Heritage Gallery Class of 2002
Doug Larson is one of the greatest track and field athletes in Whitworth history, and during his time, was one of the best in the United States. He won the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics decathlon title in 1981 with a score of 7,516 points, which was the highest electronically timed score ever recorded at the NAIA championship meet up to that time. His time in the 1,500 meter run, the final event of the decathlon, was the fastest ever at the time in the decathlon. His overall score was the fourth-highest collegiate score in the country that year, at any level. He was invited to train at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs that summer. In 1981 he won NAIA District 1 titles in the 110 high hurdles and the 400 hurdles. In 1982 he won NAIA District 1 titles in the 110 high hurdles, the 400 hurdles and the high jump. He graduated from Whitworth in 1983 with a B.A. in physical education, recreation and history. For the last 17 years he has worked as a Recreation Specialist for the State of Washington. He currently resides in the Seattle area with his wife, Chris, and son, Christopher.
Mark Linden is one of the great two-sport athletes in Whitworth history, earning all-star status in both baseball and football. In baseball he led the Pirates to a pair of NAIA District 1 titles (1988 and 1989), earning All-District recognition both seasons. As a junior he batted .335 with 57 hits, 11 doubles and 25 runs batted in. As a senior he batted .358 with seven home runs and 36 runs batted in. As a football player for three seasons (1988-90) he set Whitworth records for career carries (705), career rushing yards (3,318), career all-purpose yards (5,376) and single-season all-purpose yards (1,911). He was named the 1990 Columbia Football Association Offensive Player of the Year after rushing for 1,068 yards and scoring nine touchdowns. After playing two seasons in the Chicago Cubs organization, Linden went on to coach baseball as an assistant with Wichita State University (1994-95) and the University of South Carolina (1996). He became the youngest Division I head coach in the country in 1996 at Centenary. He is currently the head coach at Skagit Valley College and is a regional sales manager for a northwest firewood distributor.
In its history Whitworth College has had one team national championship (1960 baseball) and only three teams have finished as national runners-up. The 1995-96 men’s basketball team was one of those teams. The Pirates won the Northwest Conference title and finished with an overall mark of 26-5, setting a school record for wins in a season. The Pirates led the nation in team three-point field goal percentage (42.7%). Head coach Warren Friedrichs was named NCIC, Little All-Northwest and NAIA Division II Coach of the Year. Nate Dunham was the NCIC Player of the Year and a First Team NAIA Division II All-American. Roman Wickers was named First Team All-NCIC and Second Team All-American. The Pirates won 13 games in a row, until finally losing in overtime to Albertson College in the national championship game. Gabe Jones and Nate Williams, along with Dunham and Wickers, were named to the NAIA Division II all-tournament team. Members of the team were: Jeff Arkills, John Beckman, Nate Dunham, Gabe Jones, Greg Jones, Tyler Jordan, Jeff Mix, Doug Schultz, Louis Vargas, Sean Weston, Roman Wickers, Nate Williams, and Julian Nakanishi. The coaching staff was Warren Friedrichs, Rodney Wecker and Jon Adams.