Senior Reflections: Jenny Adams and Joel Condraey

Nicole Oh | Staff Writer

Jennifer Adams and Joel Condreay are both senior student athletes that competed as Pirates for the past four years. Both athletes share and reflect on their individual experiences, and share what will be next for them.

Jennifer Adams is a member of Whitworth women’s tennis team. She is graduating with a nursing major and some of her hobbies include playing the piano and guitar as well as going on mission trips. 

“My overall experience as a member of the Whitworth tennis team has been extremely good, thanks to the coaches who have served not only as coaches, but as mentors. The amount of care and support people put in is a reflection of how much it matters to everyone,” Adams said. 

“One of my favorite memories from freshman year was when we came in and competed in this tournament with a bunch of players from the entire conference. Going in with no expectations, we won every match, but lost in the final. It was super exciting and a great experience.” 

A best memory from junior year included the success her and her doubles partner, Bella Hoyos, had. “We honestly had such an incredible time. We upset several nationally ranked teams and played in sync. It was a great season to learn how to compete at such a high level,” she said.

During her senior year it was the team aspect and the people who made it such a incredible year.

One of the biggest things Adams learned is “how to manage time and see the busyness as a good thing. It is all about being able to prioritize your time while pursuing what you love.” Adams is currently applying to be a nurse at Sacred Heart. 

“Right now the plan is to stay in Spokane and help assistant coach, it is pretty up the air but you never know what may happen,” she said.

Joel Condreay is a four-year member of the baseball team. Condreay is majoring in accounting and outside of playing baseball, enjoys watching sports and reading.

“My overall experience at Whitworth playing baseball has been overwhelmingly positive. You never know what you are going to get when you come to a school. However, for me the experience I signed up for was exactly the one I got,” he said. 

Throughout Condreay’s career he has been a part of two Northwest Conference Championship teams, which are some of his best memories, he said.

“Anytime you win a conference tournament it is one of the best feelings,” he said.

One of the biggest lessons Condreay will take away from this team is “understanding no matter what you’re doing you’re competing to be successful. You don’t need to wait for opportunity, just go after all the ones you get.” 

After graduating this spring, Condreay has a job set up as an accountant in Seattle. With baseball being a huge passion of Condraey, he will wait to see what happens in terms of playing baseball after college, and possibly even pursue a career as a baseball coach.

“Overall my plan is to wait and see if I can play professionally and weigh the job that I’ve already been offered,” Condreay said.

TEAM: Track and Field fosters team mentality

Craig Russell | Staff Writer

Whitworth’s track and field team has a special emphasis when it comes to their TEAM. TEAM is not an acronym nor a code, but a reference to the special bond between the athletes. 

“Capital ‘T-E-A-M’ is just a distinguishing title. We know our coach is talking about this team, not other teams,” Daniel Harper, a mid- distance senior, said. Harper said the idea is to emphasize how special the relationships of the members of this group is. There are alot of teams out there, but only one TEAM.

“I started capitalizing TEAM about 20 years ago because everyone talks about teamwork and sports teams and being a team but not very many people understand what TEAM really means,” said Toby Schwartz, the head coach of the team. Schwartz said that being intentional with “TEAM” helps to remind athletes of what they really are apart of.

“My goal is to take the best part of high school sports and combine it with the best part of college sports.  The best part of high school sports is the emphasis and identity to a school or team.  Most high school athletes grew up their whole life with the same people from elementary school to their senior year. They are bonded. In college, unfortunately, athletes come from various schools and cultures and backgrounds, and become self-centered and selfish and tend to worry about their spot on the team instead of the success of the TEAM,” Schwartz said.

Athletes also talked about how the emphasis on the TEAM makes the program about more than just athletics.

“The idea is that there is a lot of things this program tries to be that is more than simply athletes competing together. Toby pushes for this culture of people empowering each other and driving each other rather than just individuals,” said Grant Bingham, a senior distance runner.

Sarah Cool, a mid-distance sophomore, also stressed the importance of team support and the team culture.

“One of the best things about our TEAM is that we know everyone’s name, despite how big the team is,” Cool said. The TEAM strives to be the loudest, cheering on each team member by name.

One of the ways they push the idea of a TEAM is by baring the number “210” on the back of all their jerseys. A score of 210 means the team took first and scored 10 points in all 21 events. The team strives for perfection, but knows they can’t do that alone. 

The TEAM mentality, even for an individual sport, has a big impact on the athletes.

“If I was out there running just for myself it would be pretty easy to quit,” Bingham said. “But when I’m with the TEAM, it’s almost like I have a job that’s bigger than just fulfilling my own goals. Even if I’m not having the performance I want, it’s important that I’m performing the best I can on a specific day so that the TEAM can do the best they can.”

“Being on a team and trying to accomplish goals within the team is a lot more fulfilling than just focusing on yourself. You can find joy in other people’s success and the group’s success,” Harper said.

Schwartz hopes to instill a team mentality for the athletes in both their sports encounters and their lives. 

“It starts from the recruiting process until the final TEAM gathering an athletes senior year.  The TEAM is emphasized more than any individual,” Schwartz said. 

