This oral history interview is a project of the Historical Committee of the Outrigger Canoe Club. The legal rights of this material remain with the Outrigger Canoe Club. Anyone wishing to reproduce it or quote at length from it should contact the Historical Committee of the Outrigger Canoe Club. The reader should be aware that an oral history document portrays information as recalled by the interviewee. Because of the spontaneous nature of this kind of document, it may contain statements and impressions that are not factual.
An Interview by Kelli A. McCormack
September 8, 1993
KAM: This is Wednesday, September 8, 1993. I’m Kelli McCormack (KAM), interviewing Diane Stowell (DMS) in the Boardroom at the Outrigger Canoe Club for the oral history program. Let’s start with your name, date of birth and address.
DMS: I’m Diane McLean Stowell and I was born April 27, 1934. My address at this point is 2424 Halelea Place in Honolulu, up in Manoa and I live next door to where I grew up except that the house is different. Ruined by termites.
DMS: Yes, on the same street, next door.
KAM: When did you move back there?
DMS: I moved back there when I moved back to Hawaii. I moved back on the Fourth of July, 1980. I‘d been away since 1955, except for summers.
KAM: This is kind of a full circle of your life. Where was your birth place?
DMS: I was born in San Francisco because my mother went up to help her dad who was dying, but I was back here when I was ten days old. I was an emergency. My parents live here, my dad was born here, and his dad was born here.
KAM: That’s interesting and I bet you’ve been explaining that story to lots of people your whole life.
DMS: What were you parent names?
DMS: My father’s name was Robert Jadwin McLean and my mom’s name is Muriel Elliot McLean and she’s presently living in Hale Ho Aloha, suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
KAM: Do you have brother and sisters?
DMS: I have one brother, eleven years my junior, who lives in Kula on Maui. He’s also a member of the Club. Bruno is his nickname, he’s James McLean.
KAM: Did you say that you mother and father were members of the Club too, or were you the first member of the Club?
DMS: I don’t really remember that… my Dad may have been a member before, I think he may have been, but at the time I became a member, they were very poor, so I got my own membership.
KAM: How did you go about getting your membership to the Club?
DMS: At that time, initiation fee was sixty dollars, and so I worked at Honolulu Seed Company, then I worked as a trimmer at Dole Pineapple. My father was at California Packing Corp. and he said, “You need to know what it’s like.” So I worked six weeks on the assembly line, picking eyes, trimming the eyes out of the pineapples and having to pick up every sixth pineapple. After I’d worked about six weeks, on the early shift, I had to quit because I had the acid rash all over me from the pineapples. But I had the experience, and that’s how I earned my money for the initiation fee.
KAM: How did you learn about the Club and get interested in it to start?
DMS: Well, as a teenager, a lot of my friends would go down to the Club … it was a place for us to go. And my boyfriend was a member of the Club. I would borrow a redwood tanker from a friend — it was in a surfboard locker at the Club. I was down there frequently, I would say. I knew people like Wally Young and Rudy Choy and sailed in their catamaran.
KAM: I was going to say, if you recall any of your friends’ names, or your boyfriend’s name, that you’d like to mention?
DMS: Well, one of my boy friends was Jack Mattice. And I was very good friends with the Auerbachs, Hank and Mark, and Paul Dolan. Those were some of my old friends. I would come down also to watch the volleyball, which was always good. Tommy Haine was a good friend also.
KAM: Now what year was this, Diane?
DMS: This was the early fifties. I came down in fifty-one and fifty-two and I think I got my membership the next year.
KAM: In 1953?
KAM: Now tell me about the redwood tanker again.
DMS: Well, I could hardly lift it. It belonged to a friend of mine, Doug Ackerman, and I’d pull it down … I could hardly carry it. To this day, I don’t know how I got on the board to surf because the board I have now is wonderful … light, easy to maneuver. I used to tandem with Paul Dolan and that was fun because I didn’t have to do all the work myself. And I can remember getting really smashed up. It was first break out there and I think my last surfing day, the day another board hit me in the leg and I had a huge hematoma that had to be drained several times. In fact, I could hardly walk for days.
KAM: But actually, you did ride some of the waves on your own, right?
DMS: Oh, yes!
KAM: But you can’t believe you did it.
DMS: No, I can’t believe I did it because my son gave me a long board for my birthday this April. Now it’s like I’m a beginner and I’m starting all over but its lots of fun.
KAM: Which surf break was this that you’d got out to?
DMS: Oh, we were out at Canoe, and we were out at Pops… mostly those two … and Queen’s.
KAM: and this was when the Club was at the old site?
KAM: Tell me about that. What was that like? Was it very different from the present Club?
DMS: Oh, yes! Because we had grass around… you could sit on the grass and watch the volleyball. And Kalakaua wasn’t as busy then. We had a funny little guy named Sunshine who used to park the cars in the parking lot which was where the International Market Place is now. The Uluniu Swim Club, which was for ladies only, was right next door, and my mom use to go there quite a bit. I wasn’t involved in cliques, but seemed to enjoy coming to the Club because my friends were there, so that’s why I was down there.
KAM: Were there lots of tourists around then, because it was right smack in the middle of Waikiki?
