Hall of Fame Inducting Six on Saturday
WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Five of the most accomplished competitors in the history of Whitman College athletics, along with the school's much beloved "coach of the spirit," will be honored this Saturday as the Whitman Athletics Hall of Fame welcomes six new inductees at a reception in Sherwood Athletic Center.
The Hall of Fame Class of 2009 includes . . .
The late Dave Klicker '58, who won an NAIA national track title in 1957;
The late Worth Oswald ’31, who led Whitman to four consecutive Northwest Conference tennis titles;
The late Guttorm Berge ’53, a world-class skier who won a bronze medal at the 1952 Oslo Olympics;
Shauna Banks Coleman ’97, a four-time All-American swimmer who two NWC individual event titles; and
Amanda Bradford Harvey ’98, a two-sport star who won a NWC track title in the javelin and ranks third on Whitman’s all-time scoring list for women’s basketball.
Dr. George Ball, in recognition of five decades as one of Whitman’s most ardent fans and proponents of sportsmanship, is also being inducted Saturday as an honorary member of the Athletics Hall of Fame.
Dr. Ball, who came to Whitman in the early 1960s, is the Weyerhauser Professor of Biblical Literature, Emeritus.
Saturday's reception begins at 7 p.m. in the new Athletics Hall of Fame foyer at Sherwood, which re-opened at the start of the academic year after an 18-month, $15.5-million renovation (please click here for more information about the renovation project).
| Dr. Ball
Brief welcoming remarks by Whitman President George Bridges are set for about 7:15 p.m.
College staff and students then will give guided tours of the 71,000-square-foot renovated facility, which includes the main basketball/volleyball court, a new multipurpose gymnasium and a stunning, state-of-the-art indoor climbing wall.
The group will re-assemble in the foyer at about 7:45 p.m. for the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.
The family of the late Wally Holmgren '30, a Whitman football and basketball player who was inducted last fall, will also be recognized.
More information about each of the Class of 2009 inductees follows:
Dave Klicker ‘58
Dave Klicker, the most dominant athlete at the 1957 and 1958 Northwest Conference Track & Field Championships, won an NAIA national title in the 400-meter hurdles at the end of his junior season. He was national runner-up in the same event in 1956 and 1958.
| Dave Klicker
Klicker, a native of Walla Walla, capped his dominance of the NWC at the 1958 meet, winning four events (220-yard dash, 120-yard high hurdles, 220-yard low hurdles, long jump) and placing second in the high jump.
With Klicker scoring more than a third of its points, Whitman defended its team title, and a banner headline in the Oregon Journal newspaper proclaimed . . . Klicker Goes Wild in NWC.
At the 1958 NAIA District Meet, Klicker tied his own district record in winning the 120-yard high hurdles. He also won the 220-yard low hurdles and anchored Whitman’s victorious mile relay team. He won the meet MVP award for a second straight year.
Klicker led Whitman to the NWC title in 1957, winning the 220 as well as the low and high hurdles, and placing second in the long jump and high jump. At the 1956 NWC meet, he won the low hurdles and tied for first in the high jump.
After Whitman, Klicker continued to train for the 1960 Olympics, but he lost his spot at the U.S. Olympic Trials due to changes in qualifying procedures. He died in 2006 after a long career as a teacher and coach in Walla Walla.
Worth Oswald ‘31
Although he competed in an era entirely different from today, Worth Oswald was arguably the best tennis player who ever graced the Whitman courts. There is no question he dominated his era to a greater extent than any other Missionary player.
| Worth Oswald
The Walla Walla Union newspaper in May of 1931 described Oswald as the "veteran Whitman ace and undoubtedly the best intercollegiate tennis player in the Northwest."
A few days later, the same newspaper previewed an upcoming University of Idaho match by noting that it would be the “last appearance of captain Worth Oswald, who has not lost a singles match during four years of intercollegiate competition."
A few days after that article appeared, Oswald lost his only collegiate decision, falling in three sets to the University of Washington's No. 1 player, who he had beaten in straight sets the previous season.
Oswald bounced back that same week by leading Whitman to its fourth straight NWC tennis crown. He was Whitman’s No. 1 player on each of those championship teams.
Oswald also stands as the one and only player to win the Baker Cup, which was given at the time to Whitman’s best male tennis player, in four consecutive years.
While at Whitman, Oswald also competed in high-level tennis tournaments around the country. He died in 1947 at the age of 37, the result of an accidental fall.
Guttorm Berge ‘53
| Guttorm Berge
Guttorm Berge, a Norwegian citizen and world-class skier, starred for Whitman in the early 1950s as the Missionary ski program moved from club to varsity sport status.
With Berge leading the way, Whitman teams enjoyed immediate success in the college ranks.