This past weekend, Whitworth’s track and field TEAM competed at Oregon Twilight in Eugene, Oregon and at Linfield Open in McMinnville, Oregon. These meets are in preparation for the Division III finals Thursday, May 24. 

Track and Field placed second and third at NWC Championships

Craig Russell | Staff Writer

The Whitworth Track and Field team competed in the Northwest Conference championships on Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20.

The women's team took second place, and the men took third. The meet was hosted by Linfield in McMinnville, Oregon.

Marissa Mount, ‘20, started the meet off placing first in the nation in steeplechase with a time of 10:25.87. Kayla Leland, ‘18, followed this up with a NWC record breaking time in the 10K, with a time of 35:54.37. After day one, Whitworth women held the lead.

Leland also came back at day two to pick up another victory, this time in the 1500 meter. Her time, 4:33.25, gave her the win by just a tenth of a second. Danielle Openiano,’18, took third in shot put with a 125’8” toss. Kayla Brase, ‘18, improved her personal best to 38’ 3”, placing her just behind George Fox’s Dakota Buhler.

The women's performance awarded them 174 points. George Fox came out in first with 226, and Linfield took third with 140 points.

On the men’s side, Jacob Hubbard, ‘19, took second in hammer throw with a throw of 161’ 7”. Nick McGill, ‘20, took second in the high jump with a height of 6’4”. Additionally, Come Nzibarega, ‘18, placed fourth in the 10k. The men ended up in third place after the first day.

The next day, Andrew Bloom, ‘18, broke Whitworth's school record for javelin with a 229’5” throw, placing second. Nick McGill took third right behind Bloom, with a 193’11” throw. In running, the men took second in the 800 meter dash and second in the 4x400 relay. Daniel Harper, ‘18, finished with a time of 1:57.71. The relay team consisted of Jonathan Backous,’18, McGill, Jacob Sturtevant,’18, and John-Robert Wooley,’18,

The next step for the track and field team is Corvallis, Oregon on Friday May 4 where they’ll attend the high performance meet, and have one last shot to qualify for the Division III Championships.

Men's Golf Finishes second place in NWC

Henry Miller | Staff Writer

 

After the second round of NWC tournament in Lakewood, Washington, the Pirates golf team had tallied the lowest score of the day. This would move the Pirates into second place, but it wouldn’t be enough to pull the Pirates past Pacific Lutheran University who finished in first. PLU finished with a team score of 581 while Whitworth finished at 595. Sam Stiles, ‘20, shot an even par 71 on Sunday to tally a total score of 147. Stiles finished in an individual four-way tie for sixth place.

The Pirates had a rough start to the tournament and were looking to get past Willamette.

“We kind of dug ourselves into a hole after the first day. We knew we were down nine shots to Willamette,” said Reilly Hegarty, ‘20.

With Willamette in range of being overtaken, the bucs turned to their head coach for strategy.

”Try and beat the Willamette player in you group by two and a half shots and we will pull ahead of them,” said Coach Scott Kramer. The team was focused on keeping track of the Willamette players score and this would drive them to beat the Willamette golfers.

The weather on day one of the tournament was not the most favorable.

“It was really windy the first day, pretty cold through the first nine hole,” said Hegarty. The Bucs were down fifteen shots after the first day which was a difficult gap to overcome. The Bucs recovered to card a final NWC score of 26 points. PLU finished in first with 30.

“They had a really good first day considering the conditions, all credit to them, they went out and shot a really good score the first day, said Hegarty”

Willamette’s golf team had finished in first place at the fall classic but placed fifth at the Spring Classic. They finished third overall in NWC standings. One of Willamette’s best golfers, Nathan Phelan, had transferred to WSU in the middle of this season. Another factor was Trent Jones of Willamette, who during the Fall Classic was one of the best division 3 golfers in the country, was in a slump at the time of the NWC tournament.

Whitworth finished in the top five of most of their tournaments this year and has a relatively young roster. With a talented young crew of golfers, Whitworth is looking to take the NWC trophy from PLU next year.

“We can continue to develop and continue to push each other because of how close of a team we are. We are looking to go out and prove how good we are to everyone. It’s not often you get a group of sophomores with the tournament experience of seniors, said Hegarty.”

Pirate golfers Sam Stiles and Keegan Loo, ‘20, were both honored as second team all-NWC. Stiles was a first team honoree last year and averaged a score of 76.9 this season. Loo was a second team honoree this year and averaged a score of 78.3.

 

Women's Golf finishes season in third place

Kara Need | Sports Editor

Last weekend, the women’s golf team placed third at the NWC championships to conclude their 2018 spring season. Whitworth finished behind first place Whitman College and second place George Fox.

The NWC Championship counted for 50 percent of the overall season scores. The Fall Classic and Spring Classic each count for 25 percent.

“We all were happy with how we did as a team, of course we always want to do better, but we have come a long ways since the beginning of Fall 2017,” Kaite Ochoa, ’18, said.

