Mary Dittrich Footh ’73 Inducted 1993
Gymnastics and Swimming & Diving
Mary Dittrich Footh was one of the first female athletes at Gustavus to attract national attention when she helped lead the gymnastics team to an eighth place finish at the AIAW national meet in 1972. That year, Footh finished 12th in the floor exercise and missed qualifying for the United States Olympic Trials by .7 of a point. At that time, there were no divisions in women's athletics and Footh was competing against major universities that are now Division I institutions.
In her three years of gymnastics competition as an all-around competitor, Footh finished first or second in all state and regional competitions and qualified for the national meet each year. In her junior year, she was the first Gustavus gymnast and first gymnast from Minnesota to reach the finals in a national collegiate meet.
In diving, Footh finished third in the state meet in 1969 and fifth in 1970 despite never having competed in diving before coming to Gustavus. In track, she was a member of the 880-yard relay team that placed fourth in the state meet in 1971.
After graduating with a major in physical education, Footh taught physical education for five years and was the gymnastics coach for 13 years at Fridley Senior High School. Her interest in physical fitness has continued, having worked at two health clubs in the Twin Cities, and following a move to Lenexa, Kansas, she completed two commercials for a local health club. This past June, Footh won a national qualifying bodybuilding competition in the master's division held in Kansas City. Mary, and her husband, Brad, currently live in Lenexa.