DMS: Well. It was sort of like we owned the beach, because the canoes were in front of the Club and so we hung around there and the tourists really didn’t bother us much. It was later on that tourism got so much bigger, because at that time, there were only three hotels, the Moana, The Royal and the Halekulani.
KAM: You though you ruled the beach?
KAM: So what about the change in the atmosphere from that Club to this one? Was it just drastic?
DMS: Well, I spent a lot of time on the Mainland and the only time I came home was during the summer and so when I moved back in 1980, I thought the Club was bigger and felt there were a lot of people I didn’t know but it was like coming home because at least I had a place that I could come … that I felt comfortable… that I could bring visitors for dinner and offer guest memberships. Then what really threw me was in ’83 or ’84 I had a phone call. Would I please come and paddle? I had never paddled because I was a swimmer and they wouldn’t let us do other sports. So I’d never paddled… so it was very exciting to me. Even though it was on a master’s crew, it was really fun.
KAM: I want to come down to … I don’t want to forget… a little bit more about the volleyball. You said those were really exciting… like Tommy Haine playing?
DMS: Yes, because Bobby Daniels was playing, Jack Mattice was playing. The Auerbachs were playing and you could sit right there. Now, you have to go up to the volleyball courts. But coming through the volleyball courts, but coming through the sidewalk from the front office, the volleyball was on the right and there was a snack bar with a funny little waiter called Richard who used to talk about his sword dancing. He was gay, and he was just a riot. We’d listen to him for entertainment. The Hau Terrace was on the right and then on the left hand side as you walked in was this grass area and we’d sit there and watch the volleyball. It was really nice and the surf board lockers were behind that and you could walk out to the beach. George Downing and company would be working on the canoes, surfboards and stuff underneath, in the shady part.
KAM: So do the volleyball stars of today … do they seem so different from how it was back then?
DMS: Well, we still watch some of the same people … not move as fast… but I’ve always liked to watch volleyball, so I would say the players of today are quicker and probably, maybe in a little better shape than they used to be because of the pressure to stay in condition.
KAM: Did your father spend a lot of time at the Club?
DMS: Oh, I know he was down at the Club. He was a friend of the Duke’s. And he was a swimmer also. A swimmer and a fisherman, he used to swim against John Weissmuller.
KAM: Did he have some great stories?
DMS: Yes. And he lived for fishing. He watched the area go from wonderful fishing grounds to areas that were just fished out. His last ten years he probably didn’t do any free diving. He did all of his fishing from the boat. He went everywhere with Harry Steiner and Lester Marks on the boat they shared.
KAM: Of all of the things you’ve heard about the Duke, what was he like?
DMS: He was a friendly, aloha man. My dad talked about him as having fun with him when they surfed and swam together. He always wanted to do something in the water. My dad was that way too. He lived for the water.
KAM: And you’re that way too.
DMS: Yes. My house décor is fish, plus I have large pillow fish hanging from my bedroom ceiling.
KAM: Do you have any children?
DMS: Yes I do. I have a 37 year old daughter who just became a member this July. She’s in nursing school.
KAM: What’s her name?
DMS: Denise Beaumont. And my son is Dean Stowell. And he’s also a member. He’s been a member since he was twelve. And they’re both living in Hawaii.
KAM: And are they super athletic too?
DMS: My daughter Denise could be, and was at one time, but right now she’s in school full time and hasn’t done much in athletics for the last ten years. She may do more when she gets through school. She has a son, my grandson who’s ten. His name is Aka Beaumont. His grandfather is John Beaumont, who also belongs to the Club. My son is 25… He’s down here almost every day.
KAM: Does he paddle?
DMS: No, he works out and he’s done the kayak race, Molokai to Oahu. We have a boat so he does a lot of escorting for the paddlers. And he has paddled but he has not paddled for quite awhile.
KAM: Do you have a spouse?
KAM: And your occupation?
DMS: That’s a good question. I do private psychotherapy on the side. I teach at Punahou. I teach honors chemistry and psychology, advanced placement.
KAM: In high school?
DMS: In high school. Yes. I often teach summer school. Seminars at the University of Hawaii. Sometimes I travel as a consultant. I do volunteer work. I’m a mediator for the Neighborhood Justice Center and I mediate mostly domestic violence cases. Not very rewarding, but in a sense it’s very good for me because I have an opportunity to see a different side of life. It’s really different! People come from all walks of life, upper echelon to the lowest.
KAM: So it makes you feel more privileged?
DMS: Yes. Because it gives me a taste of some of that… how they live, and how they operate, when they’re trying to communicate with one another. It’s scary, because you see the multi-cultural situation in terms of physical violence, which is accepted in certain cultures.
KAM: Okay now, let’s get to the sports stuff. One thing I read in here that I thought was kind of funny… is that it sounded like you kind of fell into your first biathlon. Is that right?