Jaymie Pentony, ‘20, was the top finisher for the Pirates. She tied with two other individual finishers for 10th with a total score of 165 (+21), 18 strokes behind the leaders, Kristin Elich from George Fox and Shiyang Fan from Whitman. Fan and Elich both scored 74-73—147, but Fan took first in a playoff tie-breaker.

“I did really well the first day. I shot a 77, which put me in first place. I was pretty happy with that. I didn’t do quite as well the second day, I shot an 88, but overall I was satisfied with my performance and it allowed me to place,” Pentony said.

Maggie Peters, ’20, tied for 13th (81-85—166), Cheyenne Marchand, ’20, ended in a three way tie for 16th (85-83—168), Allie Slingsby, ’21, ended in 22nd (90-82—172) and Katie Ochoa, ’18, ended in 25th (89-97—176) out of the 43 competitors.

“We have improved a lot over the years, considering this team is pretty young minus myself, they have done great in stepping up to be on the starting team and I can't wait to see what else they got in their next season,” Ochoa said.

Peters and Pentony were both given second Team All-Conference honors for their season performance.

“I applaud everyone of the girls on our team, I know we can always look back and say we could have done more, but these girls worked day in and day out for our tournaments and it showed,” Ochoa said.

Overall, the Pirates finished third in the conference standings for the 2018 season. Whitman and George Fox tied for first overall, but Whitman will go to the NCAA DIII Tournament based on tie-breakers.

“It was just really fun. I’m sad to see it end. We spend our entire school year golfing, which takes a lot since it’s a dual season sport. We don’t really have an off-season like other sports. We are all pretty excited about what we can do in the Fall next year,” Pentony said.

Softball loses in NWC tournament to end their season

Nicole Oh | Staff Writer

Last Friday and Saturday the Whitworth softball team traveled to Newberg, Oregon to take on George Fox University in order to compete for the 2018 Northwest Conference title. On Friday the Pirates took on Linfield and fell 1-5 to the Wildcats. On Saturday the Pirates came back to compete in a loser-out contest facing George Fox. The Pirates ended up falling 3-10 to the Bruins.

In Friday’s tournament, the Wildcats had a lead of 3-0 early on and ran with it. This loss put the Pirates 24-17 on the season, and moved the Wildcats up 33-8. Senior Michelle Silva led the team with a 3-4 game and one run scored. In the next inning, sophomore Natalie Edlin gave the Pirates their only run by singling home Silva in a line-drive. At 4-1 the Pirates had the chance bounce back, however Linfield’s defense prevented any further scoring. In the sixth inning junior Desi Graham attempted to single home Edlin, however was unable to leaving a total of ten runners on base over the course of the game.

Starting off strong on Saturday, freshman Sara Gayer lined a double down on the left-field line, scoring Silva and senior Chelsea Hayes. Senior Kelsey Downey used that momentum to score Gayer, giving the team a 3-0 lead. In the second inning the Pirates had runners on first and second base, and two outs. However, Graham was thrown out stealing third ending the inning. In the third inning, the Pirates found themselves facing the same scenario of Graham being thrown out.  From that point the Bruins took the lead with a grand slam, pushing seven runners across the plate in the third and fourth innings, followed by three runs in the sixth inning.

"The energy we had all weekend was awesome. We really came together as a team. Trying to put the pieces together in terms of gameplay was a bit of a challenge,” sophomore Maria Smith said. Some days [this season] our offense would rally it up like crazy, but our defense would struggle and some days we had amazing defensive plays but our bats fell silent, but this weekend we were pretty successful at both,”

The conference tournament marked the end of the Pirates season. Smith said “although we won’t be playing any more games we are looking forward to our end of season parties, and just being able to spend time together before the senior graduate and summer begin”Smith said. This game marked the last for Silva, Hayes, Downey and Allie Rude.

 

Pirate Profile: Krystal Roberts

Nicole Oh | Staff Writer

Krystal Roberts, a freshman from Walla Walla, is a distance runner on this year’s track team. Roberts is majoring in elementary education, and when she is not practicing or competing you can find her spending time with her family and friends, volunteering, taking photos and baking. 

In high school, Roberts played on the varsity soccer team for four years and first got into running while training for the soccer team. In addition to soccer, Roberts joined the track team as a freshman and throughout her high school career found herself running and falling in love with the longer distance track events. 

“One aspect of track that I love is the dynamics of the team. If there is one word to describe our team it would be family. Everyone works hard, pushes one another, and supports every single person on the team,” Roberts said.

At the 13th annual Sam Adams Classic Roberts qualified to compete in the Northwest Conference meet in Linfield, Oregon with a time of 40:29 in the 10 kilometer race which is 6.2 miles and 25 laps around the track. Robert’s finishing time was four minutes faster than the qualifying mark. 

Roberts said how incredible it is “when you’re on lap 17 of the 10k and you hear not only distance runners cheering you on, but throwers, jumpers and sprinters.” Roberts has also competed in the 800, 1500, and 5k this season.

