WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Stephanie Palmer, a world-class skier who excelled on the soccer field as well as on the slopes, is the 1995 winner of Mignon Borleske Athletic Trophy, which is presented annually to the most outstanding female student-athlete at Whitman.
The Borleske trophy, which is decided by vote of the Whitman coaching staff, recognizes athletic ability and accomplishments, leadership and sportsmanship qualities, and contributions to the campus as a whole.
Palmer, an economics major from Salt Lake City, graduated cum laude from Whitman, completing her degree in less than four years. While early graduation limited Palmer to just three ski seasons, she dominated the Northwest collegiate alpine circuit and captured numerous All-American honors in national competition. She also played fall soccer at Whitman, serving as a team captain and one of the squad's leading scorers.
Before coming to Whitman, Palmer completed her high school education at Vermont's Burke Mountain Academy and then spent three years with the U.S. Ski Team. She made an immediate impact in her first year at Whitman, capping her freshman season by placing third in both the slalom and giant slalom at the U.S. Collegiate Ski Association (USCSA) championships. She finished second in the alpine combined scoring.
Palmer's freshman year also included a trip to the Winter World University Games in Poland, where she placed fifth in the giant slalom and eighth in the slalom. Two years later, during her her junior season, Palmer competed in her second winter games, traveling to Jaca, Spain, where she served as the U.S. women's alpine captain. She also served as flag bearer for the entire U.S. delegation during the opening ceremonies, an honor bestowed upon her by a vote of the other team captains.
After placing third in the alpine combined scoring at the USCSA championships as a sophomore, Palmer led the Whitman women's alpine team to a banner year this past season. The Missionary alpine women captured conference and regional titles, with Palmer winning both the slalom and giant slalom events at the regional competition. She finished second at nationals in the alpine combined scoring, based on second-place efforts in both the slalom and giant slalom.
Palmer's most recent efforts at nationals helped the women's alpine and cross country ski teams win their first-ever 4-way national title. That title is based on combined results from two alpine and two cross country events.
Palmer, who twice earned Academic All-American honors at the national ski championships, also made her mark on the women's soccer team at Whitman. She was a midfielder and one of the team's leading scorers in each of her last two seasons.