DMS: I did. Yes. I came here. I left my husband in 1980 and I moved here as a runner. I had not been swimming since high school, basically, except for a little professional synchronized swimming. I started running in 1978. My husband and I weren’t getting along and I needed to get my head back on my shoulders and so I started running. I would do a 10K or a 15K or a half marathon every week. When I moved here in 1980, I thought, well, I’ll enter a race or two and I won, and so I continued with the racing and biathlon came up and somebody said “Why don’t you do it”. And so I said, “Okay, but I’m not in swimming shape, but I’m in running shape.” But since my cardiovascular system was so good, I had a little trouble speed-wise, but other than that, in terms of swimming, it wasn’t bad. And I did well and I won it. I won my age division, so that turned me on and that led to other biathlons. And after I got into biathlons, I enjoyed swimming. So then I started swimming. And In 1983, I think it was the first time I went to the Masters’ Nationals. And since then I’ve gone when I could get away. I thought it was extremely fun…. The camaraderie and the team help was just wonderful. There’s between 1,500 and 2,000 participants.
KAM: One of the things about your achievements that I was reading is that they say, for your age, they just can’t figure out why you haven’t peaked yet… because you win everything.
DMS: That’s true. I think that in high school I had ability or capability, to do a lot more than I did, but at that time, when I got out of high school, you didn’t think, you just went to college because you needed an education and I don’t think I ever thought about anything else. We used to go water skiing and we’d go snow skiing. I had no trouble. My coordination was very good, and so I was always good at sports, but in ’78 when I started running, I realized that, wow! Maybe I am pretty good so maybe I ought to try some more things so then I got back and started playing tennis and ….
KAM: It sound like you used sports as sort of your own personal therapy.
DMS: Oh, you bet! And I have used it in psychotherapy to help others, in weight loss, and to help people who are very stressed and depressed. It’s been really good.
KAM: Now, did I read that swimming is really your biggest love of all of them?
DMS: Well, shall we say it’s the easiest. After awhile you hurt running, no matter how long you’ve run. It gets to the point where sometimes it’s painful and swimming is the easiest, but now that I’ve discovered surfing, I’m really enjoying that.
KAM: So sometimes you spend more time with one sport?
DMS: No, I swim every day. Once in awhile I miss a day. I run almost every other day. Now I like to surf a couple times a week but that’s just fit in with the rest of the stuff. I don’t get to the weight room like I’d like to because there’s not enough time in the day. And I also scuba dive, that’s really fun too.
KAM: Anything else? Bungy jumping?
DMS: No thank you. No, I do volunteer work for Punahou as a camp leader in their peer counselling camp program which is kind of like “Outward Bound”.
KAM: So you’re just going to continue on in terms of biathlons and triathlons and ….
DMS: Probably not as many triathlons because it’s too scary on Oahu. On a bike I get psyched out very easily. I’ve been hit once and I don’t want the experience again and a lot of my friends have been hurt on their bikes, biking for fun, okay. You have to do it either early in the morning or late in the evening on the weekends since our road are not good. The other Islands are better.
KAM: Tell me more about paddling. I was reading that you just love the crew that you paddle with.
DMS: It’s wonderful! The camaraderie! I’ve paddled nine years now and eight out of those nine years we won the State Championship. You know you’re going out for a workout and you come back an hour later, if you’re doing a short distance, and you just feel so good! It’s really great! The endorphins get going.
KAM: And it’s been the same crew for all of these years?
DMS: Almost. A couple of changes but I think the first five years there was no change. And after that one or two people dropped out because of other obligations and so forth.
KAM: So you must have become pretty good friends over the years?
DMS: Yes, I’d say so. Not always socializing a whole lot with all of them but they are friends that you can call upon.
KAM: You might want to mention some of their names.
DMS: Well, I’ve been padding every year with Keanuenue Rochlen, and every year with Gerri Pedesky, and Marilyn Haine was with us for six or seven years, which was wonderful. And Ruby Ifversen was with us for about seven years. Peggy Danford’s been with us for at least five or six years. We had Ululani Davis Friese. She paddled with us for the first few years until she developed a middle ear problem and couldn’t stay with us. Doc Bintliff’s been with us on and off, depending on her work schedule, and just the last couple of years we’ve had Patty Mowat join us, which has been really neat.
KAM: Have you ever gotten in any really tight situations out there or had any funny things happen, as a crew.
DMS: Yes! We did. We had Gerry DeBenedetti with us the first or second year and we were practicing on the Ala Wai. And I don’t know what happened but we hulied down by the library. And if you think that six women can walk on water, they can! That was the first time I’d ever hulied…. I’ve hulied once since then … but that first time was unbelievable. It happened so fast that nobody even knew what happened.
KAM: So you didn’t even get a chance to look at how murky the water was?