Roberts is also a member of the cross country team, and said one of her favorite memories and biggest accomplishments collegiately so far has been “racing with [her] teammates at regionals in California and finding out that our team placed second and got to compete together at nationals in Illinois. ”At the regional meet, Roberts raced to a 25th place finish and at nationals she placed 208th out of 279 women. 

This Friday and Saturday, April 19 and 20, Roberts and the rest of the Pirates will travel to McMinnville, Oregon to compete in the 2018 Northwest Conference championships.

Softball goes 1-3 against Pacific

Nicole Oh | Staff Writer

Last Friday and Saturday the Whitworth Pirates traveled to Forest Grove, Or. to play Pacific University. On Friday the Pirates fell in both games, 7-9 in the first and 1-8 in the second game of the day. On Saturday the Pirates won the first game with a final score of 7-4, however fell to the Boxers in the second game with a score of 6-10. After playing this weekend the Pirates are now 15-11 in the Northwest Conference. Pacific is currently 15-13.

In the first game on Friday senior Michelle Silva and freshman Kinsey McNaught worked together to get one run back after a 2-0 lead by the Boxers. In the fourth inning the bases were loaded for the Pirates. Freshman Kaylie Lowery walked in a run, and on top of that, senior Chelsea Hayes cleared the bases with a three-run double. In the second game the Pirates fell behind early, but with help by senior Allie Rude singling home freshman Morgan Portlock to gave the Pirates one point.

“Although Friday was really tough to go through we flushed it and moved on to Saturday,” Portlock said. “We had good energy and positivity. Overall we learned a lot about ourselves, our mentality and what we need to work on.”

On Saturday the Pirates came back and won their first game. Freshman Sara Gayer drove a double into right center field, scoring the two runners on first and second base. Senior Kelsey Downey singled home Gayer, giving the Pirates another run. At this point,  the Pirates had a 3-0 lead. In the sixth inning both the Boxers and the Pirates were able to add a run. Sophomore Natalie Edlin scored freshman Brynn Radke, upping the score to 4-2. Hayes, Silva and Portlock each added another run. In the last game of the weekend, Pacific started things off scoring six straight runs to open up the lead immediately. After a three-run fifth inning which included a RBI triple from McNaught, the Pirates looked to bounce back however, the Boxers three runs in the fifth and sixth innings gave them the win.

“It was not our best showing, we were hoping to clench that third place spot, but now we will have to win against Willamette on Tuesday,”McNaught said.“We will work on cleaning up defense and working on fixing mental mistakes. We are going to work on taking things pitch by pitch and making adjustments as needed.”

If the Pirates win their make-up game on April 17 against Willamette University they will secure their team goal of being the third seed going into the conference tournament.

Head coach Helen Higgs steps down after 24 seasons

Henry Miller | Staff Writer

Head Coach Helen Higgs announced last week that she is retiring after 24 seasons of coaching the Pirates women’s basketball team. Coach Higgs is the winningest coach in Whitworth Women’s basketball history. Higgs coached college basketball for 31 years and the wear and tear of coaching had begun to take its toll.

“I feel like a senior,” Higgs said. “I’ve been sitting around with senior players this year asking, ‘What are we going to do next year?’” 

Higgs said she has multiple options for what path to travel down next in her life.

“I’ve considered ministry, I’ve considered teaching abroad, I’ve considered working with coaches and athletes,” she said.

Higgs plans to first take some time off to relax and recuperate after her long tenure as head coach. This she deemed the “Summer of whatever Helen wants to do.”  While she coached, Helen had no fall break, only an occasional Thanksgiving and five days for Christmas. Her summers were often busy as well as she devoted time to making sure athletes were academically ready for competition. Higgs was also the chief recruiter for the women’s basketball team, which further intensified her already busy schedule. Higgs is especially looking forward to reconnecting to friends she has been out of contact with after this season.

Higgs said that a major influence on her decision was a religious calling to pursue other areas in her life. 

“I have some passions in some other areas that this job doesn’t give me the freedom to pursue,” Higgs said.

Coach Higgs has a lot of great memories to reminisce.   

“There was one year where we had not beaten George Fox at George Fox yet, and to make it to the playoffs we would have to win. We ended up winning on a last second shot,” Higgs said. Higgs remembers the gym being “deafening.”

“One year we started 14-0, but it’s really just the relationships and the people I’ve coached,” Higgs said. Higgs found her first year at Whitworth to be the most influential.

“Those women that I coached early on, a lot of them are close friends now and are there for each other, there were plenty of last second shots and incredibly strong seasons, but the real highlights were the relationships I formed. Being a part of the community at Whitworth has kept me here for a long time and made this job fantastic,” Higgs said. “There were plenty of last second shots and incredibly strong seasons, but the real highlights were the relationships I formed.”

Higgs placed her full confidence in the Whitworth athletic staff in finding a new coach.

“Coaches like men’s basketball coach Matt Logie and softball coach Cristal Brown are both examples of how Tim Demant [the athletic director] has been able to recruit the best coaches around.”

Higgs finished her career at Whitworth with NWC championships in 1995 and 2003. She accumulated three coach of the year awards, and produced three conference player of the year winners.

