Another Colonist Olympian Identified! 1968 Grad Completed in Speed Skating in ’72 & ’76 Olympics

The AHS Alumni Association recently learned of another Anaheim High graduate who competed as an Olympic athlete, increasing the Colonist Olympian count to six.

Thanks to research by CIF historian John Dahlem, a former AUHSD coach and principal,  the AHSAA is now able to share information about Olympic speed skater Charles Andrew Gilmore, a Class of 1968 graduate.

Gilmore honed his skills as a speed skater at Glacier Falls Ice Arena as a member of the Anaheim High Skating Club.

In 1967 he won the US Junior Championship. In 1969, at the US-Canada meet, he won the 1,500, and placed second in the 3,000 and all-around.

He competed in the 1972 Olympics in Sapporo, Japan, placing 20th out of 28 positions in the 5000 meter. In 1976, he competed in the 10,000 meter at the Winter Olympics held at Innsbruck, Austria.

Click here to read more about other AHS Olympians.

Anaheim High Celebrates Its Olympic Athletes

With USA athletes earning a record number of medals in the 2016 Summer Olympics, the AHSAA thought it was time to highlight Anaheim High’s own Olympic athletes.

Anaheim High’s legendary swim and water polo coach Jon Urbanchek, himself an Olympic swimmer, is in Rio now as a special assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team, a position he also held in 2012.

He was head coach to the 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympic teams. In total, Urbanchek has coached 44 USA Olympians with 11 Gold medals including four world record holders.

Inducted into the Anaheim Hall of Fame in 2011, Urbanchek served as Anaheim High’s swim and water polo coach between 1963 and 1978, an era when his Colonist teams achieved CIF championships and All American honors.

After leaving
his native country of Hungary following his participation in the 1956 Olympic Games, Jon received a scholarship to the University of Michigan where he contributed to three NCAA Championships in 1958, 1959 and 1961.

A true legend among swimming coaches, Urbanchek was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame on July 6, 2008.

Barbara McAlister - Diver July 23, 1962 X 8550 credit: John G. Zimmerman - staff

Barbara Ellen (McAlister) Talmage on the cover of a 1962 Sports Illustrated

Barbara Ellen (McAlister) Talmage from AUHS Class of 1959 became a championship diver who won seven Senior National Titles, took a gold medal in springboard diving at the 1963 Pan American Games and represented the U.S.A. as a diver in the 1964 and 1968 Olympics. Her image has graced the covers of both Sports Illustration and Life magazines.

Sowder_Sid001Sid Sowder Freudenstein from the Class of 1963 carried the flag in the 1968 Olympics as co-captain of the Men’s Gymnastics Team in Mexico City. As a UC Berkeley student, Freudenstein won many invitationals, PAC 8, regional titles and national and international awards. In his senior year in 1968, he tied for first on floor exercise, and his team won the NCAA Championship.

At Anaheim High, he won many competitions, mostly on tumbling, floor and vault. In his senior year, he was the High Point Man (closest to All-Around) at the Southern California State Championships.

After ending his competitive career, Freudenstein returned to school at the University of Colorado (CU), earning a PhD in physics. While finishing his degree and raising a young family, he became head gymnastics coach at CU in the fall of 1976. Later he became chairman of the physics department at Metropolitan State University in Denver.

Track and field athlete Rick Sloan from Class of 1964 competed in the 1968 Olympics, placing 7th in the decathlon and becoming the fourth American in the sport to exceed 8,000 points. Rick Sloan senior photo class of 64

At UCLA, he became the first Bruin to exceed 7-feet in the high jump when he vaulted 7-1. An injury prevented him from competing in the high jump and vault in the Olympics, but his fate was sealed when a coach talked him into competing in the decathlon. Afraid to high jump on his bad leg, Sloan had only one practice jump before the Olympic tryouts, but he somehow cleared 6-11 ¾ to set a world record decathlon high jump record and make the U.S. team.


Kit Salness-Howser – Class of 1972

He parlayed his experience as a decathlete into a life-long career as a track and field coach. His career culminated as the men’s and women’s track and field head coach and the dean of Washington State University’s coaches. He retired from WSU in 2014 but said he had more coaching in him.

While he never returned to the Olympics as an athlete, Sloan is well known internationally in the multi-events circuits because of his 14 years as coach for four-time world decathlon champion, Olympic champion and former world record-holder Dan O’Brien and because of his mentoring of Olympic heptathlete Diana Pickler. He’s also coached the late Gabriel Tiacoh, the quarter-miler from Ivory Coast who won an Olympic silver medal in 1984.

Kit Salness-Howser from Class of 1972 was a nationally ranked platform diver and a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic diving team that was supposed to go to Moscow in 1980, but didn’t because of the U.S. boycott. Kit was inducted into the Anaheim Hall of Fame in 2004.Do you know of any other Anaheim High alumni who have participated in the Olympics? Let us know by emailing
Once A Colonist, Always A Colonist!

Ground Breaking for New AHS Aquatics Center set for March 2018

2016-04-15_Anaheim HS Aquatic Center - Final Schematic Design.pdf

Anaheim High School is one step closer to rebuilding the campus pool with construction scheduled to start March 2018.

