April 16, 2003
SALT LAKE CITY - Four former student-athletes, one who is also being recognized as a contributor, will be inducted into the University of Utah's Crimson Club Hall of Fame on Monday, April 21. The banquet, which also honors graduating Ute senior athletes, will be at the Little America Hotel. The banquet is open to the public and tickets are $33. Reservations can be made by calling Amy Jacobson at 585-8837. A reception will be held at 6:00 p.m. followed by dinner at 7:00 p.m.
Basketball and volleyball player Mikki Kane-Barton, swimmer Shawn Rowland, gymnast Diane Ellingson-Smith and tennis player/contributor Rick Warner are this year's Hall of Fame inductees.
Kane-Barton accomplished a feat that very few athletes have by starring in two sports. She played basketball for Utah from 1989-93 and double-dipped her junior and senior seasons by also playing volleyball.
Kane-Barton was a two-year all-conference selection and was named WAC Player of the Year in basketball in 1993. She was also a two-year honorable mention Kodak All-American. Kane-Barton helped the Utes to a pair of conference tournament championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances. She was a starter on the West team in the 1991 U.S. Olympic Festival. Her name still dots the Ute record book, ranking in the top 10 in 20 season and career categories.
Although playing volleyball only two years, she is still ranked in the top 10 in five season and five career categories. As a senior she was named all-conference and second team all-region. Her 2.05 blocks per game led the nation that year. Mikki is married to Paul Barton, a former Ute football and baseball player. They are the parents of two sons and a daughter.
Rowland was a vital cog for the Utah swim team from 1985-88, helping the Utes win four Western Athletic Conference championships. He was named the team's Most Inspirational Swimmer all four years. In 1986, Rowland was named WAC Swimmer of the year and was an NCAA All-American. As a junior he set two conference records and was again named an All-American. He also won a bronze medal as a member of the USA National Team he competed in the World University Games in Zagreb, Yugoslavia.
His senior year, Rowland was named WAC Co-Swimmer of the Year as he set two more conference records. He also earned All-American honors for the third time. That year he was a finalist at the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 200 butterfly and was also named the State of Utah Male Collegiate Athlete of the Year.
Rowland received his bachelor's degree in marketing from the U. in 1989. He is employed by Xpedx Paper Company as the business unit manager for packaging and facility supplies. Shawn and his wife Tracy, whom he met in the Van Cott dorms as a freshman, are the parents of a daughter.
Ellingson-Smith was an All-American gymnast at Utah before battling back from a devastating accident that left her paralyzed for the rest of her life. From 1978-81, Ellingson-Smith was a three-time All-American on the uneven parallel bars and finished second in the 1981 National Championships. She was co-captain of the 1981 national-title winning team, the first of 10 national titles the Utes would win over the next 22 years.
After her college career ended Ellington-Smith joined a Professional Gymnastics Tour. While practicing on the vault before her first meet, she over-rotated and landed on her neck. She fractured a cervical vertebrae and was paralyzed from the chest down. Although confined to a wheelchair, she finished her degree at Utah in elementary education and spent seven years teaching third grade. The Diane Ellingson award is given yearly to the most inspirational Ute gymnast.
Ellingson-Smith now spends her time as a motivational speaker. She is the founder and president of a sales, motivation, leadership and achievement company. She is also the subject of the best selling biography "Don't You Dare Give Up!" Diane is married to Scott Smith, a former clown with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. She has four stepchildren.
Warner served in many different capacities during his time at the U., including student body president. He was also selected to several honorary societies. Warner was the Utes' top tennis player reaching the doubles semifinals of the NCAA Tennis Tournament in 1945.
After graduation, Warner went to work with his father at Bennett Ford, eventually taking over as general sales manager of the dealership. He began his buyout of the dealership in 1965 and five years later the name was changed to Rick Warner Ford. He eventually acquired 22 automobile franchises.
At age nine, Warner fell on his right hip, which had to be fused. Despite this handicap he became one of the top tennis players in the intermountain area, winning almost every local tournament. In 1946 he won three titles in one day at the Intermountain Tennis Championships in Denver. In recent years he has won five doubles titles at the Huntsman Senior Games.
Warner is a member of the U. of U. College of Business Hall of Fame and the Utah Tennis Hall of Fame. He and his wife Marian are the parents of nine children. They have 45 grandchildren and one great-grandson.