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2005 Athletic Hall of Fame

By Dave Girrard

PLU will induct six standout athletes into the Athletic Hall of Fame at a luncheon Friday, Oct. 7, during Homecoming weekend. Reservations can be made by calling the Athletic Department at 253-535-7352.

This year’s inductees are:

Ruth Babcock and Paulette Bergh


The rowing careers of Paulette Bergh ’80 and Ruth Babcock ’80 are nearly identical. Bergh transferred to PLU after her freshman year and joined Babcock on the crew team. In the next three years they were members of the Senior 4 squad that qualified for the national championships each season, placing sixth in 1978 and fifth in 1980. They also won a bronze medal in the varsity pair at the national championships as seniors.

Babcock was a four-year letter winner, and Bergh lettered three times, was a team captain and received the team’s Most Inspirational Award her senior year.

They continued their rowing careers after graduating from PLU, and in 1983, along with Pam Knapp Black ’84, won the Senior 4 at both the U.S. Nationals and the Canadian Henley. Bergh and Babcock also finished second in the pair’s races at the U.S. Nationals and Canadian Henley that same year – missing the title in the Canadian Henley by two 100th’s of a second. They won the pair’s race at the U.S. Master’s Nationals in 1985, and Bergh was a member of the Elite 4 squad that won the Canadian Henley title in 1987.

Bergh was an assistant coach at Western Washington University for five years (1988-93) and was on the board of directors of the U.S. Rowing Association for four years (1994-97).

Colleen Hacker

Soccer coach and professor

Colleen Hacker, assistant dean in the School of Physical Education, joined PLU in 1979 as a professor in the School of Physical Education and head women’s field hockey coach. Two years later, then PLU Athletic Director David Olson decided to drop field hockey and add women’s soccer. Although Hacker had not played or coached the sport before, she became the head coach of the new team. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

In a 15-year span that ended with the 1995 season, Hacker’s teams compiled a 233-59-18 win-loss record, won the Northwest Conference title 10 times, won five straight NAIA District 1 and NAIA West Region crowns, and played for the NAIA national championship five consecutive years. The Lutes won the national title in 1988, 1989 and 1991 and finished as runner-up in 1990 and 1992.

Hacker’s win total remains to this day the NAIA record, and her .781 winning percentage is currently sixth in the NAIA annals. She was named the conference Coach of the Year five times, the NAIA District 1 Coach of the Year seven times, NAIA/NSCAA West Region Coach of the Year four times and NAIA/NSCAA National Coach of the Year three times.

She joined the coaching staff of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team in 1996 and is the team’s sport psychologist.

Carol Quarterman Kummerle


Carol Quarterman Kummerle ’89 was a four-time NAIA All-American in women’s swimming. In the 1986 through 1989 seasons, she swam 28 different events at the national meet – the most possible – and finished in the top six 27 times. At the 1986 national meet, she won the 200-yard backstroke title and swam on three national champion relay teams.

She won a total of 25 Northwest Conference titles, winning individual championships in four different events and relay titles in five different events. PLU won the team title at the conference meet all four years, did not lose a dual meet in those four seasons, and finished second, fourth, fifth and third, respectively, in the team standings at the national meet. Kummerle was a co-winner of the Senior Athlete Award in 1986.

Ake Palm


The 1972 PLU yearbook says that Ake Palm ’72 “in the last four years has been Mr. Basketball at PLU.” He was the Most Valuable Player for the Lutes and a first-team All-Northwest Conference pick in his junior and senior seasons. He helped the Lutes win the conference title in 1970.

He is seventh all-time in scoring with 1,481 points. The highlight of his career may have been a game against the University of Puget Sound on Feb. 26, 1972, when he tied a school record by making 16 field goals and shot 94.1 percent from the field – a school record that stood for 28 years. He led the team in scoring average his last two seasons and was the top rebounder three straight years. Palm was also a second team all-conference pick as a freshman and received honorable mention all-conference recognition his sophomore season.