DMS: Listen, we were out of there so fast. The water was terrible. The other time we hulied, was when … and it may have been Kehau Kea who was with us, because often she would come and paddle with us as a steersperson because she enjoyed it too. And we’d paddle out in the ocean… we’d go on the inside, just outside the Natatorium, and go all the way down to Fort De Russy and paddle back. One day we were on our way back from Fort De Russy and we weren’t looking and a little wave broke right over us and we flipped. We just went right down and of course we were laughing … we were in hysterics. It was so shallow that we could stand up there. We had a few mishaps like that. But one of the things we used to like to do was, after the season was over, we would like to paddle in the mornings. If we could, we would go over to Canoes and catch some waves and we had some interesting experiences over there. Usually Kehau steers. I can remember going out on one of our practice days and I think the waves were four feet in the channel and we were going out between the sets, hurrying as fast as we could to get out there and I was in seat one and I was thrown at least six feet in the air. The next day I had bruises all over me. I’ve never flown that high in my life, and I still think back on it and I just … I wouldn’t have changed it because it was such an exciting experience. We went over the top of the wave and as we came down, I went flying up in the air. You see, the boat hits the bottom, we all did. It’s just that I’m in the front so I went the farthest. I went flying. Everyone else was thrown out of their seat. I’ve never experienced anything like that before in my life! That was the highest I’ve ever gone. We’ve swamped… we’ve done all kinds of things, but that was ….
What we’ve tried to do is to keep our paddling up after the season’s over. And we paddle twice a week, either in the evening or in the morning the rest of the year. It’s exhilarating being out there, with the dolphins joining us. And turtles! And picking up garbage in the water, and passing some of the big boats that don’t see us. We did have a wonderful experience one morning. We were out paddling and a mother whale and her baby were out by the Diamond Head buoy and I could have reached my right hand down and touched them. You could see the barnacles on the whale. And then we just got a little disturbed that we were too close because the mother was protecting the baby and so we moved away, it was just unreal, it happened two or three years ago.
KAM: So is your favorite race the Molokai race?
DMS: I think Dad Center would be my favorite race because it’s so beautiful and you’re not so far from the Island and you can see everything as you’re moving around it… just to be outside of your own island. In the Molokai Race, you have a lot of open water. But in the Dad Center Race, the water changes from the time you’re in Kailua, and when you arrive in front of Makapu’u it’s different, and then in front of Portlock it’s different, in front of Kahala and over by Black Point, it changes all the time so it’s a real experience. I’d say that’s my favorite race. Kona is fun and the water is beautiful, but in terms of excitement, I’d have to say Dad Center.
KAM: Tell me about getting the Winged “O” Award.
DMS: When I went to accept it, it was such a shock. I didn’t think a female would ever be brought in. I’m still absolutely amazed and I’m hoping that we’ll soon get another woman.
KAM: It’s been a while, right.
DMS: Yes, but part of it… we’re supposed to have a meeting but it’d so difficult during paddling season because you’ve got some of the men who are on paddling teams and they’re not available to come to meetings and you want everybody to come so we probably won’t have our meeting until October sometime.
KAM: Why such a shock that a woman would be … Because this is a Club noted for their male chauvinistic athletic prowess…whatever you want to say … it’s getting better all the time and having served on the Board, I feel it’s certainly not like it used to be and that women are finally appreciated and accepted
KAM: Any other awards that you’ve gotten at the Club.
DMS: I’ve received plaques. I’ve been recognized nationally for holding records … that you’re on the scholarship committee. Well, I’m coordinating director for the ODKF, the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation, for the scholarship committee and before I was put on the Board, I was the Chair of the committee for four or five years. And it’s extremely rewarding to screen the applicants and then to work with a committee. We don’t use names, but we discuss the qualifications and decide who’s going to be nominated to the Board for the scholarships. It’s wonderful! And because of that experience I’m now on two other committees. One is Pa’ani, which is for Punahou, and it’s for women scholars, to try to help with scholarship funds for them and then I’m also on a UCLA alumni committee for scholarships.
KAM: There’s your new occupation. I just wanted to give you an opportunity, if there were any other committee that you were part of at the Club that you remember, that you enjoyed…
DMS: I did enjoy the House Committee. And I enjoyed my six years on the Board and being Coordinating Director of Athletics. I really liked that! Public relations was interesting, and being on an athletic committee was always fun because the people were always enthusiastic. Everything you do at the Club is voluntary so getting the people to do things and be responsible; you end up doing a lot yourself. But that’s typical of a volunteer organization. I guess one of the things I really feel good about is the 25th Anniversary of the Club (at the new site ) and I feel that we had a great day, and planned well. And the other thing that I felt was very good about was our 50th Anniversary for the Macfarlane Regatta. I worked very hard on that committee and it ran smoothly on Fourth of July, with an eye to improving our public image, which was really letting the other clubs look at us and say, “Wow, look what they’re doing! They’re really doing stuff for us”! We gave prizes for every event and we’d pick a seat in the canoe and give them a prize. For every race we gave them something, and I think that really, brought us up a notch, because people are always wanting to beat the Outrigger. And they think we look down our noses on them, which is not true, but that’s part of the outside looking in.
KAM: How do you think we got that reputation?
DMS: Well, because we do have some people who are very cocky and haole. And it’s part of the Club. But it isn’t the whole face of the Club. We have lots of humble and very, very good athletes who don’t do that at all, but we do have some. But that’s true of lots of clubs.
KAM: And I guess because we’re a private club, that’s wealthy, compared to the other canoe clubs, there’s that stereotype. How does it feel to win the Molokai Race?
