Former Spartan athletes are helping take their college programs to new heights.
Stanwood High grad Kaitlin Larson was a vital presence in the paint powering Westmont College to a national title last month. The junior post grabbed 13 rebounds in the Warriors’ 72-61 win over Thomas More College in the women’s NAIA college basketball championship March 23. Larson, who started every game this season, led the team in rebounds this season.
Larson, a three-sport star for the Spartans who earned the school’s Athlete of the Year award in 2018, scored 15 points in the semifinal win over Indiana Wesleyan. Westmont’s only loss this season was to NCAA Division I Pepperdine and has a 27-game win streak against NAIA schools. The Warriors entered the NAIA tournament last season as the No. 1 seed before it was canceled due to the pandemic.
A pair of former Spartans are seeing time on the pitch for the Whitworth University women’s soccer team. Hailey Ovenell, a freshman defender, has an assist so far for the 4-4-1 Pirates. Bethany VanSant, a freshman midfielder, has started five games. Both were All-Wesco selections during their time at Stanwood High.
Two Stanwood grads are just starting the NWAC women’s basketball season. Madison Chisman, a 2019 Spartan graduate, helped Whatcom College tip-off on Saturday. Shelby Lund, a 2020 Stanwood grad, is a guard for Umpqua College.
Former Spartan Jake Evans, a freshman at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, was on the offensive line for the Lutes’ four-game football season that wrapped up March 13.
Two Spartans faced each other March 27 at the Ed Boitano Invitational track and field event. Wyatt Tayon (Pacific Lutheran University) and Gabe Heckman (Everett CC) competed in the discus during the eight-team event. Tayon’s toss of 125 feet, 4 inches earned him eighth place. Heckman’s throw of 113 feet, 1 inch was good for 12th. Tayon also finished sixth in the shot put with a throw of 42 feet, 5.25 inches — just shy of his season high of 44 feet, 11.5 inches a week earlier.
Lukas Sepulveda is competing in the 60-meter dash and the 200-meter dash for Valparaiso University in Indiana. The freshman ran the 200-meter in a season-best 23.08 seconds earlier this season. The 2019 Stanwood graduate also ran the 60-meter in a season-best time of 7.25 seconds in February.
Madison Yerigan, a senior at Nebraska, paced the Husker women in the high jump with a sixth-place finish at the Big Ten Indoor Championships on Feb. 27. The former Spartan cleared the bar in season-best 5 feet, 7.75 inches.
Taylor McCall, a 2019 Stanwood graduate, scored the deciding goal late in the regular-season finale March 27 for the University of Providence (Great Falls, Montana) Argonauts men’s hockey team against the No. 1-ranked University of Mary. The victory propelled the Argos into the 16-team American Collegiate Hockey Association D2 National Tournament with the No. 9 seed. The tournament starts April 15 in Mandan, North Dakota. McCall scored four goals and tallied five assists so far this season.
Isaac Olson, a 2016 Stanwood graduate, stepped out of the bullpen Saturday for the George Fox Bruins baseball team and stepped into the school's record books. The 6-foot-2 seniormade his 71st career appearance, a new school record. So far this season, Olson is 1-0 with two saves in seven appearances.