Whitworth Calls Timeout For Big Game Classes Canceled So Students, Teachers Could See Final Game Of Tournament

FROM FOR THE RECORD (Thursday, March 14, 1996): Whitworth College won the 1960 national baseball championship. A story in Wednesday’s Spokesman-Review incorrectly said Whitworth won a football title.

This quiet Presbyterian campus in north Spokane was quieter than normal Tuesday.

Classes were canceled because the Whitworth College men’s basketball team won its way to the national championship in southern Idaho Tuesday night.

The college president took the unusual step so students and staff could attend the final game, which their team lost in overtime to Albertson College of Idaho.

Six chartered buses with more than 400 aboard left just after dawn. A caravan of private cars made the journey to Nampa, Idaho, site of the NAIA Division II tournament for small colleges.

They joined a contingent of students and staff who’ve been in Nampa since the tournament began last week.

“It’s kind of a mass exodus down to Nampa,” said Tim Wolf, spokesman for the 2,000-student private college.

The last time the Whitworth Pirates won a national championship was 1960, in football.

Needless to say, the campus went into orbit Monday when the team won its semifinal match against William Jewell College.

“The place erupted when we won,” said Chris Lewis, a student from Sherwood, Ore.

“It was crazy,” said Jonah Chun, a student from Honolulu.

People were driving around honking horns. Students in the dorms were running up and down the halls screaming and yelling out windows.

In the library, some students listened to the semifinal on radio. When the Pirates claimed their spot in the championship game, the library became a zoo, the students said.

“You could just feel it in the air,” said Dayna Coleman, assistant dean of students, who was dressed Tuesday in a red Whitworth sweatshirt.

Those who stayed behind watched the championship game with friends, or in front of the big-screen TV in the student center.

Said Chun: “I love all this hype on campus.”

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo


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