by Korey Hope
Hundreds of collegiate athletes make it to a national stage every year. Whitworth’s Emily Guthrie is one of the few to appear in two national tournaments in two different sports. Guthrie, a senior basketball player and golfer, has been named Female Athlete of the Year by The Whitworthian sports staff.
Head golf coach Warren Friedrichs played a major role in bringing Guthrie to Whitworth. As soon as the golfer showed she was looking at Whitworth, Friedrichs immediately got back to her and Guthrie came to the school on a visit.
“When I did come to visit, I knew right away that this is where I wanted to go,” Guthrie said.
Her ability on the golf course was never in question, but when Friedrichs learned she helped lead her high school basketball team to a runner-up finish at the state level, he promptly introduced her to Helen Higgs, the head women’s basketball coach for Whitworth. Guthrie, who once aspired to play basketball at a Division I level, was excited about the opportunity of being able to play both golf and basketball at a collegiate level.
“I didn’t want to give golf up, so it was a huge blessing to get to play both in college,” Guthrie said. “Did I think I would ever get to do both in college? No. Did I want to do both? Absolutely. And thankfully it worked out.”
Along with playing golf at a high level for the Pirates, Guthrie also played a huge role for the Whitworth women’s basketball team. As a freshman she played in 16 games for the Bucs, with that number increasing in each of the next two years. She led the Pirates in scoring her sophomore year, as well as earning Second-Team All-NWC honors. In her junior year, Guthrie started every game and led the team in free-throw percentage, 3-pointers made and attempted and assists. She also tied with a teammate for 10 blocked shots and averaged more than 11 points and four rebounds per game.
During her senior year, Guthrie started the first 19 games before tearing her ACL in practice, sidelining her for the rest of the season.
“Her leadership was shown through her team by them wanting to win for her,” Higgs said. “It was almost extra motivation for them. They cared about her enough to want to win for Emily. None of them took it upon themselves, they knew if they all fought a little harder and each of them did a little more, they could get it done. It’s pretty rare when somebody gets injured and that is the effect it has on the team.”
Guthrie’s injury did not affect her golf season. The senior decided to put off surgery and try to play on her injured leg under the supervision of a specialist, and didn’t miss a match the entire season.
“I just wear my brace and it doesn’t hurt at all,” Guthrie said. “I was amazed because it didn’t hurt and very thankful at the same time.”
In her four years playing both basketball and golf for the Pirates, Guthrie didn’t fail to fill her trophy case.
In her career, she gathered two NWC titles, two First-Team All-NWC spots, two Second-Team All-NWC positions, five All-NWC Student-Athlete of the Week awards, five All-NWC Student-Athlete of the Week Honorable Mentions, four national tournament appearances (twice as an individual if she qualifies in golf in this year), Medalist honors for both the NWC Fall Classic and the NWC Tournament her freshman year and a NWC Player of the Year award.
She also holds the Whitworth women’s basketball record for 3-pointers made and attempted in a career. And with the NCAA Division III National Golf Tournament coming up on May 14-17 at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Fla., her career resumé may not yet be complete. The tournament field was expected to be named Monday, May 6; however, due to The Whitworthian production schedule, results were not available at press time. Check thewhitworthian.com for updates.
All accolades aside, simply being able to balance two sports with academics and a social life can be a very challenging task. Senior Emily Travis is in the same boat as Guthrie, because she also played both basketball and golf for the Pirates.
“Most of our friends were in sports so it wasn’t too hard socially, but it was definitely a challenge to get used to,” Travis said.
Guthrie agreed with her teammate and roommate, saying she will need to find something to do with herself when golf finishes up in mid-May.
“Learning how to deal with time and be properly organized took some time,” Guthrie said. “But now I’m just so used to it. I’m going to need another hobby after Whitworth.”
Guthrie, a kinesiology and nursing major, plans to apply for nursing school next spring, after surgery for her torn ACL.
“She is a great athlete, has good fundamental skills and is a competitor. You can see it on the basketball court and on the golf course,” Friedrichs said. “I couldn’t be happier with her career; she’s done us proud. She has the personal integrity and persona that represents Whitworth so well. She’s a special one.”
Contact Korey Hope at firstname.lastname@example.org