Whitties Collect Blue Mtn. Finalist Plaques

News Release Date:
Thursday, May 12, 2011

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Representatives of Whitman College collected a trio of finalist plaques at Wednesday night's 35th Annual Blue Mountain Sports Awards.

Whitman tennis ace Christoph Fuchs, a 2010 Whitman graduate, was in the running for a second straight Scholar Athlete award, but the honor went this year to Chinonso Opara, a senior track standout at Walla Walla Valley Academy.  

Christoph Fuchs
Eric Bridgeland

Fuchs, who graduated last May, won last year's award as he was finishing his senior tennis season at Whitman. He now lives in Houston, Texas, where he in his first year of post-graduate studies at the Baylor College of Medicine.

Wednesday's latest round of Blue Mountain Sports Awards were based on achievements during the spring sports season of 2010 through the 2011 winter sports season. Student athletes at 13 area high schools, along with Whitman, Walla Walla University and Walla Walla Community College (WWCC), were eligible.

The awards program is sponsored by the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin and Baker Boyer Bank. Wednesday's awards ceremoney was held at the Walla Walla Elks Lodge, 351 E. Rose St.

Men's basketball provided Whitman finalists in two other categories.

The Missionary men's basketball squad, which posted the school's most successful season on the hardwood since the 1980s, was one of four finalists in the "Team of the Year" category. 

And third-year coach Eric Bridgeland, who was on hand Wednesday to collect Whitman's finalist plaques, was one of four mentors up for Coach of the Year honors.

Weston-McEwen High School's state champion volleyball team took home the top team award while Jerry Humphreys, coach of the 27-2 Walla Walla High School softball team, picked up the hardware as Coach of the Year.

The other two winners were Hope Klicker (Wa-Hi softball) as Female Athlete of the Year and Oscar Flores (Mac-Hi soccer) as Male Athlete of the Year.

- 30 -

CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; holden@whitman.edu