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A Washington Rowing Stewards Publication
March 15th, 2008

First Family - A Husky Profile

If you grew up in Seattle's Mount Baker district back in the 40's, rowing was part of your life. Frank Cunningham grew up there. Tom McCurdy lived just down the block and so did the Griffin twins. And if you loved water sports enough to race flatties, you got a chance to compete before the Husky races out on the lake. In fact, you sailed in one race as a prelim to one of the two famed "Lake Washington Regattas", featuring the twelve top teams in the nation in a one-shot, 2000-meter free-for-all.

At Franklin High you were an all-around athlete, starring on the basketball team, summiting Mt. Rainier twice and even climbing Mt. Baker for the thrill of skiing down. But in your senior year, the Green Lake Crew was launched and you rode a bus across town to participate, which led to a Husky freshman year in which you, and good friend Howie Kellogg, earned numerals in both basketball and rowing.

Husky fans, if all that sounds like an All-American boy's life, it was. And it was lived by one of our own.

Two and a half years ago we wrote to our readers: "Quick! Name the ten people who have had the greatest impact on Husky crew." The first few names then, as now, were easy - legendary coaches and boat builders. Back then we nominated the McCurdy family for inclusion on the list for their generous, multi-generation support of the program. Today, we nominate the man who lived the adolescence described above, earned Husky fame, and then spent decades giving back to the program, a habit that continues to this day. Huskies, meet Carl Lovsted.

Carl enrolled at the University of Washington in the fall of 1948, rowed on the freshman eight and owned the varsity bow seat in 1950, 1951 and 1952. At the IRA in 1952, his boat lost to Navy's "Great Eight" coached by former UW coach, Rusty Callow. Following that race, Al Ulbrickson selected five elite upper classmen for a 4+ and entered them in the Olympic Trials. In the trials, Carl, Dick Wahlstrom, Al Ulbrickson, Jr., Fil Leanderson and Al Rossi beat all comers by open water and went on to Helsinki to win bronze, the third Olympic medal for the Husky rowing team. You can read several interesting stories about that trip and the win at www.huskycrew.org, including the Philippine birth certificate that nearly caused Carl to miss the Olympics.

So our nominee, Carl Lovsted, had a hall-of-fame rowing career at the University, but many others have, too. It is what happened next that elevated him to our list. He began to give back and that simple habit grew into a major theme of his life. We asked what caused him to remain so close to the program and he replied: "I got so much out of the experience that helped me in my life that I've always thought that I was simply acting on my responsibility. I still do." It's a refrain we often hear but Carl set the example for "walking the talk."

Marriage, a family, a career, and all the details of living life to the fullest occupied much of Carl's time but he never lost contact with his teammates. He and Dick and Fil and the two Al's got together regularly and all five kept their love for the program alive - one by coaching, two by serving on the Board of the Washington Rowing Stewards, and all five through contributions. But as time went on, Carl and his wife, Louise, decided that they should do more.

They set up an endowed scholarship that would provide funds for deserving Husky athletes. Carl told us: "It is a thrill to be around these bright, fearless, optimistic young athletes."

As one recipient followed the next, Carl and Lou got to know them well, invited them over to the house and out to their place on Orcas Island Do you stay in touch, we asked? "Definitely," he said. "I got an email from Ante (Kusurin) just two days ago. After the Olympics, he may be back for graduate school."

Carl is in the process of adding a second endowment but it's not just the scholarships that set him apart from so many of us. He is rounding up old photos he shot when he was in school, and digging through storage boxes to find his Olympic warm-ups in order to give them to the University. "They belong there," he insists. And then there are little things that go unnoticed by most of us. And in case you didn't know it, he's the guy who brings the coffee each year that is served in the Stewards' Enclosure on Opening Day.

From All-American youth, to Olympian, to Washington Rowing Steward, Carl Lovsted approached each stage with a drive and commitment that one expects from a champion. For this, we nominate him as one of the most influential alumni in the long legacy of Washington Rowing, and thank him for his dedication to our university, our sport, and our program.


