Athletics Honors "Outstanding Performers"

News Release Date:
Tuesday, May 26, 2009

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Eight Whitman College student athletes are the latest recipients of athletic achievement awards given annually by the athletic department.

Each spring, the staff of Whitman's Department of Sports Studies, Recreation, and Athletics (SSRA) presents one male and one female from each class with Most Outstanding Performer awards. The 2008-09 winners were announced recently, along with a number of other awards, at the annual Whitman Athletics Banquet in the Reid Campus Center.

Soccer player Alisa Larson-Xu and men's basketball player Chris Faidley are the latest senior class winners. The senior awards are given in honor of the late Max Seachris, a former baseball coach and athletic director, and Lee Coleman, a retired swim coach and an early champion of women's intercollegiate athletics.

Corina Gabbert, also a women's soccer player, took home the women's junior class award, which is named in honor of former women's tennis coach Jayne McCarthy. Tennis player Dan Wilson won the male award for the junior class, which is given in memory of former tennis and basketball coach Bob Burgess.

Other winners of Most Outstanding Performer awards this year are sophomores Elise Otto (tennis) and Brian Barton (golf) and first-year athletes Amy Hasson (soccer) and Brandon Shaw (basketball).

More information about the winners follows:

Outstanding Performers: Senior Class

      Alisa Larson-Xu
          Chris Faidley

Alisa Larson-Xu, a graduate of South Eugene (Ore.) High School, was voted to the All-Northwest Conference Second Team following a senior season in which she contributed assists to three of Whitman's victories.

A team captain and defensive midfielder, Larson-Xu was one of "our unsung heroes because she played a position that doesn't account for a lot of statistics," Whitman coach Scott Shields said.

"Alisa made a huge difference for us on the field, where she was unbelievably consistent. She also was a true leader, on and off the field."

Larson-Xu's first assist came in Whitman's season-opening 2-1 victory over Pomona Pitzer. She also assisted on game-winning goals in two Northwest Conference victories over Lewis & Clark.

As a junior, Larson-Xu was voted to the NCAA Div. III All-West Region Third Team, as chosen by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. After playing one season at the University of California-Santa Cruz, Larson-Xu transferred to Whitman and started 52 games over her final three seasons.

Chris Faidley, a graduate of King's High School in Seattle, Wash., led the NWC in scoring as a senior, averaging 20.4 points per game, while earning All-NWC First-Team honors. He also led in the conference in 3-point baskets, finished second in both steals and free throw percentage, and led Whitman in rebounding (4.7 rpg) as a 6-foot-2 guard.

Faidley's senior season included a 42-point explosion against Linfield, which matched his single-game career high. He made 12 of 23 shots from floor, including six of 14 attempts from the 3-point line, and converted 12 of 13 free throw attempts.

Faidley was named NWC Player of the Week three times as a senior, giving him six such awards in three years. He also led the NWC in scoring in a junior, when he was voted to the All-NWC Second Team.

Faidley ended his career as Whitman's second all-time leading scorer with 1,720 points. He also finished second on Whitman's all-time list for most career 3-point baskets with 297. He holds the school record for most 3-point baskets (91) in a single season.

Outstanding Performers: Junior Class

       Corina Gabbert
           Dan Wilson

Corina Gabbert, a graduate of Catlin Gabel School in Portland, Ore., capped her junior season by earning All-NWC First-Team honors for a second straight year. She was named to the All-NWC Second Team in her first season at Whitman. 

As a junior team captain, Gabbert led Whitman in scoring with 13 goals and one assist. Despite being slowed by a shoulder injury during the second half of the season, she finished second in the conference in both goals scored and game-winning goals.

She was named NWC Offensive Player of the Week in September after booting her first college hat trick in a victory over Linfield.

Gabbert also was voted last fall to ESPN The Magazine's Academic All-District Second Team. As a sophomore, she earned NCAA Div. III All-Region Second-Team honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

Dan Wilson, a graduate of Issaquah (Wash.) High School, was a key contributor as the men's tennis team swept through its third consecutive 16-0 NWC regular season and captured its second straight conference title.

Wilson and doubles partner Justin Hayashi went undefeated during the regular season, winning their first 17 matches. After losing for the first time at the NWC championships, they stormed through the first three rounds of the prestigious Ojai Valley tournament, knocking off the top-seeded team in the process before finally falling in the semifinals. Wilson and Hayashi finished the season with a 21-3 record in doubles.

Wilson also enjoyed a strong season in singles, going 13-6 overall and 9-1 against NWC opposition.

Outstanding Performers: Sophomore Class

          Elise Otto
       Brian Barton

Elise Otto, a graduate of Lewis & Clark High School in Spokane, Wash., made the All-NWC First for the second time in as many years at Whitman.

Counting the post NWC post-season tournament, she finished her season with a 14-5 record while playing in the highly competitive No. 1 singles slot. Her record against conference foes was 13-3.

Otto was named NWC Player of the Week in late February after leading Whitman to a pair of conference road victories.

Otto started her sophomore year in impressive fashion last fall, winning the singles title at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's annual Pacific Northwest tournament. She also teamed with senior Katie Oost to take the ITA's regional doubles title, advancing to play in both doubles and singles at the national small college championships.

Brian Barton, a graduate of Pasco (Wash.) High School, made the All-NWC First Team while establishing himself as one of the top golfers in the conference. He birdied the final four holes to win the NWC Fall Classic by three strokes, one week after losing the NWC Northern Colleges Fall Tournament on the fourth hole of a sudden death playoff.

Barton capped his season by placing second at the NWC Championship Tournament in April. Earlier in the spring, he was fourth at the NWC Spring Classic.

Outstanding Performers: First-Year Class

      Brandon Shaw
        Amy Hasson

Amy Hasson, a graduate of the International Community School in Kirkland, Wash., was Whitman's second-leading scorer in soccer with five goals and three assists. 

She hit the ground running in her first season, contributing assists to Whitman's first two victories. One of those assists came on the game-winning goal in a season-opening triumph against Pomona-Pitzer. Her first college goal lifted Whitman past Willamette in its NWC opener. 

Hasson also booted the game-winning goals in conference victories over George Fox and Lewis & Clark. She scored twice in the Lewis & Clark win.

Brandon Shaw, a graduate of Colleyville Heritage High School near Dallas, Texas, made an immediate impact with the men's basketball team, starting 24 of 25 games while averaging 16.6 points per game. He ranked fourth in the NWC in scoring, finishing behind two seniors and a junior.

Shaw was third in the conference in steals, averaging 1.64 per game, and 15th in field goal accuracy, making 47.0 percent of his shots from the floor. He scored a career-high 26 points, hitting nine of 15 shots, in an NWC game against George Fox.

In an early non-conference tournament in San Antonio, Texas, Shaw made the all-tourney team after scoring 36 points and grabbing eight rebounds in two games. He made 15 of 28 shots from the floor.


Dave Holden, Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.; (509) 527-5902