Pirates take series from Boxers but fall short of NWC tournament

Henry Miller | Staff Writer

The Pirates finished out the 2018 season with a series in Forest Grove, Oregon against the Pacific University Boxers. Last season’s all conference pitcher Hugh Smith, ‘19, threw a complete game shutout, in game one, to improve to 6-1 on the season. Smith, who is second place in total strikeouts in the NWC, struck out seven batters and only walked two. Smith also only allowed one run which brought his league leading ERA to 1.66.  The Pirates tallied twelve hits in Saturdays 7-0 game one win. Two of those hits came from starting shortstop Joel Condreay, ‘18. First basemen Spencer Locati, ‘18, led the team with two RBI’s. Pacific’s starting pitcher, Sam Lawrence, fell to 5-4 after allowing six runs in four innings.

Game two slipped away from the Pirates. Whitworth trailed 5-1 until the top of the eight when Nicholas Nerud,‘19, scored on a wild pitch, followed by a Tyler Bailey, ‘19, RBI and a Locati home run. The Boxers would score the winning run in the bottom of the ninth to eliminate Whitworth’s playoff hopes. Whitworth’s starting pitcher Brett Thomas, ‘21, struck out four batters and allowed three runs in his five innings pitched.Locati lead the team once again with two RBI’s.

Game three finished on Sunday with a 9-2 victory for the Pirates. T.J. Orchard,20’, struck out four and allowed four hits over seven innings pitched. Outfielder J.T. Phelan,18’, smacked two doubles and three RBI’s. Third baseman Tyler Bailey,19’, also added two RBI’s toward the Pirates win over eighth ranked Pacific.

The Pirates finished the season 11-13, sixth place in conference play. Despite unexpected coaching departures at the beginning of the season, Whitworth’s pitching staff was a force to be reckoned with the whole year. Top offense teams George Fox and PLU struggled against Whitworth’s strong pitchers. We look forward to next season and another spring of Pirate baseball.

 

Softball bests Lewis and Clark

Nicole Oh | Staff Writer

 Heidi Thom | Photographer

Heidi Thom | Photographer

Last weekend the Whitworth softball team hosted Lewis & Clark. Saturday the Pirates swept Lewis & Clark in both games coming away with  final score of 6-4 and 6-1. On Sunday the Pirates celebrated senior day and kept the momentum going, coming out with the win in both games with scores of 10-2 and 7-2 After the games this weekend the Pirates are now 21-8 overall and 14-8  in the Northwest Conference.

On Saturday freshman Madelyn Carlson helped lead the Pirates to a win in the first game with five runs in the third inning and a one-run outing. Senior Michelle Silva also scored two runs to help the Pirates get the win. In game two the Pirates put up five runs in the first inning and then held on to defeat Lewis & Clark. On the offensive side, senior Allie Rude lead the team going 2-3 with an RBI. Silva walked with bases loaded scored freshman Kaylie Lowery, opening up the scoring for the Pirates.

On Sunday the Pirates scored seven unanswered runs. In addition, freshman Sara Gayer scored her second home run of the season. Lowery also added two more runs in the sixth inning and senior Cheley Hayes had a ground out. In the last game of the series the Pirates scored five runs in the first inning with Silva and senior Kelsey Downey leading the Pirates. Opening up the game Silva had a two-run double and Downey had a line drive down center field that ended up coming around for an inside the park home run.

 Heidi Thom | Photographer

Heidi Thom | Photographer

“Everything went really well, it took a little while for bats to get started but on Sunday we had a much better day hitting and batting” said Junior Desi Graham. Adapting to the pouring rain on Saturday, the Pirates weren’t sure they were going to get the opportunity to play.

“With the season coming to an end we had to just go with the flow and get as much playing time as possible”  Graham said.

“We are working on continuing to get better and play at the level where we can get to regionals” Downey said the team has a couple more weeks leading up to the conference tournament. In order to get a big to the regionals tournament a team must get win the conference tournament, however there are also at large bids.

The Pirates will be back in action on April 14 and 15 at Pacific University at noon and 2 p.m.

 

Three swimmers compete at the National Championships

Craig Russell | Staff Writer

From the swim team, three Whitworth Pirates, Patrick Wilber, '18, Byron Rossmiller, '20, and Hannah Galbraith, '20, qualified for nationals. This year the meet was held in Indianapolis at Purdue University’s Natatorium.

On Friday, Wilber finished 15th in the 100 yard backstroke with a time of 49.89, scoring two points for Whitworth. On Saturday, he finished the 200 yard backstroke in 16th with a time of 1:51.99, scoring an additional point. Wilber also swam the 50 yard free, placing 52nd with a time of 21.85.

Rossmiller swam the 100 yard backstroke, the 200 yard backstroke and the 400 yard individual medley. He placed 35, 32, and 33 respectively.

Galbraith swam the 100 yard back, the 200 yard back, and the 50 yard free, placing 35, 22, and 58 respectively.

Last year the Pirates men team scored 25 points in the national championship. This year the team tallied three points, all from Wilber’s races.

This national championship concludes swim season; the Pirates won’t compete again until next year.