In This Issue


A Husky Profile

Chuck Holtz

The Mills Dynasty

Great Alumni

Dollars and Sense

Beijing Olympics

Class Day Weekend

Olympic Oak

Stop Press


Courtesy: Guy Harper




Chuck Holtz Endowed Scholarship

Chuck Holtz is a Husky legend. Two time Pan Am gold medal winner, varsity oarsman, LWRC oarsman, and Husky freshman coach, he was admired and loved by many. Death found him early but his friends havenít forgotten him.

Just last year, his friend and teammate Jon Runstad donated an Empacher eight and named it the Chuck Holtz, and the shell carried the 2007 varsity on to National Championship gold. To this day, it remains undefeated.

For more than a decade, two dozen friends of Chuckís have made small, annual contributions to a crew scholarship granted annually to a student-athlete selected by Bob Ernst. The pooled contributions provided significant financial aid to nine men over the years. In January, a few of those two dozen decided that the group could do a better job with Chuckís legacy. A decision was made to raise enough funds to endow a scholarship in Chuckís name and letters were sent to the 25 fund donors.

We are closing in on our goal. The contributions to date have been gratifying but we still have a way to go. You may join the group if you wish to help us over the top.

If you want to join this effort to keep Chuck Holtzís spirit alive, contact Tristine Drennan in the Athletic Department on (206) 221-3664 If the name Tristine made you sit up, youíre right; she is our own Tristine Glick, Steward and member of the 1997 National Championship varsity eight.



The Mills Dynasty

Husky crew has a long list of parents whose sons and daughters followed them into shells, but we expect that there have been few who passed the passion on so successfully as John and Luanne Mills. It's a story in four parts.

John Mills '61 was a strong, 6' 5" port oar in his day, and throughout a long, successful banking career in Seattle he never lost his passion for rowing. After a stint with the Ancient Mariners, he partnered with Ted McCagg, Bob Rogers, Rusty Wailes, and Greg Andonian in a 4+. When Rusty died, Fred Raney joined the group. Recently, it has been as much a breakfast club as a racing team but make no mistake, this crew has raced successfully in venues around the world. In addition, John and Bob Rogers own a national pairs title. And, after a few body repairs - a shoulder, a knee, a hip, a heart - these guys (average age plus-seventy) will line up in Sydney for the 2009 Masters competition.

John's brother, Tom Mills, attended the University, and rowed with John Bisset's 1961 National Champion freshman eight.

And John and Luanne's son, Tom, rowed at both Lakeside and Harvard. He has competed at Henley three times since he graduated and continues to row when he can squeeze in time away from the demands of a career in Japan, and his wife and three children.

But all of that is background to the real story. In 2002, Tom called his father to encourage him to qualify for the U.S. Indoor Racing Team. When John begged off, his son suggested that his mother might make the woman's team. Luanne had taken to the erg - the old Model A - back in 1984 when Tom was at Lakeside, and then she rowed with Martha's Moms. So John passed on the challenge.

In 2002 Luanne stepped onto a Concept II and qualified for the team, and not long after, in Birmingham, England, she came in second in her age group at the World Championships. She has been an international fixture ever since. In Birmingham, Paris, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and Dresden, she has never placed lower than second and has won the World Championship twice. Just to make her point, she has won five times at the Crash B's in Boston.

This year Luanne moves up to the 70 and older division where the World Record is 8:43. She should be licking her chops. She already owns a World Record time of 8:06 in the younger age group and, in qualifying for the '08 Championships at Ergomania in Seattle, she logged a personal best of 7:59:06.

The part of the story we like best occurred on the day Luanne won her first championship. Harvard's Harry Parker was standing next to John as the time was announced. He tapped John on the arm and said: "I guess we know now where Tom got his rowing genes."

