A Portage-born athlete is getting recognized for some amazing accomplishments she made in the 1990s.

Jen Ostapowich is being inducted to Mayville State University's Athletic Hall of Fame this weekend and says it's an unbelievable honour. She adds her induction will be taking place on a special anniversary.

"It is the 50th anniversary of Title 9, so they are doing a full celebration of female athletes this year," Ostapowich explains. "During this induction weekend, it's a celebration of all female athletes from over the years. Any female that played athletics at Mayville State University is invited back for a weekend celebration."

Title 9 was an act formed in the United States in 1972 that protects people from discrimination, based on sex, in education programs or programs that receive federal funding. Ostapowich says this makes scholarship amounts even between males as well as females and notes prior to this, many women's teams had to practice at a facility off-campus.

Ostapowich is one of three women getting inducted to the university's Hall of Fame on January 29 but says this won't be her first time in a Hall of Fame. She notes she was inducted into the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame and Canadian Softball Hall of Fame previously for team achievements with 1994-1996 Midget Smitty's Terminators. However, this time she was being inducted for personal achievements and says this is a completely different feeling but still believes the rest of the team deserves the credit as well.

"My initial thoughts were just 'when are the other girls going to be inducted as well?' It's a team effort and you're only as good as the team that surrounds you. So, I'd say every one of those girls that were beside me should be inducted at some point as well," says Ostapowich. "So, my thoughts were not so selfish and were more in the lane of 'what about the others?"

The Portager spoke humbly about her accomplishments giving immense credit to her teammates and coaches. While she was adamant that the credit deserves to be spread around, Ostapowich led the group on the field as she won the team's MVP award from 1997-99 and was named an All-American Scholar-Athlete in her last two seasons.

The Mayville State Comets saw their best record in nearly a decade in 1997 and were just one game shy of making it to their first regional tournament in the team's history, in '99 however, they made that happen. Ostapowich helped led the Comets to their first NDCAC tournament entry in her final season and was named the conference's most valuable graduating senior.

"I was also All-Region in '99, my graduating year, which I don't think had happened for anybody at Mayville State prior to that," Ostapowich adds.

The former pitcher says her upbringing in Portage was essential to her career arch and notes she doesn't regret a single move she made.

"Growing up in Portage la Prairie at that time, when you're a female athlete, you play every single sport because the team needs you as there aren't that many people," Ostapowich explains. "I played ringette in Portage from when I was a four-year-old all the way until I graduated high school. I played with the people that are still currently my best friends today."

Ostapowich was picked up by many teams in softball while growing up in Portage. She says she played on multiple national teams as well as teams all the way from Flin Flon to Steinbach. The local product adds the coaches she grew up around in Portage deserve as much credit as anyone for how successful her softball career turned out to be.

"Not one coach, in my history when growing up, did I ever have any negative feelings toward. It was never anything other than 'That coach loves me, cares for me, and has taught me so much," Ostapowich continues. "I'm blessed to have had the best coaches. I wouldn't be where I am today if I wasn't led by a phenomenal group of adults who really respected me and demanded respect but also taught me many skills."

Ostapowich will be inducted in a Hall of Fame with her former teammate, and three-sport athlete, Heidi Brunko as well as basketball player Laura Big Crow. The induction ceremony is set to take place on January 29.