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Five former student-athletes named to 2018 Hall of Fame class

By Hillary O’Connor

 

The Western Athletics Department has added five former athletes to their Hall of Fame. The 2018 class of inductees include women’s basketball center Anne Cooper, softball pitcher Alison Haukaas, women’s basketball forward Joni Slagle, football quarterback Jason Stiles and women’s golfer Katja Trygg.

Anne Cooper

Cooper played for Western from 1982 to 1986. During her career, she set the school record for nine blocked shots in a game, 114 blocked shots in a season and career blocked shots with 322.

“Anne had long arms and great timing,” former coach Lynda Goodrich said. “To be a good shot blocker, you have to have that.”

Cooper was a co-captain in both her junior and senior seasons. In her four-year career she posted a 77.7 win percentage.

“But what amazed me was the number of assists Anne had per game,” Goodrich said. “She could score inside, but she also was a very good passer. A lot of times with a center, the ball goes in but it doesn’t come back out. But when the defense collapsed on Anne, she found the open player.”

Her junior season, Cooper earned National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division 1 and Kodak All-District honors. She averaged a team-leading 9.3 rebounds.

Her senior season, she was a district all-star on a team that won district and bi-district titles, and reached the quarterfinals at the NAIA National Tournament. She averaged 8.6 points a game.

Cooper now lives in Des Moines, Iowa and is a senior vice president and chief human resources officer for Sammons Financial Group.

Western softball alumna Alison Haukaas pitched a complete-game to help the Vikings capture the 1998 NAIA national championship. // Photo courtesy of Western Athletics

Alison Haukaas

Softball pitcher Alison Haukaas joined the Western softball team in 1995 as a walk-on freshman. That year, Haukaas helped Western win the Pacific Northwest Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles. The team then finished second at the NAIA Pacific Northwest Regional.

As a freshman, she earned the PNWAC Pitcher of the Year, Pacific Northwest All-Sectional and NAIA National Pitcher of the Week. That season she had eight shutouts, two no-hitters and 127 strikeouts.

She pitched a complete-game victory, playing the entire time without a relief pitcher, to help Western win its first national championship in the 1998 NAIA National Tournament.

“That was a fairytale, Cinderella year,” coach Art Phinney said. “And while it is a team sport, the heart and soul, the first person to play at Western with the mental strength to win a national title was Alison Haukaas.”

The Vikings won the 1998 national championship after the program was created only six years earlier.

Joni Slagle

Women’s basketball forward Joni Slagle played for the Vikings from 1975 to 1977. During the 1976-77 season, Slagle averaged 20.1 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. Slagle earned all-star honors at both the district and regional tournaments and scored 543 points, making 222 field goals that season.

She set school records with both of those numbers, and her scoring average is still in the top-three all time in Western women’s basketball history.

“In my opinion she has to be one of the best all-around forwards in the country and is certainly the best I’ve ever coached,” Goodrich said.

Prior to coming to Western, Slagel played at Olympic Community College. While playing for Olympic, Slagel earned a school record by scoring 47 points in one game. She also played volleyball and tennis at Olympic.

In 1978 Slagel was drafted by the Minnesota Fillies but decided not to play. She played AAU basketball for the top-ranked Bellco Electric, based in Seattle.

Western football alumnus Jason Stiles was an NAIA All-American honorable mention quarterback his senior year in 1995. // Photo courtesy of Western Athletics

Jason Stiles

Quarterback Jason Stiles played for the Vikings from 1992 to 1995, and he started all four years of his career at Western.

During his career, Stiles had a 30-9 record and finished as the school’s career leader in yards passing with 7,854 and 67 touchdown passes.

In 1995 Stiles was named an honorable mention NAIA All-American. He led the team to their first undefeated regular season since 1938. That season, the team earned its first No. 1 ranking in the final national poll and took first place in the Columbia Football Association-Mount Rainier League.

“Jason was the consummate team leader, exactly what you look for in your quarterback,” former coach Rob Smith said. “He played the game with both passion and determination, two qualities that have allowed him to achieve great personal success after graduation.”

His senior season, Stiles passed for 2,297 yards and threw 17 touchdowns. He was a first-team all-CFA pick and earned NAIA National Player of the Week. As a sophomore, Stiles ranked ninth nationally in passing. As a junior, he passed for 1,964 yards.

Katja Trygg, a Western women’s golf alumna, was a first-team National Golf Coaches Association All-American selection. // Photo courtesy of Western Athletics

Katja Trygg

Women’s golfer Katja Trygg holds or shares four of Western records in women’s golf. She has the best season scoring average of 75.4, the lowest scoring round at 69, the most tournament medalist performances at eight and the top finish at nationals, placing fifth.

As a senior, Trygg earned a first-team National Golf Coaches Association All-American honor for the second year in a row and earned Western’s Female Athlete of the Year award. During the 2005-06 season, she helped the Vikings to the best campaign in program history.

“My first year coaching was Katja’s senior year,” Bo Stephan said. “Now, 13 years later, it still ranks as the most special season that I have been a part of, both individually for her and as a team.”

Over the course of her four year career, Trygg managed to lower her average by 10 strokes.

Her junior year, Trygg medaled in four tournaments. That season, she helped the Vikings take fifth place at the NCAA championships. As a senior, Trygg averaged a school-record of 75.4 strokes. She also recorded a career and school-best 3-under-par at 69.  

“Katja was such a tremendous player, but an even better leader and teammate,” Stephan said. “She came to Western her freshman year with talent, but over her time here, matured into not only the best player Western has ever had, but one of the best players in the country. She is extremely deserving of this honor and I couldn’t be prouder of her for that achievement.”

These five athletes bring the Hall of Fame to 145 members after 116 years of Viking athletics. Their induction ceremony is set for 1 p.m. on May 19 in Sam Carver Gymnasium and is open to the public.

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