Representing Whitman in some cases and competing as an unattached skier at other times, Berge further established his reputation at numerous regional and national alpine events.
In 1952, skiing for Norway at the Oslo Winter Olympics, Berge won a bronze medal in the slalom, finishing just 1.7 seconds behind gold medal winner Othmar Schneider of Austria.
He returned to Whitman after the Olympics to complete the 1952 ski season, and he skied again as a Missionary during the 1953 season.
Berge transferred to Middlebury College, completing his degree there in 1954. He pursued graduate studies in business at Harvard for one year before returning home to Norway to care for his ailing father.
Berge also competed for Norway in the 1956 Winter Olympics. He enjoyed a long career in the ski wax industry and died in 2004.
Shauna Banks Coleman ‘97
Shauna Banks Coleman, a First-Team NAIA All-American in each of her four seasons, ranks as possibly the most accomplished women’s swimmer in the history of the Whitman program.In her four trips to the NAIA championships, Banks stroked her way to first-team recognition in six individual events and three relays. She also claimed honorable mention honors in three individual events and as part of 14 relays.
|Banks & HOF coach Lee Coleman|
Winner of the 1997 Mignon Borleske Trophy (athletic accomplishments, leadership, sportsmanship), Banks enjoyed her best season as a junior, when she won Northwest Conference titles in the 500-yard and 1650-yard freestyle races.
At the NAIA championships that season, she placed fifth in the 500-yard event and seventh in both the 1,650-yard freestyle and 400-yard individual medley.
She set Whitman school records in four individual events during the national championships.
As a senior, Banks placed sixth at nationals in the 1,650-yard freestyle, and added a ninth-place showing in the consolation finals of the 400-yard individual medley (her time would have placed her fifth had she been swimming in the championship finals).
Banks still holds school records in the 400-yard individual medley and the two distance freestyle races. She was a team MVP and captain in each of her four seasons.
She and husband Jay Coleman, a former swim coach at Whitman, and their two children live in Oshkosh, Wisc., where she is the aquatics director at the Oshkosh YMCA.
Amanda Bradford Harvey ‘98
One of the best two-sport athletes in the history of Whitman women’s athletics, Amanda Bradford Harvey ranks third on the school’s all-time scoring list for women’s basketball and holds the Missionary track & field record for the javelin. She qualified for the NAIA national championships in the javelin in each of her four seasons.
|Bradford & javelin|
Bradford, who won Whitman’s 1998 Mignon Borleske Trophy (athletic ccomplishments, leadership, sportsmanship), led Whitman in scoring and steals in each of her four basketball seasons, and she topped the team in rebounding three times.
She led the Northwest Conference in scoring as a junior, averaging 18.8 points per game (19.9 points in 16 conference games). She was named to the All-NWC Second Team in each of her four seasons.
|Bradford free throw
Despite missing six games to injury as a senior, Bradford finished her career with 1,401 points and is one of only three Whitman women who have score more than 1,300 points in a basketball career.
She also ranks among Whitman’s all-time career leaders in rebounds, steals and assists.
Bradford won the 1995 NWC javelin championship with a throw of 145-11. She holds the school record at 146-1.
In her four trips to the NAIA national championships, she placed second, third and fourth twice, earning All-American honors in each case.
Harvey, an attorney and criminal prosecutor for the City of Bremerton, Wash., lives in Port Orchard with her husband, Brian Harvey '95, and their two children.
Dr. George Ball
|Dr. Ball & bike|
For Whitman student athletes, as well as for the campus community as a whole, Dr. George Ball has been a source of support, strength and inspiration for five decades.
Tennis and basketball player Steve Ronfeldt ’64 remembers that Dr. Ball was at “every match offering positive support. He was like a second coach, the coach of the spirit. He brought affirmation in the face of defeat, a calm, focused mind in the heat of battle, and joy to our love of the game.”
Jeff Northam '88, a varsity tennis player who now ranks as one of Whitman’s most successful coaches, notes that "George is more than a sports fan. He is a spiritual mentor to athletes. It's not about their winning or losing, but how they compete. He takes the time to get to know the athletes on and off the court."
Dr. Ball’s “open letter” on sportsmanship, written to the Whitman tennis teams in 1998, includes this passage:
“To me, the tennis court is not simply a place for an athletic event. It is a stage on which a large part of what is to be the theme of one's life is acted out. It is almost certain that what you are on the tennis court is what you will be as a friend, as a husband or wife, and in your professional life.
“It is on the tennis court that one creates or exhibits a response to danger and defeat, to tiredness, to surprise or bad luck, and also to bad behavior as one confronts it in a cantankerous opponent. All of these experiences have their precise parallels in ordinary life . . . Your life will largely be defined by the nature and quality of the relationships you are part of and to which you contribute.”
- 30 -
CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; email@example.com