Lowell Neal
Lowell Neal
Luanne Mills


Great Alumni + Great Equipment = Great Crew

Thatís simple math. The Huskies are fortunate to have a continuing run of supporters to fulfill that first element: great alumni.

Ed McRory '59 donated a sleek new Pocock four to the program and will name it the 101 at a dedication ceremony scheduled for an upcoming 101 Club lunch at Conibear Shellhouse.



Full Disclosure: Dollars and Sense

When we launched the new Husky Crew Newsletter in February of 2005, we promised you Ė among many things Ė full disclosure. It has been coming at you in bits and pieces during the intervening months so we thought it time to bring you up to date on the financial state of your Husky Crew.

The University underwrote the rowing program this year at $1,863,000. That number includes all the normal expenses of the menís and womenís intercollegiate teams plus 20 full scholarships for the womenís team. All the extras Ė notably boats, menís scholarships and non-budgeted travel to places such as Henley and the Head of the Charles Ė are funded with donated funds, not by the University.

Traditionally, we have thought of our fund raising efforts in three separate categories: menís scholarships, boats, and travel. The Annual Appeal, which runs from October through Febru- ary, has focused on raising money for scholarships because thatís where our greatest and most immediate needs lie. Donated boats and travel expenses are sought separately as the needs occur.

Scholarship contributions have been critical. Itís flogging the obvious to say there is a direct correlation between a winning program and recruiting the best athletes, but the best athletes are now heavily recruited by the leading rowing schools. It takes scholarship dollars to land some of them. The stepped up Annual Fund contributions led directly to last yearís three national championships. But, as weíve written before, the contributions donít cover all scholarship costs. In a sense, we have robbed Peter to pay Paul over the last three years; weíve borrowed from our reserves to fill the gap. Thatís why our Annual Appeal focuses so directly on menís scholarships, and why the contributions this year were so gratifying.

Our progress has been good. In 2005, the Annual Appeal brought in $46,000. The following year you contributed $83,000 and in 2007 that number rose to $162,000. This year we know at press time that our contributions will equal last year's number or perhaps exceed it.

At the same time, our progress in building scholarship endowments has been good. In 2004, our total endowment stood at slightly more than $2 million. Today, we have nearly $6 million in committed endowments. At $8 to $10 million, we will have enough endowment money to fund the required number of menís scholarships in perpetuity.

The obvious question is: What happens when we have the scholarship costs covered? Mike Hess and the coaches have been looking at this question in detail and, with support from the Athletic Department, they are coming to some conclusions.

First, while it may seem inconceivable that some future Athletic Director might suggest eliminating menís rowing because of its expense, we donít want to be complacent. Ours is a non-revenue sport, a non-NCAA sport, one that costs a great deal more than most non-revenue sports In the Title 9 era, the womenís program is likely secure regardless of the Departmentís financial status. But the menís program canít draw a sense of security from its long and successful history. Just last year, Rutgers eliminated its menís program even though it had a strong alumni base, a good coach and a successful, long-term history. Further fundraising efforts to reduce the strain on the Athletic Department budget are a given.

Second, there are obvious opportunities for you to contribute in ways that will keep the program strong. For example, it has become increasingly important Ė as a measurement tool, as a competitive need, and as a recruiting aid Ė for us to compete in the Head of the Charles and to make more frequent appearances at Henley. The costs associated with those trips, however, must be covered with donated funds. Early calculations suggest that it would take a relatively small endowment to make this happen.

The other potential needs should be obvious to anyone who has participated in the program. And we want to emphasize that no decisions have been made regarding any of this. Our first and most important mission at present is to cover the scholarship need with endowments.

Meanwhile, we invite your input. If you have any thoughts about the financial future of Husky Crew, let us know. And if you want to discuss an endowed gift, call Bob Ernst or Michael Callahan today.

