July 8, 2008
SEATTLE - Ten Washington crew alumni have achieved the dream of every student-athlete, representing their countries in the Olympic Games this August in Beijing, China. The rich Husky rowing tradition will be spread among four countries, each making their way to the Shunyi Olympic Rowing Park.
Returning for their second Olympic Games are 2002 graduates Anna Mickelson and Mary Whipple. The pair won silver medals in Athens in 2004 as part of the U.S.A.'s women's eight, and Mickelson will be back in that boat again this year, with Whipple once again serving as coxswain of America's most prestigious women's crew. The two also shared the same shell for three NCAA titles during their time at Washington, and also won gold medals at the 2006 and 2007 World Championships. In addition to the women's eight, Mickelson will row in the coxless pair event.
Also representing the U.S. will be Meghan Kalmoe, a 2006 alum, who will compete in the scull pairs.
On the men's side, Brett Newlin and Guiseppe Lanzone will each compete for the U.S. in the men's straight four, and Scott Gault is entered in the four-man scull. Newlin, a member of the class of 2005, was named the 2006 U.S. Rowing Male Athlete of the Year, and is a three-time National Team member. Lanzone was a National Team member in 2006 and 2007, helping the U.S. to a bronze in the men's eight at the 2006 World Championships. Gault made the National Team in 2005 and 2006. All three are making their first Olympic appearances.
Rowing for Team Canada in Beijing will be David Calder (class of 2001) in the men's coxless pair. Calder will be journeying to his third Olympics, having competed in the same event in Athens, and the men's eight which took fifth in 2000 in Sydney, Australia. Current senior Rob Gibson is a spare on the team as well.
Washington will also have two athletes competing in the sculls. Croatia's Ante Kusurin will row in the men's pair scull, while Rika Geyser of South Africa qualified in the single scull. Kusurin, a 2006 grad, is an experience international competitor who has made five Croatian National Teams, while Geyser, a 2001 grad, makes her Olympics debut.
The 10 athletes will join an elite club of Huskies who have competed on the Olympic level. UW has had 49 men compete in the Olympics since 1936, when the Husky varsity eight represented the United States, and won gold at the Berlin Games in one of the most storied moments in Washington sports history. The women have had 12 former Olympians, going back to 1980, although the three women that year (Hope Barnes, Jan Harville, Kristi Norelius) joined in the boycott.
Husky Rowers Bound for Beijing
David Calder Men's 2-
Rob Gibson Spare
Ante Kusurin Men's 2x
Rika Geyser Wonen's 1x