Named the Female Athlete of the Year by the Maine Sunday Telegram in 1992 after an impressive three-sport career at York High School, Kristen Carmichael (formerly Kristen Briggs) went on to play soccer and softball on a dual athletic scholarship at the University of Vermont. In 1996, she won the university’s senior female athlete of the year award.
Carmichael is currently living near Boston with her husband and three children and working for a global biochemical profiling company. She has run three marathons and played semiprofessional soccer and currently skates in a women’s ice hockey league.
Although she won high school state titles in soccer, basketball and softball, she had been playing ice hockey in a women’s league in Massachusetts until her sophomore year at York High. She possibly missed a chance at a hockey scholarship.
“In hindsight, I wish I had kept playing hockey,” she said. “I think the opportunities would have been much greater. Women’s hockey at the collegiate level is massive now, and to have another source of playing for a college education is very valuable for female athletes.”
She compared her upbringing to that of her mother, who wasn’t exposed to athletics in the way Carmichael, with four older brothers, was.
“I was constantly thrown into playing football, hockey, all the other sports,” she said.
As for Title IX and all the doors it opened for her, Carmichael is appreciative.
“It gave women rights in athletics,” she said. “I think it’s very important that women have equal access to scholarship money, because at one point they didn’t.”