Lois Testa Lynch
Track & Field
Grad Year: 1957
Year Inducted: 2000
Lois Testa Lynch is one of the pioneers of women’s athletics in Rhode Island. While attending Pawtucket East High School, Testa Lynch was an outstanding athlete, participating in swimming, basketball and badminton.
She became involved in the sport of track and field when Barrington’s Janet Moreau Stone, a gold medal winner in the 4 x 100 meters at the 1952 Summer Olympics, came around to the local high schools looking for the area’s top athletes. Despite never trying track and field, she heeded Moreau’s suggestion and picked up the sport.
During the time she attended Rhode Island College, Testa Lynch trained with Coventry’s Frank Sherman, her coach, at Providence College, an all-male institution at the time. Concentrating on the shot, javelin and discus events, she went on to dominate the 1953 AAU Championships which were held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Testa Lynch won both the AAU Junior and Senior Championships in the shot, setting an American record at 43’10.00" in the senior division. She narrowly missed winning the discus event as well.
Testa Lynch qualified for the 1956 Summer Olympics, placing second, at the U.S. Olympic Trials in the shot. At the '56 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, she placed 13th in the world, and second in the U.S., in the shot. Her roommate at the summer games was track legend Wilma Rudolph.
After graduating from RIC with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, she went on to teach in both Revere, Massachusetts and Willimantic, Connecticut before re-locating to Florida. Testa Lynch taught for 15 years at Stuart (FL) Middle School where she also coached soccer and assisted with boys’ track.