WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Charlie Woodruff, an All-American alpine skier the past four seasons, has been awarded the 2000 Borleske Trophy, which is given annually to the most outstanding male student-athlete at Whitman College.
The trophy, which is awarded by a vote of the Whitman coaching staff, recognizes athletic ability and accomplishments, leadership and sportsmanship qualities, and contributions to the campus as a whole.
Woodruff, a geology and environmental studies major from Steamboat Springs, Colo., was a major contributor to alpine teams that reaped their share of national honors while continuing to dominate Northwest collegiate skiing. Over the past four years, the Missionary men's alpine team won 24 of 31 Northwest Collegiate Ski Conference (NCSC) events while placing second five times.
The Whitman alpine men have now captured the past seven NCSC titles. Competing as part of the U.S. Collegiate Snowsport Association (USCSA), the Missionaries have also won or shared five of the past six Western Region alpine titles.
Woodruff made an immediate impact in Northwest conference circles during his freshman season, winning one event and placing second three times. In four years of conference racing, he won three times, placed second five times and finished third in ten events.
Woodruff capped each of his first three seasons by earning All-American honors in both the giant slalom and alpine combined scoring at the USCSA national championships. As a senior, he suffered a leg injury at the end of the Northwest conference season and missed both the regional and national championships. While unable to compete, he continued to contribute as an assistant coach.
Woodruff's best event was the giant slalom. In three winters of post-season competition, he placed second, third and fourth in the giant slalom at regionals, and sixth, eighth and 15th in the event at nationals. He also finished among the leaders in the slalom, twice placing 17th at nationals. He finished 11th, 12th and 12th in three regional slalom events.
Thanks in part to Woodruff's individual efforts, Whitman has continued to fare well in the alpine team scoring at nationals, often competing against squads stocked with European World Cup skiers. In eight slalom and giant slalom events over the past four years, the Missionaries placed second once and either third or fourth on four other occasions. They placed fourth, fifth and eighth in the remaining events.
Woodruff and his alpine teammates also shared in a string of five consecutive men's all-around national ski titles. That string was snapped in March when the Whitman men placed second in the all-around competition, which is based on two alpine and two cross country ski events.