W Club October Newsletter
Dear W Club Members -
September has come and gone and I have barely had time to blink. Is this really the first W Club Newsletter of the year? Sadly, yes it is. On the bright side, there are a lot of really great things happening here at Whitman Athletics and I am glad to share them with you now.
With the Help of Conor Holton-Burke, our new athletics intern, I hope to bring you updates every two weeks throughout the year. You remember Conor. He is a graduate of 2012, Men's Tennis two time ITA All-American, four year NWC Champion and 2011 NWC player of the Year. Conor is also one of only two NCAA Academic All-Americans in recent memory as well. Suffice it to say I am feeling pretty good about this hire! Conor will be helping me pull together our stories and formatting our newsletter. He will also be leading the charge on our social media communications among other tasks. Great to have you on board Conor!
So let's get started. Here are a few highlights of the year so far.
Gilbert Twins Lead Way for Cross Country
Emilie Gilbert, Sr.
The cross country season is in full swing, as Head Coach Scott Shields and the Whitman men's and women's cross country teams look to improve on their 6th and 4th place conference finishes from a year ago, respectively.
In their most recent race, the Sundoger Invitational, which attracts running clubs as well as intercollegiate teams, the women's team finished 5th overall and 3rd amongst NWC teams, just behind the Wildcats of Linfield. The men finished 15th overall and 6th amongst NWC teams, within shouting distance of Pacific (14th), Linfield (11th), and Lewis and Clark (10th).
Seniors Emilie and Katri Gilbert lead the way for the women, finishing 13th and 23rd in the overall races, respectively, while the Whit men were paced by senior Cory Rand (pictures).
Men's Soccer Starts Season With Win Over #9 Redlands
Jed Jacobsen, Sr.
Coming off a disappointing 4th place finish in their 2011 campaign, the Whitman men's soccer team, headed by 15-year coach Mike Washington, started the 2012 season on the right note with a 1-0 victory over a 9th-ranked Redlands side (link story).
Jaclyn Rudd, Sr.
Whitman, which is currently 4th in the conference with a 1-2-1 record, is lead by a deep senior class featuring goaltender Michael Bathurst, forward Leland Matthaeus, midfielder Andrew Clark, outside defender Dhavan Vengadasalam, a4nd outside midfielder Jed Jacobson. To get to know the team better, check the team preview.
OT Victory Provides Momentum for Women's Soccer
The team is off to a 2-3 start in conference play, good for 5th in the conference.
After a disappointing 1-0 loss to Pacific in their second week of conference play, the resilient Missionaries bounced back for a 2-1 OT victory over George Fox on Sunday.
First year Clara Merlino booted the winning goal, which was set up by senior captain Jaclyn Rudd's corner. Sophomore Justin Kovak also had a big game for the Whits.
Courtney Brewer, Sr.
Women's Volleyball Welcomes New Coach
Just weeks into his tenure as head coach, it's obvious Matt Helm has the Whitman volleyball team headed in the right direction.
With two consecutive NWC wins and four overall, the team has already matched the number of wins they had all last season, as they look to move up a couple rungs on the conference ladder.
On the 21st, they swept Willamette 3-0 in their home opener. The Missionaries are led by two-time all-NWC selection Jillian Davis, and a quartet of seniors: Courtney Brewer, Rachel Schober, Olivia Nielson, and Carrie Cecil.
Check out the season preview to learn more.
Preview of Coming Attraction: Tennis and Golf
Taylor Head, Sr.
Geoff Burks, Sr.
Despite being Spring sports, Whitman's three defending conference champions (men's and women's tennis and women's golf) are starting their defenses off on the right foot in their abbreviated Fall seasons, while men's golf looks to win a championship of their own.
On the links, senior Jeff Burks fired a personal best, 5-under par 67 this past weekend to lead Whitman to a 3rd place finish at the Whitman Invitationallast weekend. On the women's side, the team dominated the field in the Whitworth invitational, placing four golfers in the top five. Junior Catelyn Webber, sophomore Kelly Sweeny, junior Katie Zajicek, and senior Tate Head placed 2nd-5th, respectively. The two teams are gearing up for the NWC Fall Classic (Oct. 27-28), which counts for one fourth of the final conference standings.
Last year, the women's team placed second in the Fall Classic before winning the conference championship with a dramatic NWC Tournament victory. The men's team placed 3rd in the Fall Classic last year, and were tied for second in the conference after the first two tournaments.
Courtney Lawless, So.
Andrew La Cava, Jr.
On the courts, the women's tennis team consolidated their 2012 NWC tournament victory with an impressive showing on their home courts in the USTA/ITA Fall Regional. Sophomore Courtney Lawless won the singles tournament (link) before teaming with Senior Alyssa Roberg to win the doubles.
The men's team, fresh off their 5th consecutive conference championship, also dominated the USTA/ITA Fall Regional. Playing in Beaverton, OR, sophomore Colton Malesovas took home the singles crown, while fellow-sophomore James Rivers teamed with junior Andrew La Cava for the doubles title.
The five tennis champions will play for the Fall National Championship on the weekend of October 11-14th in Mobile, AL.
Well that is all for now. I am extremely proud of our students who also happen to be varsity athletes. I know that you will be too as you hear more of their stories.
Thank you for your support of these outstanding young people. These are the leaders of the future. With your help, Whitman College and our athletic programs are an excellent training ground preparing students for the many challenges they will face. Your support is immensely appreciated! Thank you!
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