The purpose of the PLU Athletics Hall of Fame is to honor and preserve the memory of those athletes, coaches, athletic staff members, and others who have contributed in a very outstanding and positive way to the promotion of the Pacific Lutheran University athletic program.
1994 Doug Herland, (Men’s Crew and Coach)
Doug Herland’s story is interesting not only from the perspective that he was an Olympic medalist, but that he also suffered from Osteogenesis Imperfecta, also known as brittle bones disease. Through courage and determination, he pursued his athletic interests at Pacific Lutheran, where he became a coxswain, and later, coach of the program. In 1984, he not only earned a spot on the United States Olympic team in his seventh try, he took home the Olympic bronze medal in the pairs with coxswain event at the Los Angeles Games. Herland’s interest in rowing continued after the Olympic Games. With grant money funded through the Department of Education, his “Rowing In the Mainstream” program became successful at the national level. Herland traveled across the country for clinics, teaching physically-challenged and able-bodied people to row and to set up their own rowing programs. Herland died on March 26, 1991, at the age of 39.
1999 David Peterson, (Crew, 1970-74 / Coach, 1975-85)
Dave Peterson had a significant impact on the Pacific Lutheran University crew program, first a crew team member and later as a coach. Peterson earned four varsity letters, was voted Commodore as a senior and was a member of the Varsity 8 that won the inaugural Head of the Lake 3-mile regatta, beating recent Pan Am Games bronze medal winning University of Washington. He went on to a distinguished post-collegiate racing career. Taking over as PLU coach in 1975, Peterson built the program into national recognition during his 11-year tenure. Several of his women’s crews won national gold and bronze medals, and a number of his rowers went on to become national caliber competitors after graduation from Pacific Lutheran. In Peterson’s final season as coach, Pacific Lutheran won three of the team’s six regular season regattas, six major trophies, four regional championships, two West Coach championship and one national title.
2003 Pam Knapp Black, (Women’s Crew, 1980-84)
Pam Knapp Black rowed for PLU for four years and went on to compete internationally. She was a team commodore (captain) as a junior and senior. She was the first rower in PLU history to win a gold medal at nationals, and won numerous races during her collegiate career. Academically, she was co-winner of the George Fisher Scholar-Athlete Award for Women in 1984. In 1983 she was invited to the pre-elite U.S. National Team. In 1986 she joined the U.S. National Rowing Team, which placed second in Women’s Pair at the Goodwill Games in Moscow and took ninth place at the Rowing World Championships in Nottingham, England. She competed in the U.S. Sports Festival Women’s Four in 1987 and in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in 1988, where her team took second place in Women’s Pair.
2005 Paulette Bergh, (Women’s Crew, 1977-80)
Paulette Bergh transferred to PLU as a sophomore and quickly became an integral part of the Lute crew team. She was a member of the Senior 4 squad which qualified for the national champion-ships three straight seasons, placing sixth in 1978 and fifth in 1980. Bergh and teammate Ruth Babcock won a bronze medal in the varsity pair at the national championships as seniors. Bergh lettered three times, and was a team captain and received the team’s Most Inspirational Award her senior year. Bergh continued her rowing career after graduating from PLU, and in 1983 along with Babcock and Pam Knapp Black won the Senior 4 at 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 1995 and Bergh was a member of the Elite 4 squad with won the Canadian Henley title in 1987. She 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).
2005 Ruth Babcock, (Women’s Crew, 1976-80)
Ruth Babcock was a four-year letterwinner for the Lutes. As a freshman she was a member of the Open 4 squad which finished second at the Northwest Regionals. The next three years she was part of the Senior 4 squad which qualified for the national championships all three seasons, placing sixth in 1978 and fifth in 1980. Babcock and Paulette Bergh also won a bronze medal in the varsity pair at the national championships as seniors. After graduating from PLU, she continued her rowing career. In 1983, Babcock, Bergh and Pam Knapp Black won the Senior 4 at the U.S. Nationals and the Canadian Henley. Babcock and Bergh 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 1995.
2013 Robynn Rockstad-Rex, (Rowing, 1984-87)
Robynn Rockstad-Rex, who started rowing while a first-year student at PLU in the 1983-84 school year, ended her career as a four-year letter winner, national champion and multiple-time regional champion. Perhaps no woman in PLU crew history enjoyed the level of success that she achieved. In her first season as a rower, Robynn earned a spot in the varsity lightweight 4 shell that placed fourth at the collegiate nationals. The following year, her sophomore season, Robynn earned numerous championships rowing for Pacific Lutheran lightweight and flyweight boats. The lightweight 4 won a gold medal at the West Coast Championship, also called the Western Sprint Regatta, and one month later at the Women’s Open Nationals on Seattle’s Green Lake, the flyweight 4 won a silver medal and the lightweight 4 placed fourth. At that same open championship event, Robynn teamed up with Trice Carlson to win the national title in flyweight pairs. They rowed the 1,000-meter course in a time of 4:19.79 to win by more than five seconds. Serving as team commodore (captain) in 1986, Robynn once again helped the lightweight 4 win at the West Coast Championships, and in 1987 she finished off her “three-peat” by pacing PLU’s lightweight 4 to its third consecutive West Coast Championships gold medal. That same year, Robynn and her lightweight 4 teammates placed fifth at the collegiate nationals. Following her collegiate career, Robynn competed for the Seattle Rowing Club and won a gold medal at the prestigious Canadian Henley Regatta in 1994.
2015 Elise Lindborg, (Rowing, 1981-85)
Elise Lindborg helped elevate the Pacific Lutheran women’s rowing program to some of its greatest heights in the early-1980s. Lindborg debuted in fall 1981 with a two-length Novice 4 victory over University of Washington, and that served as a sign of things to come over the next four years. Lindborg’s final three seasons featured top performances at both the regional and national levels, as her boats placed fifth in the Light 4 and sixth in both the Light Pair and Light 8 at the national championships in 1983 following first-place performances in both the Light Pair and Light 4 at the regional regatta. The 1984 season included a fourth-place finish in the Light 4 at the national championships, while the 1985 campaign saw regional titles in the Light Pair and Light 4 and a first-place performance at the West Coast Rowing Championships. Lindborg’s career tally surpassed 20 event victories, including historic wins in the Lamberth Cup and at regional regattas. Her association with rowing excellence extended beyond her graduation in 1985, as she coached for several years and worked for the United States Rowing Association and served as a team manager for the 1996 US Olympic Rowing Team. She was named PLU’s Distinguished Alumni in Athletics in 1996.