Varsity 1923
Varsity 2007


Beijing Olympics

In a speech to the Downtown Seattle Rotary recently, Bob Ernst stated that ďmore rowers from the University of Washington will be competing at the Beijing Olympics this summer than from any other university in the world.Ē

So we took a headcount. Here are Husky names currently in the mix for Olympic seats. Chris Alyard, Pete Dembicki, Rob Gibson, Dave Worley and Max Lang on the Canadian team; Ante Kusurin, Martin Rogulja and Roko Svost on the Croatian team; and Sam Burns, Matt Deakin, Meghan Kalmoe, Guiseppi Lanzone, Kyle Larson, Anna Mickelson, Brett Newlin, Brian Volpenhein, and Mary Whipple on the U.S. squad. And look for freshman coach Luke McGeeís wife, reigning World Champion Portia McGee, to find a seat, too.

We will keep you posted. In the words of a well-known local impresario: ďItís going to be a great show. Donít miss it.Ē



Class Day Weekend

The VBC Banquet on Friday, March 28, is sold out as of this moment but don't give up. Click on the button to the right and fill out the reservation form. If there are no seats available, you will be notified and your name will be placed on a waiting list.

Fortunately, there are a few spots left for Dwight Phillips' annual Cruise With Croissants the following morning - this time with "A Touch of Class." Dwight has added a light jazz combo to the mix this year so it will be a very special cruise-brunch-race event, and all of it as close to the racing as you may ever get. If you want to join the party, you can reach Dwight at his office on (425) 453-6829 or on his cell at 206 940-6661. Act quickly; the weekend is shaping up to be the most popular in years.

Further Info

You can download 2008 Husky Crew Banquet invitation form here.

To purchase your tickets for the VBC banquet online, use our new e-commerce feature at http://shop.huskycrew.org


Olympic Oak

In 1936 the German Olympic Organizing Committee gave the Gold Medal winning Husky eight an oak tree to commerorate their victory. Because seven man, Joe Rantz, came home directly after the games, he brought the tree back to Seattle where the University of Washington accepted it and planted it on the campus. It prospered but recently it had to be taken down. The University has planted a replacement on the south side of the shellhouse. Look for the new Olympic Oak on your next visit to the shellhouse.

Olympic Oak1
Olympic Oak


Stop Press

As this email version of our March newsletter goes to press, we can announce the final tally on our 2007-2008 Annual Appeal. Once again, you stepped up with a level of support that will allow our teams to compete at the highest level.

The official total for this year's campaign is $172,633, a six percent gain over last year. The athletes, coaches, Rowing Steward Board, and Athletic Department staff thank you for your strong support and for your continuing dedication to its success.



2007 Ė 2008 Crew Calendar

The 2007-2008 year is scheduled and it's going to be busy. Mark your calendar today for the racing and related event days. Alumni events are highlighted in bold type.

Friday, March 28
VBC Banquet
6:00 pm
Conibear Shellhouse
Saturday, March 29
Class Day Races
10:00 am
Montlake Cut
Saturday, March 29
Class Day Cruise/BBQ
11:00 am
Conibear Shellhouse
Sat/Sun, April 5-6
San Diego Classic
All Day
San Diego
Saturday, April 5
Husky Open
8:00 am
Montlake Cut
Saturday, April 12
9:00 am
Montlake Cut
Saturday, April 19
9:00 am
Montlake Cut
Saturday, April 26
Cal Dual
9:00 am
Redwood Shores, CA
Saturday, May 3
Opening Day
Stewards Enclosure
9:00 am
North side of finish line, Montlake Cut
Saturday, May 3
Opening Day
Windermere Cup
10:00 am
Montlake Cut
Sunday, May 18
All Day
Rancho Cordova, CA
Fri/Sun, June 1
All Day
Rancho Cordova, CA
Thurs/Sat, June 5-7
All Day
Camden, NJ
Saturday, August 16
Dave McLean Golf Tournament
Washington Nat'l

For more information about Husky racing schedule,
click here




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