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July 5, 2007

Five Women Redefine the Power Suit

Five women redefine the power suit. Must-have accessories: a G-36 gun, chaps, a football helmet.

Women Who Re-Define The Power Suit

Photo Credit: Jeff Harris

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KATE HNIDA, 25, first woman to ever play and score in an NCAA Division 1 football game.

THE JOB: "I come from a really athletic family. I played kicker on my high school team for four years. When I graduated, I was invited to walk on to the University of Colorado squad, but it was a miserable experience. I was verbally harassed by the guys, had footballs thrown at my head, and was raped by a teammate. "I transferred to a junior college and took a year off to make sense of what I had been through, but I knew I still wanted to play football. I enrolled at the University of New Mexico. During my senior year, I became the first woman to appear in an NCAA football game and score two extra points. My experience at New Mexico was amazing, and they embraced the fact that I was female and brought a lot to the team. It was like having 100 supportive brothers around me."

THE REAL ME: "I have a very feminine side — I have long hair, I wear makeup — and people are shocked when they see I'm not butch. When I get dressed for a game, the thrill that goes through my body is incredible. It gives me the confidence and power to think, Yes! This is what I do and who I am. I felt like the Great Pumpkin in that helmet! Wearing pants with too much room in the crotch was weirder than sporting a man's jersey. When I first put on pads in high school, it was the most bizarre feeling, because they're not built for females. My cleats were so molded to my feet from wearing them so often that they felt like an extension of my body."

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