Track hosts the 13th annual Sam Adams Invitational

Nicole Oh | Staff Writer

This Thursday and Friday Whitworth track and field hosted the 13th annual Sam Adams Invitational. Central Washington, College of Idaho, Gonzaga University, Eastern Washington University, Lewis-Clark State, University of Providence, Puget Sound University and Spokane Community College attended the meet.  With dual meet scoring, both the men and women teams defeated all competitors with the exception of Eastern Washington University, College of Idaho. The women also fell to Lewis-Clark State.

Thursday was the first day of the heptathlon and decathlon which included high jump, shot put, long jump, the 200 meter and 400 meter. Finishing up on Friday Junior Isabel Clark ended up in second place with 4703 points in the heptathlon, only 84 points away from the school record. Sophomore Sarah Cool was close behind, finishing in fourth place with 4280 points, and sophomore Taya DeFrance finished 14th with 3098 points. In the decathlon, sophomore Nick McGill finished in sixth place with 3305 points and freshman Joseph Tingstad finished in 14th place with 2810 points. Both athletes qualified for the Northwest Conference Championship in Mcminnville, Oregon which will take place on April 20 and 21.

On Friday senior Kayla Leland kicked off the second day by picking up a win in the 10,000 meters with a time of 36:03, a top national time in the event. Junior Kameha Medallada finished in second place, and got a personal best in the 100 meters with a time of 12.49. Also picking up points for the Pirates was junior Marissa Mount and senior Bailey Scott finishing first and second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

 On the men’s side highlights included senior Andrew Bloom winning the javelin with a throw of 204’11”. In the 800 meters, senior Daniel Harper ran a 1:59.47 to finish in sixth place. In the men’s steeplechase the Pirates placed third, fourth and fifth with senior Grant Bingham leading the way with a time of 10:26, and freshmen Jacob Clark and Joel Mott finishing in 10:28 and 10:37. In the 100 meter, senior Jacob Sturnevent finished in fourth place with a time of 11.31.

Next up track and field will compete at The Shotwell Invitational in Tacoma on Saturday March 31st, with the first event beginning at 10 a.m.

Funding the Bucs

Kara Need | Sports Editor

For Whitworth sports teams, budgeting is a difficult area that includes faithful stewardship of money from the school, tough decisions regarding where money should be spent and fundraising to cover excess costs.

Jo Wagstaff, Associate Director of Athletics, said that on a typical year, each team will get a budget with allotments for categories such as travel, equipment and coaching salaries.

“For example, a few years ago baseball got $37,000 for travel. Each budget allocation would theoretically all get spent in the year, and then on July 1 they get a new budget with all the same allocations. If the college says, okay, everyone gets a 2% increase, then every line gets a little bit more money. Sometimes they will ask us where we want to put the 2%, and we will basically always put it in travel. Travel is just out of this world” Wagstaff said.

Initially, each sport is equal per-diem. For example, for travel, the same amount is allocated per person per day regardless of the sport. Equipment allocations necessarily vary because of the sport because different sports had different needs.

“But we even try to keep that as equal as we can,” Wagstaff said, “Women’s soccer and men’s soccer have the same equipment budget. Softball and baseball have the same equipment budget.”

Although budgets amounts are decided though categorizing money into travel, equipment, and other pertinent categories, once the teams get the money they are free to use the funds however they think it will best benefit the program. Rod Sandberg, head football coach, said this is one of the reasons that he loves Whitworth.

“They only really care about the bottom line. So if I’m able to cut costs out of one area, I can spend it in another. Nobody ever gets as much money as they want. So to be able to have that flexibility is a huge blessing,” Sandberg said.

Travel

One challenge for Whitworth sports teams specifically is travel. Out of the 440-450 Division III teams in the country, Whitworth is the most isolated, Bryan Olson said. Whitman College, the closest NWC opponent, is 3.5 hours away door to door, and the next closest is a five hour trip to Tacoma.

“There is no other school in the country with that kind of distance to travel,” Olson said. “Going to Tacoma once and Portland three times means that travel is a huge piece of our budget”

When looking to cut costs on travel for women’s soccer, Olson looks specifically at the kind of transportation.

“We can look at taking the huge bus, or what we’ve done in the past and look to do more in the future is taking passenger vans. And you end up saving about $1900 per trip if you take vans instead of busses,” Olson said. “So we look of the trade-offs between student athletes wanting to study and the experience on the travel, versus how we can use our funds to actually do this”

Sandberg said that when he coached at Wheaton College before coming to Whitworth, his team only flew to a game one time in his 25 years as a coach, and they only had one or two games per year that required an overnight stay. For Whitworth however, almost every away game is an overnight.

“Because travel takes so much money, some of my other budget categories are a little bit lower,” Sandberg said. “The challenge is that whole travel piece, in taking such a large piece of the pie, you have less for other things. I think that’s the number one challenge.”

Pre-season travel is also a difficult area to budget. Olson wants to be able to travel every single player each weekend and especially for the pre-season trips, he said.

“That adds to the costs that we don’t necessarily have to incur, but for our program I think it’s a great great thing,” Olson said.

