Sweet Home alums making marks

Benny Westcott

As 2022 winds down, The New Era takes a look at how Sweet Home High School sports alumni fared in college competition during the fall and early stages of winter.

Shelbey Nichol (Class of 2021)

Competing for Linn-Benton Community College, Nichol was named Second Team All-American in women’s volleyball for two-year colleges. The sophomore was also named to the Northwest Athletic Conference South Region’s First Team. She helped the Roadrunners go 34-1 and win an NWAC championship for the second season in a row. Starting in 35 matches as a middle blocker, Nichol had 2.08 kills per set with a .314 hitting percentage. She also recorded 0.21 assists, 0.81 blocks, 0.27 service aces, and 1.00 digs per set.

Graci Zanona (2021) and Savannah Hutchins (2021)

The pair was also a part of LBCC’s championship team. Zanona, a libero, playing in 20 matches and starting one, was named to the NWAC South Region’s Second Team. She had 4.22 digs per set, as well as 0.81 assists, 0.21 aces, and 0.06 kills per set. She had a .053 hitting percentage.

Hutchins, a setter, started in 35 matches and had 5.98 assists per set. She had 2.07 digs, 0.28 aces, and 0.13 kills per set, with a

.220 hitting percentage.

Ally (Tow) Schmidt (2018)

A senior, Schmidt was a key contributor to the Corban University women’s volleyball team’s trip to the NAIA National Championship game, which they lost 3-2 to the University of Jamestown. The Warriors finished 33-5 on the season. In 132 sets played, Schmidt had 1.25 kills per set along with a .233 hitting percentage. She also had 0.94 blocks, 0.81 digs, and 0.27 aces per set. Against Eastern Oregon on Dec. 5, Schmidt had season-high totals of nine kills, 12 points, eight digs, and six total blocks.

Bailee Hartsook (2021)

As a sophomore for Division II Western Oregon University, Hartsook was named to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference’s First Team. She led the Wolves in kills with 2.48 per set (14th in the conference) and 243 overall with a .193 hitting percentage. She finished with double-digit kills 13 times in 26 matches this season. She had a season-high 19 kills against Simon Fraser on Nov. 5. Western Oregon finished the season at 9-17.

Megan Hager (2020)

As a junior at Colorado State University, which competes in the Division I Mountain West Conference, Hager has swum in five

events this season so far for the 6-0 Rams as the 2022-23 college swimming season gets under way. Hager finished 13th in the 100 Free with a time of 52.62 at the Chick-Fil-A Invitational in Fresno, Calif., on Oct. 8. Then, against the University of Denver on Oct. 28, Hager was part of the winning 400 yard Freestyle Relay team, which posted a score of 3:26.60 and helped the Rams eke out a tight 152-148 victory. And in a Mountain West double-duel against New Mexico and Air Force on Dec. 2, Hager posted second place finished in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyle events, with times of 23.78, 51.52, and 1:52.33.

Malia ‘Josie’ Hewitt (2022)

Hewitt, a freshman swimming for Colorado College, which competes in the Division III Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, won the 200 IM and 200 Breaststroke in the first meet of the season against Nebraska Wesleyan on Oct. 14. Then on Oct. 22 in a victory over Southwestern University, Hewitt won the 200 IM (2:16.64) and 200 Breaststroke (2:32.89). And at the Phoenix Fall Classic in Chicago, Ill. from Nov. 18-20, Hewitt set the school record twice in the 100-yard Breaststroke. She opened the day by setting a new school record in the preliminaries of the 100 Breast with a time of 1:06.29, breaking the old record of 1:06.34, set in 2015. Hewitt then lowered her record in the final with a time of 1:06.23, good for eighth place. Colorado College is 5-2.

Chloe Tyler (2022)

Tyler is already making waves in her first year at Illinois State University, competing for the women’s swimming and diving team. The Redbirds are in the Division I Missouri Valley Conference. In a win over McKendree University on Oct. 8, Tyler, Madyson Morse, Giulia Basco and Diana Walker posted a 3:53.99 for a victory in the 400-yard medley relay. Then at the MVC Showcase on Oct. 21 and 22, the 200-yard medley relay team of Tyler, Morse, Basco and Emma Feltzer grabbed second with a time of 1:45.51. And at a Nov. 5 double-dual vs. Evansville and Eastern Illinois, Tyler won the 100 backstroke event with a time of 57.17. Additionally, the 200-yard freestyle relay team of Tyler, Ella Turken, Mia Snow and Giulia Basco recorded a 1:37.49 for first place overall. The Redbirds are 3-2 so far this season.

Paige Chafin (2022)

In her first year wrestling for Eastern Oregon University, Chafin has already been a placewinner in a number of early-season invitationals. Competing in the 123-pound division, she was second in the Mountaineer Open, third in the Spokane Open, and third in the Battle of the Rockies. Chafin also won both of her matchups in dual matches so far this season, as the Mountaineers lost to the University of Providence (Mont.) 20-26 but beat Snow College 34-10.

Kami Hart (2022)

Hart is 1-4 so far in her first year competing for Linfield University’s women’s wrestling team. Her sole win came by forfeit against Paci c on Nov. 10. The Wildcats, who compete in the NCAA Division III Northwest Conference, are 2-1 overall.

Marissa Kurtz (2019)

The junior, wrestling in the 130-pound weight class for the Southern Oregon women’s wrestling team, lost by technical fall to Linfield’s Ayan Medina on Dec. 11 despite Southern Oregon winning the match 35-10. The Raiders are 2-0.

Travis Thorpe (2020)

Thorpe, a sophomore for Southern Oregon University, pinned Linfield’s Jack Barrett at 1:21 (25-0) in the 157-pound weight class, helping the Raiders beat Linfield 37-12 on Dec. 11. Thorpe was pinned by Eastern Oregon’s Michael Fox at 6:05 (13-9) in the Raiders’ 21-18 win over the Mountaineers on Nov. 18. Southern Oregon, which competes in the Cascade Collegiate Conference in the NAIA, is 6-1.

Jamie Seward (2022)

The freshman played in three volleyball games for Austin Peay State University, which competes in the Division I ASUN Conference. In three sets she recorded three kills and one total block. Austin Peay went 12-15 on the season.

Katie Robeck (2021)

In six games starting at goalkeeper for Hesston College’s women’s soccer team, Robeck allowed an average of 4.80 goals a game. She made 65 saves among 89 shots faced for a .730 save percentage. The Larks went 4-11 overall, competing in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference.

Daniel Hernandez-Luttrell (2022)

The freshman played in two games and recorded two tackles for Shasta College in Redding, Calif. The Knights went 4-6 competing in the California Community College Athletic Association.

Aiden Tyler (2021)

Tyler was a redshirt freshman quarterback at Western Oregon for the second season in a row.

Nate Coleman (2022)

Coleman’s high school cross country career was punctuated by COVID-19 cancellations and coaching changes, and he did not set a season best as a senior until the district championships. That changed during his freshman season at Judson University, an NAIA school in Elgin, Ill. Coleman was seventh for the men in his first college race (18:16), seven seconds off his high-school best (set as a sophomore). Moving up to the 8K distance, Coleman set a PR of 29.07 (roughly 17:42 5K time) in a race in which the wind was blowing at a recorded 50 mph, as Judson’s men finished fourth in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference championships held in Channahon, Ill. Things look promising for the Eagle men as eight of Judson’s 13 runners are underclassmen, and four of their scorers at CCAC race were freshman or sophomores, including freshman Dylan Bledsoe, who who finished ninth in the conference and qualified for nationals and earned CCAC Freshman of the Year honors.