Brian Peterson


Brian Peterson ’94 is PLU’s only NAIA national champion and two-time NAIA All-American in wrestling. He won the 158-pound title in 1994 after finishing second in 1993 in the 150 pound classification. He also competed at the NAIA National Championships in 1992 at 142 pounds.

He fashioned a 43-5 record in 1994, and a .896 winning percentage, which is the best single-season percentage by a PLU wrestler. His victory total is third all-time, as is his career total of 114 victories. He was named an NAIA All-America Scholar-Athlete in 1993 and 1994, and was a co-winner of PLU’s Man of the Year in Sports Award in 1994.

Lute Club reaches out for more members and funds to support athletics

The Lute Club has, for many years, helped athletics at PLU thrive. Now, with a reorganization of the club, a new athletic director and the prospect of building new facilities in the near future, the Lute Club will likely play a larger role in fund raising to help keep the teams competitive in the Northwest Conference and NCAA Division III.

The Lute Club raises money to help cover costs of operating the athletic program through events like the Lute Club Golf Tournament held every June. The money helps pay for purchase and maintenance of equipment and to help with out-of-region travel.

“We’re building a foundation upon which we can realize an active organization, working first on a kind of annual fund for Lute Club” said Jim Van Beek ’59, a member of the PLU Athletic Hall of Fame. Van Beek also is a member of the development staff and helps coordinate Lute Club activities with the Athletic Department. “Eventually we’re going to be involved in fund-raising for buildings, facilities and endowments. But basically we want to be an organization where you can get information, where you can show your support, where you can be involved as a volunteer with the athletic program.”

Within the past school year the Lute Club underwent a reorganization, which included the creation of the Lute Club Advisory Board and the setting of short-term goals. Those goals include increasing the number of members from the current 280 to 700 by the end of May 2007, and increasing the fund-raising from the $100,000 raised last year to $250,000 by May 2007. The current president of Lute Club is Knut Olson ’90, a managing partner for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans in Tacoma.

“Athletics were a big part of my experience at PLU, and I’m glad to be in a position where I can help to ensure the legacy of excellence remains strong,” Olson said. “Because the university is committed to that goal as well, I was more than happy to take on this leadership role.”

Planning for the renovation and/or construction of new facilities for athletics and recreation has been under way for about a year as part of the campus-wide master plan. Topics of discussion have included the renovation of Olson Auditorium, the future of Memorial Gymnasium, the condition of the swimming pool building and field space. President Loren Anderson said a plan to enhance athletic facilities will be part of the next comprehensive fund-raising campaign.

Lutes bring home All-America honors in track and tennis

Dan Haakenson ’05 made the most of his last opportunity at the 2005 NCAA Division III National Track and Field Championships.

Haakenson met the qualifying standard in the hammer throw his sophomore and junior seasons, but he was not selected for the national meet in 2003, and an injury prevented him from competing last year.

He again provisionally qualified for the national meet this past spring and was awarded a berth. Haakenson earned All-America honors by placing seventh in the event. The top eight placers in each event receive first team All-America honors. Haakenson is the first men’s outdoor track and field All-American for PLU since 2002.

Haakenson recorded a throw of 180-4 (54.98 meters) on his final attempt in the preliminaries. The mark qualified him for the final and held up for his seventh place finish.

He was one of four Lutes to compete at the national championships, which were held in Waverly, Iowa. The others were Erik Jensen ’05, who placed 14th in the decathlon, Jon Payne ’05, who competed in the 400 hurdles but did not qualify for the final, and Megan Wochnick ’07, who was entered in the women’s hammer throw and also did not qualify for the final.

Wochnick previously earned Indoor All-America honors when she placed sixth in the weight throw at the indoor national championships. Her bid for a second All-America honor was derailed when she accidentally stepped on a nail before the competition.

Two men’s tennis players, Matt Larimore ’06 and Ricky Butenko ’06, also received All-America honors. They were named to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division III All-America Team. Both were selected as doubles players.


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© Scene 2005  •  Pacific Lutheran University  •  Fall 2005

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