DMS: One of the reasons that it’s always so exciting to win a Molokai race, or any long distance race, it that only members of the Outrigger Canoe Club can participate (on OCC teams) so when offshore, or some of the other clubs come here, they collect people to do their race from all over the United States. And so if they win, they have an advantage because they’ve been able to pick from anywhere, but we have picked just from our Club. So when we win, it’s an extra special feeling.
KAM: Any other interesting things that have happened with canoe racing? Have you noticed how it’s changed?
DMS: Well, it’s an all-day affair, number one. Number two, what’s nice to see is so many of the paddlers bring their children. And we seem to have a new crop of youngsters now, babies everywhere!
KAM: How do you feel about the future of water sports in Hawaii?
DMS: I think that our islands should be the athletic complex of the world, we have the year round temperature and climate for all kinds of sports… water sports as well as other sports.
KAM: I think that would be a great way to diversify the economy.
DMS: Yes! And help the tourist trade. Hawaii is not for winter sports, but everything else, whether it’s rowing, kayaking, running, track, everything! We could have everything here! America’s Cup… all of them.
KAM: Do you see any contemporary problems at the Club?
DMS: Oh, yes! I think that the kitchen has not changed. You have to consider, we’ve done a lot, like the no smoking policy, but the other thing we need to do it to start thinking about the fact that a lot of people now who are vegetarians. And they cannot come to the Club and eat a dinner here. The pasta salad has salami in it and almost everything has some meat in it. We do have people who are getting more and more health conscious here and we have to make available a variety of things on the menu, not just one thing.
KAM: I agree.
DMS: My son’s a vegetarian now. I almost am, but I do eat some white meat chicken.
KAM: Were you happy to see the smoking ban?
DMS: Oh yes! Yes! I was involved in that. Very definitely.
KAM: For health reasons?
DMS: Yes! Why should you have an athletic club with smoke around? Absolutely no reason for it!
KAM: Any other personal experiences that you want to share about your years at the Club? How it’s added a dimension to your life?
DMS: Well, I’d have to say it’s been a life saver since I came back in 1980. No husband, and I came back with a son, and didn’t know what I was going to do. It was not only a home, but it was just a familiar place to be and a place for me to bring my son … we’d been on the mainland for a long time… and he was in seventh grade and he needed some kind of identity and some kind of anchorage and so this was really good. And that’s when he became a member. It helped both of us. So it was like coming to a new land and this was kind of like an anchor for me.
KAM: I’m sure you’ll always be an active member of the Club.
DMS: I hope so. I’m glad I got off the Board this March … it’s been a real relief not to have to do all that. I mean, it was very rewarding and very good for me but it was also very tiring because of all the other things… to put in another extra, maybe another twenty hours a month on the Board. And the executive committee, it gets very time consuming, very worthwhile, but very nice when the end of the six years was up.
KAM: Any other interesting events or anecdotes from the past. Remember when I wrote you earlier in summer, you may have thought of something but you’re so busy.
DMS: Yes, I go to all these different events and the Maui Channel (Swim) is this weekend and I’m in the Rough Water (Swim) and I just think about them and I’m going to write them down, and then I forget.
KAM: Well, I think you’ve mentioned a lot of very important things and given us a very good perspective from the woman’s point of view. Thank you so much it’s been a pleasure talking to you.
