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5/4/19 Boat Naming Ceremony

By Kirsten Albers & Aasheema Hudda, 05/19/19, 10:15AM EDT


In this 25th Anniversary Year of the program, CCCRC is honored to name 2 new 8s after two of the pivotal parents involved in the very inception of the program, Dan O’Donoghue (STA) and Brian Lockett (NCS).  Both men worked tirelessly to get the program going and both are thrilled to have boats named for them.   Here is a little about each of them:

Brian Lockett —

Here is a little excerpt from Brian Lockett’s daughter Alex, who was in the first NCS boat that amazingly went on to win at Stotesbury that first year.  Alex went on to row at Brown and is now an educator herself --

"My father was the biggest booster on the girls team in those early years.  He drove the shells to New Jersey to the Vespoli factory multiple times to get them fixed, he came to the boat house every day to help with any needs, he maintained the launches and worked with Thompson’s boat house to get us good shell storage, he worked with NCS to get access to their truck and advocated for our team needs. He was the go-to team parent for any issues.  I cannot even express how much this means to me, my father, and our family.  I burst into tears when my dad told me and it is clear that he was equally moved, as well.  There is something so powerful about recognition, especially for my father who made our family, and my educational experience, his priority over his career.  His presence and belief in me allowed me to feel secure enough to put myself out in the world in brave ways.  I am heartened to think of a boat full of young women who will be buoyed by his belief in them as well!  I’m not sure if my father mentioned, but I’m about to become the Head of Upper School at Crystal Springs Uplands School in Hillsborough.  My passion for education was born during my time at NCS and continues to this day.”

Dan O’Donoghue —

Dan O’Donoghue is well into his 80s and was pivotal in starting the crew teams (and also the hockey program at STA).  When Dan O'Donoghue became a St. Albans School parent in the Fall of 1988, he had no thoughts whatsoever about a Crew Team. Fast forward to the Summer of 1993, when his son, Graham, who had just finished Form II, asked his mother about signing up for a Crew program at Thompson's Boat Center. The dye was cast. In a matter of a week or two, Graham O'Donoghue fell in love with Crew, and the rest is history. Graham and another St. Albans student, Chuck Sturtevant, convinced Dan that St. Albans should found a Crew program and Dan said he would see what he could do. Following many conversations with the powers-that-be, and particularly the Athletic Department leaders, permission was granted for both St. Albans and NCS to develop a joint program ---- fully funded by the parents! Notices were posted on bulletin boards at the two schools asking for anyone interested in a Crew program to sign up. Enough students expressed interest and a meeting was called to talk about the prospective program. With a consensus in hand, Dan and other parents elected officers for the proposed Combined Cathedral Crews Rowing Club and documents were drawn up to found CCCRC. Dan proceeded to find secondhand shells from American University and to arrange rack storage at Thompson's. He hired our fabulous Ted Haley to coach the team, and CCCRC joined the Virginia Schools Crew Association. At that time, the Virginia Schools had a big program while D.C. and Maryland each had about one high school rowing team. Racing started in the Spring of the 1993-94 school year! 

Dan served on the CCCRC Board throughout the team's first four years, focusing on renting and purchasing boats, oars, and all the other requisite rowing team equipment needs. He even did this while his son spent a Spring term at a school in England. After Graham went on to row in college, Dan took up rowing at Thompson's and competed for two decades, rowing in 8's. 4's, Doubles, and a Single...everywhere from the Potomac to the Head of the Charles. He only hung up his oars a year ago.