Former Wildcat swimmer Beth (Slaughter) Whittle of the Class of 1997 joins yet another elite group with her induction into the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame. Already one of just 13 Linfield student-athletes to have won individual national championships, she is among a group of only 15 women to be inducted into her alma mater’s Hall of Fame.
Whittle was a two-time Northwest Conference of Independent Colleges Female Swimmer of the Year and four-time NAIA All-American performer. Her crowning achievement came at the 1996 NAIA National Championships when she won the 200-yard backstroke as a junior.
As a freshman, Whittle immediately made waves, leading the Linfield women’s swim team to an unblemished 8-0 record in conference competition and a second-place finish at the league championships. She won two events at the meet and qualified for nationals in five different events.
In her first season alone, Whittle set three school records and earned four All-America citations by placing in the Top 8 at the national championships.
For her efforts, she received the Carolyn Fleischer Memorial Award as the Linfield Woman Athlete of the Year, and was also chosen as the team’s Rookie of the Year.
Whittle went on to an illustrious career, totaling 11 conference titles and 20 All-America citations. She was named co-NCIC Swimmer of the Year as both a sophomore and junior, Linfield’s Most Valuable Swimmer her third year, and served as team captain during her senior season.
In all, she set four individual school records, including the 100 backstroke, 200 backstroke, 200 butterfly and 400 individual medley. Three of those records stood until the late-2000s, and one, the individual medley, still stands today.
Whittle also ranks in the top 10 in program history in four other events: the 100 butterfly, 200 individual medley, 500 freestyle and 1,000 freestyle.
Upon graduation, Whittle’s swimming career did not end; it simply evolved.
After working for two years first as a fifth-grade teacher and then as an administrative assistant, Whittle landed her first coaching position as the assistant swimming & diving coach at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn. She has also held assistant coaching positions with programs at the University of Washington, and at Washington University of St. Louis.
Currently, Whittle is in her second year as the head men’s and women’s swimming & diving coach at Macalester College in Minnesota.
In addition to her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Linfield, she also holds a master’s degree in physical education and athletic administration from Idaho State University.
Beth and her husband, Tim, the head men’s basketball coach at Macalester, live in Minneapolis with their two-year-old daughter, Summer, and infant son, Banks Nolin.