Punahou – 1952
UCLA – B.A 1956
University of Redlands – Masters 1966
California State University at Fullerton – Psychologist 1978
1953 – Present Member – Outrigger Canoe Club
1981 – Present Member – Daughters of Hawaii
1984 – 1987 Director – Waikiki Swim Club
1986 – Present Director – Outrigger Canoe Club
1988 – Present Chair – ODKF – Scholarship Committee
1988 Senior Female Athlete of the Year – Honolulu Quarterback Club
1989 Senior Female Athlete of the Year – Honolulu Quarterback club
1990 Top Ten Athlete of the Decade – Honolulu Advertiser
1984 Hawaii State Runner of the Year 50-54 age group
1990 Hawaii State Female Runner of the Year.
Aloha Run (8.7 miles)
1st Age Group – 1985 & 1987
Bedland Bosssetti 10K
1st Age Group – 1986
Diamond Head 5 mile
Record Age Group – 1986
Diet Pepsi 10K
1st Age Group 1985 & 1986
HonSport 30/30 (30K)
1st Age Group 1980
1st Age Group – 1986
Pearl Harbour Bike Path 5 Mile
1st Age Group – 1984
Windward Half Marathon
1st Age Group – 1981, 1985 & 1986
1st Age Group – 1985 & 1986
RUNNING – COUPLES
Champagne & Chocolates (10K)
1st Age Group – 1985, 1986, 1987 & 1988
Pre- Honolulu Marathon Couples Duet (5 miles)
1st Age Group – 1986, 1988 & 1989
RUNNING – RELAYS
Arizona Memorial Relays (30 miles)
1st Women’s – 1982
HonSport 30/30 Relays (30K)
1st Masters – 1982
Perimeter Relays (Around Oahu)
1st Masters Women – 1983
57 Mile Schofield Relay
1st Masters – 1984
RUNNING – CALIFORNIA
Around the Bay in May (10 miles)
1st Age Group – 1977, 1978 & 1979
Azusa 10 Miles
1st Age Group – 1979
1st Age Group – 1979
Loma Linda ½ Marathon
1st Age Group – 1978
Mt. SAC ½ Marathon
1st Age Group – 1980
West Covina 10K
1st Age Group – 1979 & 1980
Dash & Splash (800 meter swim, 2.8 mile run)
1st Age Group – 1988 & 1989
Double Biathlon (2 x 1 km swim, 2 mile run)
Elite – 1986
Magic Island (2.6 mile run, 800 meter swim)
1st Age Group – 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986 & 1988
Queen’s (2, .6 miles run, 800 meter swim)
Elite – 1985 & 1986 1st Age Group – 1988
Strongman (2 km swim, 10 km run)
1st Age Group – 1988, 1989 & 1990
Tinman (800 meter swim, 2.6 mile run)
1st Age Group – 1986, 1987, 1988 & 1990
Windward (800 meter swim, 2.7 mile run)
Elite – 1985, 1986, 1987, 1st Age Group – 1988
Outrigger (1 mile swim, 10 mile bike, 5 mile run
2nd overall Women – 1986
Tinman (800 meter swim, 25 mile bike, 10k run
1st Age Group – 1981, 1982, 2nd 1983
Team Kailua (1 km swim, 15 mile bike, 5 mile run)
1st Masters Women – 1987
Punahou Swim Team – 1949 – 1952
US Masters Swimming (Pool)
Holder of two National Age Group Records
Ten time National Champion
Nationally Ranked in Top Ten 35 times
Holder of 94 Hawaii State Age Group Records
1989 All American – Short Course
1988 All American – Long course
1987 National Hour Swim – 2nd Age Group
Open Ocean Swimming
Auau Channel – 1987 – Lanai to Maui Solo Swim (12 miles)
Waikiki Roughwater Swim (2.4 miles)
1st Age Group – 1981-1983, 1985, 2nd 1984
Looong Distance Swim (7km)
1st Age Group – 1981-1989
Top 10 Female – 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988 & 1989
Maui Channel Swims (9 mile-Relay)
2nd Women’s Open Team – 1983
2nd Mixed Team – 1984
2nd Makule Team (over 40) – 1985
2nd Sr. Makule Team (over 59) – 1988
1st Sr. Makule Team – 1989
Bay to Lani’s Ocean Swim (2.3 miles)
1st Age Group – 1987
Castle Swim (1.7 miles)
Elite Women – 1981, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988 & 1989
Kailua Popoi’a Swim (1.7 miles)
2nd overall – 1988, 1st Age Group – 1986 – 1989
Makapuu Blue Water Classic (1.5 miles)
3rd overall Women – 1987, 1st Age Group – 1985-1986
North Shore Challenge (2.5 miles)
1st Age Group – 1984, 1985, 1987 & 1988
Outrigger Invitational (1.5 miles)
Elite & 1st Age Group – 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988 & 1989
Turkey Swim (2km)
1st Age Group – 1987, 1988 & 1989
Five Time Hawaii State Champion – Sr. Women Masters (1985 – 1989)
Claremont A League – 2nd Singles 1977
Claremont A League – 1st Doubles 1977
Outrigger Tournament – Doubles 1981
Punahou Round Robin Tournaments – 1988, 1989 & 1990
OUTRIGGER CANOE CLUB COMMITTEES
Athletics – Coordinating Director 1988
House – Coordinating Director 1989
Public Relations – Coordinating Director 1987, member 1986
Triathlon – Chairman 1986
10 endure a trying decade
As we begin the ’90s, it appears that there are more people running, swimming cycling, racewalking and participating in biathlons and triathlons than ever before, the‘80s are too far behind us, we want to recognize the outstanding performances in the endurance sports during the decade. After feeding it much data, we asked our rusty computer to crank out the Top 10 endurance athletes of the decade.
Factored into the criteria was longevity, that is, the longer the person performed at the top over the decade, the higher he or she scored. We attempted to put the athletes from the several sports on equal footing while also factoring in all 11 percent gender differential to allow men and women to be graded equally. Here are our endurance sports “All Stars” for the 1980s in order of finish:
10. Diane Stowell (Swimming).
This spot was reserved for the top age-class competitor of the decade. As mentioned in an Advertiser story about her last May, Stowell, 55, may be year for year and gender vs. gender the best all-around athlete in Hawaii. She has so numerous age-division records in the pool, has won several national titles, and is a frequent winner in ocean swims. On top that, she is one of the best age-class runners in the State and a frequent winner in biathlons and triathlons, there were many other outstanding endurance athletes during the ‘80s, Farley Simon, Chip Pierce, Candy Weise, Rachel Portner Mike Mcmanon, Whit Raymond, Cheryl Brady, Sally Law, Eve DeCoursey, Nancy Allen, GarFanelli, Steve Littleton, June Ford, Deb Robinson, Steve Delacruz, to name just a few but our 10 “All-Stars” for the ‘80s endured the best for the longest.
