Dynamic and versatile athlete Lee Burling excelled in tennis, lacrosse, squash, field hockey and badminton. A resident of Oswego and a teacher at the Eastside Tennis Club in Manlius, Burling graduated Boston University’s Sergent College in 1954. She began playing lacrosse at BU and made the U.S. team.
In college, she won numerous tennis and badminton titles and was a member of the field hockey, tennis and lacrosse teams. At age 36, she began playing squash and by 1971 she was ranked third in the country. A decade later, she returned to tennis and was ranked second in the country in 45-plus doubles age group. In 1979, she was ranked third in the East and ninth in the country. She won the Women’s World Championship in the 2000 65-over category and was chosen for the national team.
Burling has won over 35 national singles and double tennis championships. Perhaps her best year was in 2000 when she garnered five national singles and doubles titles. She was ranked fourth in the 1999 world competition in the 65-over group. Throughout her career she has won more that 35 national singles and double championships. She also represented the U.S. in international competition in lacrosse, squash, badminton and field hockey.
1952: Won the Massachusetts State Badminton Championship; Won the All-College tennis doubles at Longwood
1953: Won the Eastern Open Championship
1954: Runner-up at the Montreal Championships with Margaret Varner. As a singles player, Burling lost to Varner in the semifinals of the national badminton tournament and gained a national ranking of fourth; Made the U.S. lacrosse team and also made the U.S. squad from 1954-60
1956: Won Massachusetts State Badminton Championship
1971: Ranked third in the country in squash
1978: Ranked second in the 45 doubles, the following year she was ranked third in the east by the E.T.A. in the 40 singles and ninth nationally
1979: Women’s world tennis champion in the 65-and-over category, selected for the U.S. Women’s 65 tennis team.
1982: Inducted into the Boston University Sports Hall of Fame
1996: U.S. Women’s team that won the Alice Marble Cup in Austria
1997: Won National 65 Women’s indoor singles crown
1998: Won five national 65 women’s singles and doubles titles
1999: Ranked fourth in the world and No. 1 in the U.S. in women’s 65 tennis