The new aquatics center will include a 38 meter-by-25 yard competition pool with lights fixtures that allow events to occur at night. The aquatics center will also include a 250-seat bleacher area, an office for the coaches, and modernized showers and locker rooms.  Solar panels are included in the design as part of an effort to make the site more eco-friendly.

The aquatics center will cost an estimated $8 million. Funding does not come from the Measure H $249 million school bond; rather, it is from other District funds.

New Format for 9th Annual Golf Classic – Feb. 19, 2018

Registration is now open for the 9th Annual Golf Classic & Auction set for Monday, Feb. 19, at Western Hills Country Club.

There’s a new start time this year of 9 a.m. (registration begins at 7:30 a.m., with putting contesting running from 7:30-8:30.)

Another change is that a luncheon will be served at 1:30, rather than the later dinner.

Click here for complete details.

Click here to view photos from the 2017 tournament.

Classes of ’52 & ’53 Join for Annual Reunion

Members of Anaheim High Classes of ’52 and ’53 enjoyed a Sunday brunch at Alta Vista Country Club, Nov. 19, 2017. Here are photos from the gathering:

1977 Celebrates 40th Reunion in Classic Colony Style

Anaheim High Class of 1977 celebrated its 40th Reunion Oct. 14, 2017, at the OC Mining Co. Please enjoy this gallery of photos from the evening, which was filled with fun, renewed friendships and lots of laughter.

A special tribute was made to ’77 lost classmates. Click here to view a gallery of “In Memory” photos.

All Class of ’77 grads are reminded to send your email to the reunion committee via if you didn’t receive notification about the reunion or a post-reunion email. Plans are already underway for a 60th birthday celebration in 2019. Don’t miss the fun!

2017 Car Show Gallery

The 7th Annual Colony Classic Car Show attracted a large audience, as well as the attention of student video producers and a drone taking aerial shots of the car show operated by engineering instructor Matt Schumm, who also serves as athletic trainer and JV football coach.

Here are links to the YouTube footage from both sources, as well as a gallery of photos from the event:

Video of 2017 Colony Classic Car Show

Drone footage of 2017 Colony Classic Car Show

Classic Car Show Transforms AHS Campus into Art Colony

More works of art than just a body, engine and four wheels, the 100-plus classic cars that participated in the 7th Annual AHSAA Car Show transformed the Anaheim High campus into an art colony.

A large group of attendees enjoyed the Oct. 21st AHSAA 7th Annual Colony Classic Car Show. The classic cars, student performances, music, food and much coveted art trophies created by Car Show Chairman Clint Stark added to the show, as well as an opportunity drawing and silent auction with an assortment of classic prizes.

The Colony Classic Car Show also caught the attention of student video producers and a drone pilot. Click here to view. 

Click here for more information about the event.


A History of Anaheim Principals

The first regular high school classes were held on the second floor of Central School beginning in 1898.

The appointment of Anaheim High’s first alumnus principal has inspired the Alumni Association to take a closer look at the men and women who have filled this top position going back to 1869.

Robert Saldivar, a Class of ’96 graduate, is Anaheim High’s newest principal and its first alumnus to fill that position.

He follows in the footsteps of 23 other men and woman who have led the high school, starting with James Miller Guinn in 1869.

Click here to see a complete list of Anaheim principals and view available photos and bios.

Click below to see a gallery of available photos:

Gallery of AHS Principals

Sources: AHSAA Archives, Anaheim Library Heritage Center, “One To Twenty-Eight – A History of the Anaheim Union High School District” by Louise Booth, Natural History Museum Foundation, Los Angeles County, WorldCat record id: 23250333, and the description of Papers of James Miller Guinn, 1824-1918 (bulk 1870-1918),Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens, WorldCat record id: 299167713.

Class of ’57 Bill Otta Inducted in Tennis Hall of Fame

Former Saddleback College tennis coach Bill Otta, an Anaheim High Class of ’57 graduate, has been inducted into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Hall of Fame during an enshrinement banquet held May 25, at the  University of Georgia campus during the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships.

Otta, who spent 25 years coaching tennis at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, was one of the original staff members at Saddleback when the college opened its doors in 1968, being hired as the first athletic trainer while also teaching classes in first aid, health, sports medicine, and tennis.

The college started its tennis program prior to the 1975 season with Otta being hired as the first tennis coach.  He spent 22 years as the men’s tennis coach, capturing 17 conference titles, 10 Southern California regional titles, and eight state championships.  He also spent three seasons as the women’s tennis coach, winning two more conference titles.

During a 34-year career at Saddleback College he spent 25 years coaching tennis where he amassed an overall record of 447-87 (.837 winning percentage) with 19 conference titles.  In addition to numerous conference Coach of the Year awards, he was named the ITA Community College Coach of the Year in 1990 and the California Community College Coaches Association Coach of the Year in both 1991 and 1996.

He has previously been inducted into the Cal State L.A. Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994 and the California Community College Tennis Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2002.

Of course, Bill was a standout tennis player at Anaheim, lettering four years. He went on to play for Fullerton College, where he was a conference champion of the FC championship teams in 1957 and 1958. He also played on the conference championship teams at CSU Los Angeles during 1960-62. His first coaching job was with AUHSD Magnolia High School from 1963 to 1967.

In addition, Bill co-authored a book on tennis with UCLA Coach Glenn Bassett entitled “Tennis Today,” a textbook for tennis classes at the college level.

Congratulations Bill!