Tag Archives: 1980s

Wooden Boats and Iron Men

The Fall season of 1984 was the final year in which GW Crew actively rowed with wooden blades.

Varsity teams had already begun using the significantly lighter carbon fiber blades.

Novice teams would run to retrieve their oars before practice – not out of fitness aspirations, but because the diameter of the oar handles varied so much. Being able to wrap fingers but a little more than halfway around the oar handle would have a great influence over one’s blade control for that practice.

Novice boats were also all made of wood. The “Black 8″ named because the riggers were painted black and the “Mary C” named after Coach Cullen‘s Mary counted as the fleet.

Former GW Crew Captain Goes the Distance

Brian Klippenstein

Brian Klippenstein ’86 has completed over 50 marathons, including over a dozen 50-milers and four single-day 100-milers.

This former Captain of GW men’s team, Dad Vail medalist and four year varsity crew alumni grew up in Northwest Missouri on a 5,000 acre registered beef cattle farm.  He’s worked  for  ranches and shown cattle  from Canada to Argentina. Professionally, he has leveraged that farming and agriculture experience – plus more than 25 years in a variety of U.S. Congressional Staff roles – and is currently Executive Director of Protect the Harvest.

Brian and his wife Jackie have two kids and live on a small livestock farm outside of Platte City, MO – where, despite being landlocked, Brian also manages to compete in off-shore sailboat racing.

Pete Peterson ’89 Thought Leader on Civic Engagement

Pete Peterson

Pete Peterson ’89 was the Republican candidate for California Secretary of State in 2014. Over the course of Pete’s campaign, he received endorsements from 14 of the top 15 newspapers in California. The Los Angeles Times got behind Pete as did the San Francisco Chronicle, who recognized Pete as “refreshing” with credentials and enthusiasm that are perfectly tailored.

As a four-year GW Crew team member, Pete became active in civic engagement after more than 15 years working in the private sector.

Currently, Pete is Executive Director of Pepperdine University’s Davenport Institute. He is a nationally-recognized speaker and writer on public engagement and is writes for a variety major news outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle, as well as Rightly Understood and numerous blogs. He has also been a contributing author to “Place As Pragmatic Policy” and “Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Civic Life in Modern America” (New Atlantis Books, 2014).

He lives with his wife in Malibu, CA where Pete waits for his beloved Green Bay Packers to win another Super Bowl.

Robert Bartlett Olympic Rower, a first for GW Men

Robert Bartlett was the first member of GW Crew’s men’s rowing team to become an Olympian.

During the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Bartlett represented Great Britain as a member of their rowing team.

Prior to pursuing his studies and bending an oar at GW, Rob attended and rowed at London’s prestigious Eaton Prep. Rob also competed in several international rowing competitions prior to his role on the 1992 Great Britain Rowing Team.

Robert Bartlett strokes the GW HW4+

Robert Bartlett strokes the GW HW4+

Michelle Knox Zaloom, GW Athletic Hall of Fame

Michelle Knox Zaloom, a product of South River High School in Edgewater, Md., earned seven letters in two sports at GW from 1982 through 1986, including four in volleyball and three in crew. As a middle blocker for the Colonials volleyball team and its coach Pat Sullivan, she established many records, including five of which still stand. She was GW’s MVP in volleyball in 1985 and twice, in ’84 and ’85, earned All-Atlantic 10 honors.

Her rowing career at the University was equally successful. She moved from novice to varsity and competed in Nationals in her first year of rowing. In her senior year, she finished fourth at Nationals in a GW four. After graduation, she rowed on the ’91 and ’93 National teams, earning gold and bronze medals, respectively, and in 1992 she competed in the Summer Olympic Games at Barcelona, placing fifth in women’s quadruple sculls. Knox Zaloom also competed in the ’96 Olympics in Atlanta.

Michelle is married to Charlie Zaloom, also a GW crew alumnus. They live in Washington, D.C.

GW Hall of Fame Page

Paul Wilkins, GW Athletic Hall of Fame

Paul C. Wilkins served as head coach of men’s and women’s rowing for 15 years from 1981 through ’96. A former Colonials rower and coxswain himself (’76-80), he also was an assistant coach for a year prior to assuming the head coaching duties. Wilkins’ achievements as Colonials coach cannot be easily measured. He was a selfless, team-serving mentor who has touched the lives of more than 2000 rowers either as a coach or teammate at GW.

His contributions as a coach have been formally recognized by the highest levels within the sport of rowing. In 1989, he was selected to the U.S. coaching staff for the World University Games at Duisberg, Germany. Since 1984, GW athletes participating in and pursuing national team games and camps – incluging two-time U.S. Olympian and GW Athletic Hall of Famer Michelle Knox Zaloom – have sought and received Paul’s guidance.

A graduate of Yorktown High School in Arlington, Va., Wilkins earned a bachelor’s degree in English from GW in 1981 and since then has been effectively communicating with athletes, students, alumni and the local, national and international rowing communities. In addition, he has used rowing to aid and develop GW worldwide recognition with institutions such as Oxford and Cambridge universities in England and Hitotsubashi and Tokoyo universities in Japan.

Wilkins resides in Long Beach, Calif., with his wife, Jennifer Keene, also a GW crew graduate (’84). Paul now coaches at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, Calif.

GW Hall of Fame Page

GW Men’s Heavyweight 4+ Wins Dad Vails, 1986

Charlie Brown

Marty Guay

Dave Lincoln

Tim Timmerman

Jim Cardillo, coxswain

Paul Wilkins, coach

GW Men’s Lightweight 4+ Medals at Dad Vails, 1986

Brian Klippenstein

Lou Donofrio

Dave Wilson

Tim McNamara

Lee Silverberg, coxswain

GWU vs Georgetown 1987: “GW Beats Hoyas”

GWU vs Georgetown battle update DATELINE: May 3, 1987

Washington Post Sports section, page c16

Outcome of the 1987 DC Area Championship / Cadle Cup is summarized in the Washington Post headline: “GW Beats Hoyas in Lightweight Race,” but the article manages to tell the bigger story too.

The sheer number of eights that Georgetown would field compared to GW gave an advantage on paper. It is frequently noted that “necessity is the mother of invention,” and out of necessity GW crews fostered their development and determination.

“We are not nearly as large a program as Georgetown,” explained Coach Paul Wilkins in the Post article. “We had to juggle the crew. For several weeks, we were mixing and matching, just trying different combinations and plugging rowers in different seats.”

“We got beaten badly by Temple two weeks in a row and then had two weeks off until this race,” Wilkins continued.

“We knew we were better than we had shown, but we didn’t know how much better. And today we found out. Georgetown is one of the best lightweight crews in the country. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see them again in the Dad Vail finals.”

With Georgetown and GW trading the lead for the first half of the race, GW took the lead for good just after clearing Key Bridge.

GW’s two seat lead was hotly contested for the next 500 meters, but then saw GW surge as Georgetown fade to a boat length back entering the last 500 meters. Hoyas “countered with a furious sprint to the finish, yet crossed the finish line two seats and 1.2 seconds behind GW’s winning time of 6:11.5.”