S/B JUNE 21, 1989
Growing Older, fitter
Athletes past age 40 are supposed to accept aging gracefully that is adjusting to a slower race pace with more frequent aches and pains. But no one told Diane Stowell of Manoa Valley. At 55, last year’s Quarterback Club Senior Athlete of the Year is swimming, running, paddling and playing tennis better than she did as a Punahou School student some 40 years earlier. “I don’t recall my high school swim times”, the Hawaii born Stowell said, “but I’m certain that I’m swimming faster now than ever before.” The Punahou chemistry and psychology teacher is Hawaii’s fastest wahine masters (45 and up) swimmers. “The thing that most people do not under is why I haven’t peaked” the 5-foot-8, 125-pound athlete said, Stowell currently hold all Hawaii (45 and up) swim records plus two national marks (55-59 breaststroke). Long before cross-training became the catch word of the ‘80s, Stowell, then living in Southern California, was running, cycling, synchronized swimming and skiing on both snow and water. “I loved all sports. And I never knew about cross-training.” She said. Upon moving back to Hawaii in 1980, Stowell quickly proved herself a winning age-group runner. Then she heard about Magic Island’s run-swim biathlon. “I thought, “Why not give it a try” Stowell won her age-group in that first biathlon … and every run-swim event since. “I didn’t know masters swimming existing back then until one day friends suggested I join them at the pool.” She recalled. Stowell rediscovered lap swimming with zest and now sweeps her local age-division regardless of the stroke. “The freestyle is my best stroke then the breast, back and fly,” she said. Stowell swims pool laps for serious training ocean swims to relax and runs each morning to gather her thoughts and to exercise Kula, her dog. “I play tennis doubles and canoe paddle mostly for active social fund, she said. Stowell paddles on Outrigger Canoe Club’s wining Senior Women’s master crew. An excellent upper-body exercise,” she said of canoe paddling. Stowell bikes to and from her workout/ practice site. Her schedule is flexible, training distance and intensity depends on upcoming events.
Day Morning Afternoons
Mon. Pool swim 2,500-meters Paddling Practice
Tue. 4-5 mile run: 2 m. ocean swim Tennis
Wed. Pool Swim, 2,500-meters Paddling practice
Thur. 4-5 mile run, 2m, ocean swim Tennis
Fri. Pool swim, 2,500-meters Paddling practice
Sat. 4-5 mile run. 2m ocean swim Body surfing
Sun. 4-5 mile run, or swim meet biathlon or regatta
Jack Wyatt, special to the Star-Bulletin
The Honolulu Advertiser Aerobic Sports Journal
Stowell giving her best to be Hawaii’s best
The late Sugar Ray Robinson was often referred to as, pound for pound the greatest boxer of all time. Applying that same kind of equalizing to the local sports scene, 55-year old Diane Stowell might be year for year and gender vs. gender, the best all-round athlete in Hawaii. University of Hawaii cross-country coach Johnny Faerber won’t disagree. In a run-swim biathlon relay early this year Faerber was given a two minute lead on Stowell as he entered the water for the half-mile swim to the finish. Although his primary sport is running Faerber is a strong swimmer, still. Stowell overtook him and two other male swimmers in her masters division for a fairly easy victory. Faerber shook his head in disbelief after finishing. Last weekend, Stowell won the 50-59 division of the Blue Water Classic Rough water swim at Makapuu Beach on Saturday and set state age-division records for the 50-yard freestyles and 100 yard individual medley at the Duke Kahanamoku pool on Sunday. Today she is finishing three days of competition at the short-course national masters’ championships in Boca Raton, Fla. She was entered in the 200 and 1500 freestyle the 100 and 200 breaststroke, and the 100 individual medley events. Although she did not compete in the nationals last year or in 1987, Stowell won national championships in 1985 and 1986.
In addition to being a nationally ranked swimmer, Stowell is one of the best over – 50 runners in Hawaii, having held the 50-54 record at eight kilometres and a member of the Outrigger Canoe Club paddling crew that has won the women’s senior title the past four years. “I would get so bored if I only did one sport, “Stowell, before leaving for Florida, “I really believe in cross-training and I try to stay in shape for anything that comes along, I really love biathlon. Stowell was a successful triathlete until a few years ago, but decided to give up biking after being injured in a collision with a car. “Tri’s used to be my joy.” She said, but it’s just too hazardous riding around here. I decided it wasn’t worth the risk”.
Employed as a chemistry and psychology teacher at Punahou, as well as being a consulting psychologist for the Claremont Unified School District in California, Stowell still finds time to train daily. She averages 12.00 yards of swimming and 20 miles of running a week while also paddling three times a week. “Every now and then I have to stop and think about my priorities, but somehow I manage to balance thing pretty well,” She said, laughing.
A 1952 graduate of Punahou, Stowell swam for the varsity in high school. She doesn’t recall her high school times, but she is certain that she is certain that she is swimming faster now. “The pools are different and I’m training a lot more,” she explained. In high school, my training was about 20 laps and that was it”. At Mills College and UCLA, Stowell did not race, although she did perform in synchronized swimming events. I didn’t begin competing again until 1976. When I took up running.” She said. “My husband and I weren’t getting along and I was working two jobs. Running pretty much became my salvation.” After moving back to Hawaii in 1980, Stowell began to establish herself as one of the best masters’ runners in the state. She returned to swimming in 1883 in preparation for a triathlon. Last year, she was selected as senior athlete of the year the Quarterback Club. Stowell plans to run the Hawaiian style 8-K next Sunday. “There are so many things I want to do but only so many hours in the day to train for them,” she said.
