HERstory? Let’s find out.
Lynn Norenberg Barry
The most decorated female W&M basketball player in program history, Lynn Norenberg was one of the all-time greats in Williamsburg, regardless of sport.
Snippets from her W&M bio alone speak volumes:
- Only woman in school history in any sport to have her number retired (#22)
- Scored 1,504 points in just 82 games from 1977-81, surpassing the previous school record by more than 900 points
- Held the school scoring record until 2003, and still ranks 3rd all-time at the College
- Reached 1,000 points in just 55 games, 10 games faster than anyone else in school history
- Established the modern scoring record of 39 points in a game against Virginia Wesleyan in January of 1980
- Holds 4 of the top 5 single-season scoring averages, including 20.3 ppg in 1979-80
- Established 11 school records (six of which still stand)
- Career average of 18.3 ppg is more than 3 points ahead of second place
- Twice named first-team Academic All-American, in 1980 and again in 1981
- Also threw the discus in track, winning the state title in 1977
- Inducted into the Academic All-America Hall of Fame in 2001
- Phi Beta Kappa graduate (3.97 GPA) — that is not a typo.
- Inducted into the W&M Hall of Fame in 1991
I mean, come on now. An all-time leading scorer, Academic All-American, multi-sport athlete and PBK recipient? You’ve got to be absolutely kidding me. But no, it doesn’t stop there — her accomplishments, unsurprisingly, didn’t stop once she graduated from our beloved Alma Mater of a Nation.
Norenberg would go on to win the the Martha Barksdale Scholarship and the AEF Senior Athlete of the Year award, be named a “CAA Legend” in 2005, work as the only woman on the NCAA Enforcement staff after graduation, and spend 11 years in USA Basketball as the assistant director, helping organize and manage all women’s national teams for events such as the Olympics, world championships, and Pan-American Games.
Oh, and she’s also casually married to NBA Hall-of-Famer Rick Barry; their son is Canyon Barry, who played for Charleston and Florida, and who is now trying out for the 3×3 USA Basketball Team for next year’s Olympics (where the 3×3 version of the sport will debut).
Again, as the only female athlete to have her number retired in W&M history, Lynn Norenberg is currently the GOAT of women’s basketball at William & Mary — and will likely remain the GOAT for quite some time.
One of the most underrated programs at William & Mary just might be track and field, specifically cross country. Yes, it’s not the sexiest sport in the world — with the oft-muttered mantra, “my sport is your sport’s punishment” — but my goodness, is W&M good at it.
In fact, seven varsity sports programs (women’s tennis, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, and women’s track and field) account for 84% of William & Mary’s CAA championships won; you’d best believe that cross country heads up that pack.
And it’s in large part due to phenomenal athletes such as Elaina Balouris that this is the case. These championships aren’t piling up by accident. Just like Norenberg listed above, one could quite literally write an entire book with Balouris’ accomplishments — which she continues to add to in her professional career (since graduating in 2014).
- 2014 CAA Track and Field Athlete of the Year
- 2014 USTFCCCA Outdoor Track and Field First-Team All-American
- 2014 USTFCCCA Indoor Track and Field Second-Team All-American
- 2014 ECAC Outdoor Track and Field 3,000m Champion
- 2013 Portsmouth Sports Club Female Virginia College Athlete of the Year
- 2013 CAA Cross Country Athlete of the Year
- 2013 USTFCCCA Cross Country All-American
- 2013 CAA Track and Field Athlete of the Year
- 2012 CAA Cross Country Athlete of the Year
- 2012 USTFCCCA Cross Country All-American
Tired from just reading that list? So are we. And we didn’t even show you all of her collegiate accolades — this is just a select list. A six-time All-American at W&M, Elaina immediately signed with the Boston Athletic Association in 2014, to run professionally.
From there, she has gone on to compete in several high-level races, including international running events like the IAAF Cross Country Championships (placing as high as 48th internationally in 2017), as well as the USA National Cross Country Championships (placing as high as 6th in 2017 & 2015).
The book continues to be written on Balouris, as her professional career is in full swing; one thing is for certain: she’ll continue to add to her list of accolades for the foreseeable future, as she has certainly already cemented herself as an all-time great W&M athlete.
For this last one, we wanted to make sure we embedded the above video of Dr. Camilla Buchanan. A staple at William & Mary for several decades now, Buchanan is an absolute legend in Williamsburg. Having attended the College in the 60s, she played not one, not two, but three sports at W&M.
Which three sports, you ask? She played basketball, field hockey, and lacrosse. And for her efforts, she was inducted into the 1991 William & Mary Athletics Hall of Fame for both field hockey and lacrosse. But to be honest, her accomplishments off the field of play are even more impressive than her accolades on the field of play (but both are incredibly impressive).
Specifically, Buchanan has been conducting charitable work in Africa for north of ten years now with her longtime partner, well-known former W&M volleyball head coach, Debbie Hill (who retired in 2007 as W&M’s all-time winningest volleyball coach).
To quote a great article on Hill by Dave Fairbank, “Hill and Buchanan helped establish an education and community health organization near the Maasai tribe game preserve in southwest Kenya. They arrange for crafts and jewelry made by natives to be traded for fair-market prices, then channel the funds back to the area for projects such as scholarships to keep girls in school, drilling wells, water purification and community health measures.”
Buchanan speaks to her experience in Africa in the video above. But it doesn’t stop there — Buchanan, as mentioned, is also a Doctor; she graduated from W&M with a degree in chemistry before going on to earn her medical doctorate from the Medical College of Virginia. So it’s no coincidence that her work in Africa includes community health.
But wait, there’s more? Oh yeah, she’s also been a W&M professor and faculty member for a long time, as she still teaches in the Kinesiology department. Yes, we could talk more about her accomplishments in athletics, but we couldn’t help but describe how incredible of a human being Dr. Buchanan is. She truly is the epitome of a model W&M alum and true student athlete.
LET’S GO TRIBE.