Sunday, April 20, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Local professor honored for storied swimming past

By
From page B1 | May 10, 2013 | Leave Comment

UCD adjunct professor Marilyn Ramenofsky — a former Olympic swimming silver medalist and world-record holder — shows off her plaque from her recent induction into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

The names that adorn the plaques at the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame include some of the greatest sports figures in our nation’s history.

Last month, UC Davis adjunct professor Marilyn Ramenofsky — a world-class swimmer in the 1960s — joined those prestigious ranks, taking her place among trailblazers, legendary Olympians, record breakers and champions.

The silver medalist at the 1964 Olympic Games was inducted in an April ceremony at the Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center in Commack, N.Y.

Ramenofsky grew up in Phoenix, where she began recreational swimming, with the main goal of keeping up with her older brother and sister. At one point, her mom didn’t think she had promise in swimming and had her try her hand at diving. But Ramenofsky stuck with her strokes and, at age 15, joined a local swim team that was coached by someone who knew a thing or two about water — a World War II Navy veteran.

Her mother was quickly proven wrong as Ramenofsky was named an AAU All-American swimmer for three straight years, beginning in 1962 at the age of 16. As she spent more time in the pool, she discovered she had a real mind for the sport and is credited with perfecting the freestyle stroke by figuring out that raising her hand high up out of the water would decrease turbulence.

That discovery pushed Ramenofsky to even greater heights as she set the world record in the 400 freestyle three times when she was 18. One of those record-breaking swims came in the 1964 U.S. Olympic Trials, where her 4:39.5 sent her to the Summer Games later that year in Tokyo.

“The races were held in huge beautiful stadiums with tons of noise,” Ramenofsky said. “There was a lot of press covering the event and the psychological competition in the room was very intense, unlike anything I have experienced before.”

Still, Ramenofsky managed to win silver in Tokyo to add to the gold medals she captured at the 1961 and 1965 Maccabiah Games — an international Jewish athletic event. Her other accomplishments included a world record in the 220 free event.

But in the 1960s, Title IX had not yet been instituted, so women did not have much opportunity to have a career in sports. For Ramenofsky, this meant the hardest part of her swimming career was after the Olympics.

She attended Pomona College, which had no women’s team, so she was forced to train with the men’s squad. And while an athlete of her caliber in this day and age would go on to swim professionally, earn endorsements and make a living off her talent, Ramenofsky had to give up her sport.

When Ramenofsky lectures UCD students about her experience at the Olympics, she always tells them to continue with their education as much as they can.

“No matter how good you are, in sports, anything can happen,” she told The Enterprise. “It is only because I went and got an education that when my sport carried me as far as it could go, I could still do something I love.”

That job that she loves is working as an adjunct professor in UCD’s neurobiology, physiology and behavior department, where she studies bird migration and environmental control in the migration of songbirds. She also teaches some classes.

As far as her recent induction into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, Ramenofsky found it to be a “very nice experience” overall.

Her whole family was there, including her two daughters Anna and Emma, who came up from their homes in Baltimore, and her husband John Wingfield, who is also an adjunct professor at UCD. Ramenofsky also got to make a speech, which says she always loves to do because it gave her a “chance to thank those who really deserve to be recognized.”

Notes: Apparently, brains run in this family. Wingfield holds an endowed chair in the department of neurobiology, physiology and behavior at UCD. He is on leave and working as the assistant director for biological sciences at the National Science Foundation. … Anna recently graduated from Goucher College and is working as the head bartender at a craft cocktail bar in Baltimore. Emma just graduated with a master’s degree in archeology from the University College of London and is working at a major art museum in Baltimore.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Hub of activity: DHS newspaper keeps evolving

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    A springtime ritual

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Holy fire ceremony draws thousands in Jerusalem

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Tour renovated YCCC facility Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Tour Davis Waldorf School on Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    The fifth annual Tour de Cluck is soon to be hatched

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Ortiz lawn signs available

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sign up soon for spring cooking classes

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Robb Davis team to rally on Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Steadfast in their support

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4, 12 Comments | Gallery

     
    Yolo Hospice offers free grief workshops

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Sign up for Camp Kesem caterpillar crawl

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Quilters gear up for annual show

    By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A4

    League hosts a series of candidate forums

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    KDVS launches fund drive on Monday

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A5

    Calling all Scrabble fans

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    Hub webpage is seeing traffic increasing

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

    Hotel/conference center info meeting set

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

     
    Lescroart welcomes all to book-launch party

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A16 | Gallery

    DEVO set to serve up 14th annual Winkler Dinner

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    Learn Chinese crafts at I-House

    By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A16

    Preschool open house set at Davis Waldorf

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

     
    Birch Lane celebrates its 50th anniversary

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

    .

    Forum

    Take ownership of your health

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    Keep your baby safe

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    Not thrilled with lack of symmetry

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Reliving the agony and ecstasy of spring

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

     
    Road diet? No, city diet!

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 5 Comments

    We’re reveling in our equality

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

     
    Vote no; it’s fiscally responsible

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 3 Comments

    Rick McKee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

     
    Core values on campus

    By Our View | From Page: A12, 3 Comments

     
    Don’t want to sit in Fix 50 traffic? Consider alternatives

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

     
    Bill is an affront to UC Davis ag biotech and local farmers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13, 4 Comments

    .

    Sports

    Devils burn up the track

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    UCD softball shut out by Santa Barbara

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie men shoot 9-under, lead own tourney

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Stars shine in Woody Wilson Classic

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    UCD roundup: Aggie baseball swept away by Highlanders

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

    A’s score 3 in ninth, rally past Astros 4-3

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Yolo Federal Credit Union gets WISH funds

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    PG&E pays taxes, fees to county, cities

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

    Will Davis get an Old Soul?

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A9

     
    Pediatricians, nurse practitioner hired at Woodland Healthcare

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Asian stocks mostly higher after mixed U.S. earnings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Davis Roots will showcase its graduating startups

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14

    University Honda wins another President’s Award

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

     
    Dutch Bros. raises $19,000 for girl with leukemia

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, April 20, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8