OCEAN SPORTS JOURNAL
Stowell mastered sport in short time
By Carol Hogan
Special to the Advertiser
Psychologist Diane Stowell, one of Hawaii’s best swimmers in the age 50-54 division, didn’t begin swimming competitively until five years ago. Stowell‘s sport, when she arrive in Honolulu in 1980 was running. She said she didn’t start swimming until she was coaxed into entering a biathlon in 1982. Since then, she’s entered and won the masters divisions of the every major swimming competition in the state. I don’t just swim though, said Stowell, 53, a chemistry/psychology teacher at Punahou School “I run ride a bike and I’ve entered every biathlon (and some triathlons) on Oahu.” She’s also a member of the Outrigger Canoe Club’s Senior Master Women’s team, which won last month’s state championships. Last week, Stowell completed her first certified channel swim from Lanai to Maui,. The Hawaiian Channel’s Swimming Association certified Stowell’s group as the first to cross a Hawaiian Channel. Stowell, believe to be the oldest swimmer to make the nine-mile crossing, was the only woman in the group of 12 swimmers. Her time was five hours. 34 minutes, 46 seconds. “After I did the channel two weeks ago, I’m not motivated to swim (right now),” Stowell said. But on Saturday the annual Mai Channel Relays take place (nine miles from Hale Palaoa Beach on Lanai to Lahaina Maui), followed on Labour Day by the 2.4 mile Waikiki Rough Water Swim, “Oh yes” Stowell sighed when asked if she was entering. “But it’s possible I won’t be first in my division this year because Dawn Fraser (from the Mainland) will be here.” Stowell also competes in, and wins, national pool competitions. She doesn’t hold any records at this time, but because of her ability, contemporaries predict she’ll soon be setting age group record in the pool. “When I first moved here I hadn’t competed in a pool since high school,” Stowell said. In college, she did some synchronized swimming and later directed a troupe and swam with actress Esther Williams. “Jim Welch encourages me to swim but from 1976 to ’80 I was just a runner,” she said, “Jim talked me into entering the Mid-Pacific, Waikiki Swim Club Biathlon. I won my age group and that’s when I thought maybe I should start swimming again.” Despite a full-time teaching position, teaching classes at foreign colleges during the summer, a marriage consultancy and part-time practice in California, Stowell still manages to train early in the morning almost every day. She encourages others to swim, too, and offer this advice for first-time Waikiki Rough Water Swim entrants. “At the start, try to stay out of people’s way for the first several hundred meters even if it means waiting a few minutes after the start. Otherwise, it’s arms and feet hitting you and your goggles getting knocked off. “Swim from flag to flag (along the course). If you do that instead of swimming too far inside or outside, it lines you up with the 13th buoy, the one you turn to enter the channel to the finish.” There are approximately 1,100 entries already signed up for the Waikiki Rough Water Swim and late registration will be held at the Kapiolani Park Bandstand on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. the race begins at Sans Souci Beach in Waikiki and finishes at the Duke Kahanamoku Beach in from of the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
Continuing the competitive spirit
Stowell gains recognition as an athlete
By Diana Turney
Diane Stowell, a teacher of chemistry and psychology at Punahou has been named one of Hawaii’s ten best athletes of the decade, according to the Honolulu Advertiser. She competes in triathlon, biathlons and ocean swims. She prefers running and swimming to cycling, though, because while she was training for the cycling portion of her fourth triathlon she was hit by car. Stowell first started competing in sports in 1978. While she was living in California she was an assistant principal at a high school, and she also owned a pre-school. She began running as an outlet to relieve stress and to relax. A friend got her to run a 10K race and to Stowell’s surprise she won. In 1982, when she had returned to Hawaii she competed and did well in her first biathlon. Her athletic winnings and accomplishments have steadily continued since then. As a Punahou graduate she started her swimming career on the Punahou swim team. Throughout her life Stowell has set many records in her age division and won many national titles in swimming. Stowell explained that she never set out with the specific intention of winning, “it just happened”. Stowell says that she has become more “picky and choosy” since she has started winning. She no longer feels it is necessary for her to compete in one to two races a week to remain a top athlete. She adds that she now feels she has more time to do other things she enjoys like paddling for the Outrigger Canoe Club, playing tennis, hiking and scuba diving. Stowell explains the reasons she continues to compete are not just because she finds it satisfying to win but also because she says she feels good being in shape has almost become an addiction. Stowell explained. She works out at least once every day. When asked if she plans to stop competing in her near future, Stowell replied, Stowell replied, “Heavens no!” Stowell lists companionship as another reason she enjoys competing. She says although running and swimming are very competitive individual sports she has made many friends because she has come to know many people involved in the sports. Time management, is the advice Stowell offers to students trying to balance school and sports. Every morning she organizes her day, which some kind of workout, whether it be swimming, running or paddling