For football, Sandberg said that they do not have a ton of pre-season options. He explained that it is typical to work two year deals, where once you go to them, and the next year they come to you. But it can be difficult for teams who want to make this deal with Whitworth.

“They could choose a different opponent that would be a lot cheaper,” Sandberg said, “They don’t want to hurt their budget either so that’s a problem. But they also don’t want to come and spend all this money and maybe get beat. That makes them think long and hard about it. So it’s become a big challenge because we don’t have a lot of options.”

Recruiting

Although recruiting may not be a large part of the budget from the school, it is crucial part of program success and is an area where coaches look to invest. For women’s soccer, the recruiting budget for this year was $365, which is not even close to enough to do the recruiting that they want to do.

“Figuring out ways to travel and go and see potential student athletes, that takes a lot of creativity” Olson said. “I end of paying for a lot of the travel necessary for recruiting because I see the importance in going places, getting to represent Whitworth and finding people to be a part of our program.”

Sandberg said that they try to never cut costs with recruiting.

“I learned something really earth shattering: when I have great players I’m a great coach. It’s really simple.” Sandberg said.

Because of the importance of recruiting, the football team recruits in northern and southern California, Hawaii and all over the West Coast.

“That costs money and we can’t really skimp there,” Sandberg said.

Equipment

Another major portion of the budget for sports teams is equipment. Sandberg explained that because other areas such as travel and recruiting can’t be compromised, often equipment for players is what must be cut down.

“That leaves things for your players. And you don’t want to skimp them on uniforms and equipment and stuff like that so it’s really a tough piece to balance,” Sandberg said.

Olson, who played for Whitworth soccer when he was a student, explained that he faced the challenge of equipment from a player’s perspective also.

“I walked in the door the first day as a player and my jaw dropped because I’m paying for school and now I have to come in and pay for all the gear that I’m going to train in and travel in and it didn’t quite make sense in my mind. I can see it from a different perspective now. But we don’t want that shock to be massive for everyone that walks in.” Olson said.

Olson said that he tries to keep the price down for players so they are paying maybe $100 or $150 a year on gear, but that means that the program is covering more of it.

Fundraising

Ultimately, fundraising is a crucial piece of running a successful sports program at Whitworth. Each team has two accounts, money from the University and money from fundraising. The University money must be used within the financial year, but the fundraised money can carry over from year to year.

“They all need more money,” Wagstaff said. “The University supplies the budget for all the conference play. But if they want to travel beyond that, like sometimes teams travel to California and Texas, they will need to raise the money for that.”

Wagstaff said that coaches are often really creative with fundraising and that it is done in any number of ways. Some of the examples that she cited were selling signs for the fieldhouse, selling the chair that go around the perimeter of the court during basketball season, or just through letter writing to alums, friends and family asking for help to support the sport.

“The university is really open and supportive of us fundraising. We have two budgets. We have the money that they school gives us, and then the money that I fundraise. And the money that I fundraise I can use however I want, but the encourage you to use all of your budget first and use that last,” Sandberg said.

The athletic department organizes two big fundraising opportunities per year: Pirate Night in the fall and the Golf Classic in the summer. These events help raise money for the department as a whole as well as individual programs.

Pirate Night is the department’s largest fundraiser and includes a silent auction and a live auction, and they sell seats and tables for the event. According to Olson, in the past all proceeds went directly to the department and were used for operating costs there. But this year it has changed. Now, Olson said, a large percentage of proceeds from individuals goes directly back to the program they are affiliated with.

“Now most of the proceeds are coming back to each individual program. So that’s a huge incentive for us to actually invite people and be a major part of that,” Olson said.

Sandberg believes that is it crucial for Whitworth football to be involved in events like Pirate Night and the Golf Classic.

“We’re the biggest group,” Sandberg said. “We have the most players, the most coaches, so we make sure we have a strong presence at those events and in promoting those events. We so appreciate what the administration and school does for us to help be successful and those are opportunities for us to give back. Now we get benefits from that too, but a portion of it just goes to the department.”

University-organized fundraising like One Pine Day have also made a significant impact for the football program.

“Like I said before, the equipment budget really gets squeezed,” Sandberg said. “But on One Pine Day we raised enough to buy the entire team new away jerseys, $10,000 in one 24-hour social media period. So that’s a huge blessing. How would we ever have been able to get those without that.”

But perhaps the most important type of fundraising is direct communication with a base of donors. According to Sandberg, they focus their communication on alums and families of the Whitworth football program.

“They also want to know what’s happening with new coaches and games and those would be the people that we reach out to with needs,” Sandberg said.

Football likes to reach out to their support system three times a year. Before season Sandberg sends out the season theme and a season preview. After season, he focuses on a season summary and gives a “state of the union.” And then around April they send a letter sharing some of their needs if anyone would be excited about helping. The football program tries to communicate in smaller ways on holidays as well.

“We don’t want every letter to be about asking,” Sandberg said. “So they are hearing from us and knowing that we care about them.”

