Alumni Notebook: Nevada Union grads O’Brien, Arnoldi make impact on track & field teams |

Alumni Notebook: Nevada Union grads O’Brien, Arnoldi make impact on track & field teams

Melanie O'Brien, a 2014 Nevada Union graduate, competes for Chico State in the 100-meter hurdles at the Johnny Mathis Invitational. O'Brien took fourth place in the event.
Photo by Brian O’Brien |

Melanie O’Brien, a 2014 Nevada Union graduate, is making an instant impact as a freshmen on the Chico State track and field team, most recently at the Johnny Mathis Invitational at San Francisco State University.

O’Brien, who runs hurdles and competes in the heptathlon event for the Wildcats, placed fourth in the 100-meter hurdles at the Johnny Mathis Invitational with a time of 15.35 seconds.

Her efforts in San Francisco came on the heels of fourth place finishes in the 100 hurdles and javelin events at the Chico State Invitational a week earlier.

Chico State is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation among Division II schools.

Emilie Arnoldi (Nevada Union ‘13; Santa Barbara City College) showcased her athleticism at the SBCC Easter Relays last week, taking third in the long jump, second in the triple jump and sixth in the 100- meter dash.

Arnoldi was also a member of the SBCC women’s golf team that won a state championship in 2013.

Men’s Basketball

Josh Ritchart (Forest Lake Christian ‘10; UC Davis) had his college basketball career come to a close last week after the Aggies lost in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament to Stanford, 77-64.

Ritchart, a 6-foot, 9-inch red shirt senior, shot just 2-for-11 and finished with five points in the loss to the Cardinal.

In his senior season, Ritchart started in 31 of the Aggies 32 games this season, averaged 11.8 points per game (second on the team) and 4.1 rebounds per game. Ritchart was also third on the team with 64 made 3-pointers this season, hitting at a 45 percent clip.

The Aggies finished the 2014-15 season with a 25-7 overall record and won the Big West Conference regular season title, but missed an opportunity to reach the NCAA Tournament after falling in the BWC tournament semifinals to Hawaii.


Alyssa Reina (Bear River ‘12; North Dakota State) and the Bison (23-5) are blowing through their schedule, winning nine straight, including three in a row to open Summit League play.

After dispatching DePaul and Northern Illinois in non-league bouts last week, the Bison tore through a three-game series with Summit League foe Western Illinois.

Reina, a sophomore catcher, went 5-for-17 with six RBIs, five runs scored, two home runs and a double last week. On the season, Reina has started all 28 games, has a .348 batting average and leads the team in home runs (7) and RBIs (32). Defensively, she boasts a .997 fielding percentage.

Stephanie Ceo (Bear River ‘12; University of Texas) and the Longhorns (18-9) split a pair of games last week, topping Arkansas, but falling to Georgia Southern.

Ceo, a junior infielder, went 4-for-7 from the plate with three runs scored and a triple across the two games. On the season, Ceo has started in 26 of the Longhorns 27 games and totes a .304 batting average.

Maddie Phelps (Bear River ‘12; Alabama State) and the Hornets (8-21) opened the Southwestern Athletic Conference with a pair of wins Monday, topping Prairie View A&M, and Arkansas Pine Bluff.

Phelps, a junior pitcher, earned the win against Prairie View, throwing five innings and allowing three runs on seven hits. On the season, Phelps is 4-10 from the circle with a 7.29 ERA.

Shyanne Parrish (Nevada Union ‘14; Yuba College) and the 49ers (6-20) won a pair of games over Los Medinos last week.

Parrish, a freshmen catcher/pitcher, played in both games, going 5-for-6 from the plate with five runs scored. On the season, Parrish is batting .317 with 16 runs scored and three RBIs.


Zach Welz (Bear River ‘11; Texas Southern University) and the Tigers (11-11) swept a three-game series with Southern last week.

Welz, a senior outfielder, doubled in all three games and finished the series 6-for-14 with five runs scored and an RBI. On the season, Welz is batting .247 with 12 runs scored, eight RBIs and seven stolen bases.

Dusty Zeisler (Nevada Union ‘12; Holy Names University) and the Hawks (11-17) continued their slide last week, losing four straight to Dixie State.

Zeisler, a junior shortstop, played in three of the games, going 2-for-14 with a pair of singles and a pair of walks. On the season, Zeisler is batting .318 with 13 runs scored and eight RBIs this season.

Chris Porter (Nevada Union ’11; Cal State East Bay) and the Pioneers (7-16) were swept by Fresno Pacific in a three-game series.

Porter, a junior catcher, played in two of the three games, and went 2-for-5 from the plate with a double and two walks. On the season, Porter is batting .250 with three home runs and 13 RBIs.

Jakob Freele (Nevada Union ‘14; Northland College) and the Lumberjacks (4-10) lost both games of a doubleheader with Lakeland College Sunday.

Freele, a freshmen outfielder, started one game and went 0-for-3. On the season, Freele is batting .379 with nine runs scored, four doubles and four stolen bases.

Joey Souza (Nevada Union ‘14; Yuba Community College) and the 49ers (13-11) took two of three games last week, beating Laney and splitting a pair with Mendocino.

Souza, a freshman pitcher, came out of the bullpen twice, throwing a total of 3.1 innings, allowing six hits, two earned runs and striking out two. Souza did not factor into the decision in either game. On the season, Souza has appeared in 12 games, thrown 15 1/3 innings, allowed 20 hits, seven earned runs, has a 4.11 ERA and tallied 12 strikeouts.

Brandon O’Callaghan (Nevada Union ‘13; Yuba Community College) played catcher for the 49ers in the win over Mendocino and went o-for-4 from the plate. On the season, O’Callaghan has a .207 batting average with seven runs scored and two RBIs.

Have we missed anyone? If you know of a college or professional athlete with local ties, email or call 530-477-4232.

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