Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Best ever Florida female athlete: It's Haislett Bacher

Best ever update: It's Haislett Bacher

Nicole Haislett Bacher set national records in high school.

As a Florida Gator, she was an NCAA champion.

At the 1992 Summer Olympics, she won three aquatic golds.

Now, she can add another title to her resume.

According to Times readers who voted in an online poll at, Haislett Bacher, a St. Petersburg native who attended Lakewood High, deserves the honor of being called Florida's all-time best female athlete.

Here's how it worked.

With the women's Final Four in town, we decided to celebrate women's sports at the highest level. To do this, we took 16 remarkable female athletes who attended Florida high schools, seeded them in a bracket and conducted online voting over four days.

Haislett Bacher, the No. 8 seed, won the title after beating No. 1 seed Chris Evert, No. 4 Chandra Cheeseborough and No. 2 Nancy Hogshead in succession. In the final, she received 93 percent of the vote to top Hogshead, a Jacksonville native and also a legendary swimmer.

We had a different take.

After crunching the numbers, the choice in the end was as simple as an overhead smash, which is why we selected Evert. Dubbed the "Ice Maiden," the Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas alumna won 18 Grand Slam singles tennis titles, including the U.S. Open six times. While in high school, she was a three-time state singles champion (1970-72).

To readers, Nicole was golden.

But to us, Chris was clutch.

Keith Niebuhr, Times staff writer

Best ever Florida female athlete: It's Haislett Bacher 04/07/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 8, 2008 9:11am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tiki Barber will join his brother, Ronde, on Fox broadcast for Bucs-Giants


    FOX announced Monday night that former Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber will have a familiar face joining him as a guest analyst for the Oct. 1 Bucs-Giants game in Tampa: his twin brother Tiki, who will join …

    Tiki Barber, right, will join his brother, Ronde, left, as a guest analyst on the Oct. 1 Bucs-Giants broadcast on FOX. [Times files (2006)]
  2. Cannons will fire again when Bucs return to Raymond James Stadium


    As good as the Bucs looked in their season-opening 29-7 win against the Bears on Sunday, fans couldn't help but notice that the success didn't sound the same at Raymond James Stadium.

     Ron Gutschmidt is perched on top of the Buccaneer pirate ship ready to activate the ship's cannons with the press of a button after a Buccaneer touchdown. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
  3. Rick and Tom podcast: How should Joe Maddon be remembered tonight?

    The Heater

    Rick Stroud and Tom Jones talk about Joe Maddon's return to Tropicana Field for the first time since he left the Rays in 2014 in the latest edition of our Rick and Tom podcast. They discuss the mixed emotions …

    Joe Maddon returns to Tropicana Field tonight for the first time since he left the Rays in 2014. [Getty Images]
  4. Cubs bring some other ex-Rays to Trop such as Wade Davis, Ben Zobrist


    Joe Maddon's first trip back to the Trop is getting most of the headlines tonight, but there are several other familiar faces among the eight former Rays now wearing Cubs uniforms.

    Two-time Rays MVP Ben Zobrist is finishing strong after a slow start to his second season in Chicago.
  5. Oleg Sosunov brings intrigue to Lightning exhibition opener


    When Hall of Famer Phil Esposito first saw Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov, he joked he thought the 6-foot-8 Russian would hit the ceiling of Amalie Arena.

    Oleg Sosunov's ability to skate for his size, his reach, and his style have drawn comparisons to Zdeno Chara.