Women’s soccer also focuses on bringing alumni and families into the overall experience. For Olson, fundraising is all about inviting people to come alongside the program in what they are doing. Events like the alumni weekend are key components of connecting with alumni and families.

“Getting to invite others in and share some of our purpose and what we’re trying to do and just be around some of our team and our girls and that’s a huge invitation into hey I like what you’re doing here and I want to help you. And sometimes financially is the answer,” Olson said.

According to Olson, each coach has a different approach to fundraising. A former basketball coach, Olson said, laid a great foundation for connecting with alumni that has carried over into the current program. Similarly Olson said that Dan Ramsey, former baseball coach, was an amazing fundraiser.

“My approach is to be much more organic in inviting people into what we’re doing,” Olson said. “If they feel called to help support what we’re trying to do and that’s on their hearts, then that’s awesome. But we won’t really engage that with them too often.”

Olson and Sandberg both believe that is comes down to being thankful for what they have and being good stewards of their resources.

“We are never in football going to complain about what we have,” Sandberg said. “We’re going to be grateful for what we have and try to make the most of it and then again try to cultivate and develop relationships with the key donors so that they know such amazing things are happening here. We want them to be reminded of that so they are excited to take part in that experience.”

Olson similarly expressed gratitude for the resources and support that each program has.

“At the end of the day, we’re really thankful for everything that we have,” Olson said. “I think it’s easy wherever we’re at to say, we want a little more. But we feel like we are supported in a way where we can invest into our programs in the way that we dream and desire. I’m really thankful to be at a place like Whitworth where from the president on down we are all pulling the same direction—investing in lives and in the experience.”

 

 

 

Pirate Profile: Ian Fisher

Nicole Oh | Staff Writer

Ian Fisher is a member of the 2018 Whitworth men’s tennis team. Fisher is from Caldwell, Idaho and is majoring in mathematical economics. Some of his hobbies include fishing, reading and spending time outdoors. 

Fisher’s passion for tennis started when he was young. 

“As a child I played with family and attended clinics, in addition to playing soccer and basketball,”Fisher said. “In high school I got more and more serious and during the summer of senior year decided I was going to continue and play for Whitworth.” This year marks Fisher’s fourth playing for the Pirates, and he is team captain.

One of Fisher’s favorite memories from the team is the trip during spring break. Every year during spring break the team alternates from competing in either California or Florida. Next week the team will travel to Los Angeles to compete against three other teams, including Chapman, Caltech, and Occidental. 

“We not only get to play matches, but we get to hang out on the beach and overall it is a great time for team bonding and getting the opportunity to know the guys better” Fisher said.

One of Fisher’s most memorable matches was recently competing in doubles with junior Nick Hughes and winning in a tiebreaker against George Fox University.

Since he is the only senior on the team this year, Fisher has had a large impact on the young team. In terms of growth Fisher has improved in his “abilities to lead other, especially during times of lower team morale and being able to build up the underclassman,” he said. One of his goals is to “start a good foundation for future teams and shape how the freshman approach the team, and to start everyone off on a good path for future years,” he said.

Currently the Pirates are 1-3 with conference matches. 

“This is one of my best seasons, especially in doubles with Hughes we have only lost once in conference play,” Fisher stated “[singles] it is tougher and the level of play from opponents has been high,” he said.With six out of seven members being underclassmen, there is “lots of good energy and it is just tons of fun to come out and play every day,” Fisher said. 

The Pirates next matches will be on March 26 at Occidental at 5 p.m., March 27 at Caltech at 2 p.m.,and March 29 at Chapman at 5 p.m.

March Madness takes Whitworth

Henry Miller | Staff Writer

With the NCAA Men’s basketball kicking off last Thursday, Whitworth students researched college basketball teams to once again try and predict the perfect bracket. The first round concluding Friday night with the most historic upset in tournament history. Number 16 seeded University of Maryland Baltimore County defeated Virginia, the number one team in the country, 74-54 A 16-seeded team had never made it past the first round of the tournament until Friday night.

 “It was like the disciples hearing Jesus had risen from the dead,” said Trevor Roberts, 20,” a college basketball fan and founder of one of the largest bracket challenge on campus with over 80 participants. ESPN reported that 18.5 percent, about three million, of all brackets submitted had number one Virginia winning this year’s National Championship.

The upsets continued Saturday in the second round of the tournament with number three Tennessee losing to number 11 Loyola Chicago. 

“After a performance like that you can’t not root for [Loyola-Chicago],” Roberts said. 

The 2017 National Champions, the North Carolina Tarheels, were upset in the second round when they were blown out by number seven Texas A&M. The Tarheels were coming off of the schools seventh National Championship when they were shocked by Texas A&M.

“Everything is bigger in Texas. It’s the year of the upset and UNC took their matchup for granted,” Alex Mowrey said. Mowrey is the Senator for Baldwin Jenkins hall and has been an avid March Madness participant through high school and college.

With plenty of basketball to be played and the sweet sixteen teams finalized, bracket architects will watch patiently and hope their predictions are correct. Make sure to cheer on number four Gonzaga as they play in the round of 16 on March 22.