ALUMNI NOTEBOOK: Lujan dives in at NCAA championships |

ALUMNI NOTEBOOK: Lujan dives in at NCAA championships

Mikaela Lujan

Mikaela Lujan, a 2015 Nevada Union graduate, competed with the top collegiate divers in the nation at the 2018 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships in Columbus, Ohio over the weekend.

Lujan, a diver for the University of South Carolina, participated in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events. The junior placed 25th overall in the platform event with a score of 234.40 Saturday.

“Mikaela had a decent day on the platform with just one miss that kept her out of the top sixteen,” South Carolina head coach Todd Sherritt told

Lujan scored in the top-10 in two of five rounds of the platform prelims but came up 20.10 points shy of qualifying for the consolation final.

She placed 31st in the 1-meter on Friday with a score of 265.95.

This was Lujan’s second trip to the NCAA Championships. She was 28th in 1-meter and 47th in 3-meter in 2017.

During Lujan’s time at Nevada Union she was a 3-time Sierra Foothill League and All-Sac-Joaquin Section champion. She was also named to the All-State Dive team three times.


Matt Lopez, a 2016 Bear River graduate, and the Sierra College Wolverines won their only game last week, topping Yuba College, 6-0.

Lopez, a freshman first baseman, was 3-for-4 from the plate with a home run, three RBIs and two runs scored. For the season, Lopez is batting .418 with four home runs, 24 RBIs and 26 runs scored.

Sierra (17-4, 6-0) competes in the CCCAA’s Big 8 Conference.

There was a pair of local alumni on the other side as Andrew Schitzius, a 2016 Nevada Union graduate, and Bear Belding, a 2016 Bear River graduate, took the field for Yuba.

Schnitzius started at catcher and went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles. Belding was 2-for-3 with a couple base knocks in the loss.

For the season, Schnitzius is batting .327 with seven RBIs. Belding is batting .206 with seven RBIs.

Yuba College (9-12) competes in the CCCAA’s Bay Valley Conference.

Dalton Maxwell, a 2015 Nevada Union graduate, and the Menlo College Oaks took two games of a three-game series with Hope International University last week.

Maxwell, a junior middle infielder, started all three games and went 6-for-14 from the plate with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored. For the season, Maxwell is batting .207 with three doubles and 12 RBIs.

Menlo teammate Ryan McCarthy, a 2013 Nevada Union graduate, took the mound in relief once during the series.

The 6-foot, 4-inch righty pitched in Friday’s win, throwing 3.2 innings, allowing two hits and no runs while striking out four. He did not figure into the decision. For the season, McCarthy has appeared in nine games, thrown 21.2 innings and has a 6.23 ERA.

Menlo (13-16, 9-12) is a NAIA school that competes in the Golden State Athletic Conference.

Jakob Freele, a 2014 Nevada Union graduate, and the Northland College Lumberjacks dropped all four of their games last week, losing a pair of games to Luther College and a pair to St. Olaf College.

Freele, a senior center fielder, started all four games, going 3-for-14 with a run scored, an RBI and three stolen bases across the four contests.

Northland (0-6) is a Division III school that competes in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference.

Garrett O’Callaghan, a 2014 Nevada Union graduate, got the start on the mound for Holy Names University last week, but couldn’t get out of the fifth inning and took the loss against Dixie State.

O’Callaghan, a junior, pitched 4.2 innings, allowed six hits and five earned runs while striking out four. Holy Names lost, 7-0.

O’Callaghan is now 1-4 on the year with a 6.16 ERA.

Holy Names (6-15, 2-10) is a Division II school that competes in the PacWest Conference.


Nerissa Eason, a 2016 Bear River graduate, took to the circle twice for Oregon State during a three-game series against University of California, Berkeley last week.

Eason, a sophomore pitcher, tossed an inning of relief in a loss on Saturday. She then threw three innings in a victory on Sunday. She did not figure into the decision in either game. For the season, Eason has appeared in 10 games, thrown 36.2 innings, is 1-0 and has a 3.82 ERA.

Oregon State (19-10, 2-1) is a Division I school that competes in the Pac-12.


Three Nevada Union alumnae competed for Chico State at the Hornet Invitational Track and Field Meet held at Hornet Stadium on the campus of Sacramento State University this past weekend.

Nora Pizzella, a 2016 Nevada Union graduate, finished 13th in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 18 minutes, 10.10 seconds.

Fellow 2016 graduate and Wildcat sophomore Nadia Torkman competed in two events, throwing the javelin 30.86 meters (101-feet, 3-inches) and clearing the high jump bar at 1.50 meters (4—11). Torkman set a personal best in the event last week getting over the bar at 1.57 meters (5—1 3/4)

Melanie O’Brien, a 2014 Nevada Union graduate and senior at Chico State, also took to the track in multiple events starting off by running the anchor leg in the 4X100 relay as the team posted a time of 48.40 seconds and placed eighth. O’Brien then competed in the long jump, recording a leap of 5.23 meters (17—2) and finished the day in the 100 hurdles clocking in at 15.91 seconds.

Next up for the Wildcats will be the long ride up north to Arcata to compete in the Humboldt State University Invitational Saturday.

Have we missed anyone? If you know of a college or professional athlete with local ties, email or call 530-477-4232. Brian O’Brien contributed to this article.

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