Brooke Pierson, second from the left, rows for national champion University of Washington. (Photo by Alika Jenner)

Brooke Pierson, second from the left, rows for national champion University of Washington. (Photo by Alika Jenner)

Oak Harbor, Coupeville alumni excel in college sports

All-conference honors, school records and national tournament appearances highlighted the achievements of Oak Harbor and Coupeville high school graduates who competed at the college level in spring athletics this year.

Track

Coming off a strong indoor season where he earned first-team All-American honors in the 800 meters, Dejon Devroe, a junior from Oak Harbor competing for Mississippi State University, received second-team All-American honors by taking 14th in the 800 at the NCAA Division I outdoor championships June 6-8 in Eugene.

He also helped the Bulldogs set a school record in the 4×800 relay (7:14.16) at the prestigious Penn Relays April 28, clocking the 14th-fastest time in NCAA history.

Oak Harbor’s Alexandra Laiblin finished her track career at Western Washington University by placing eighth in the 10,000 meters and 13th in the 5,000 at the Great Northwest Conference Championships May 11 and 12.

Laiblin’s top finishes for the season were a pair of seconds — in the 10,000 at the Puget Sound Ed Boitano Invitational March 3 and in the 1,500 at the Pacific Lutheran Open March 10.

Laiblin ranks sixth on Western’s all-time best-mark list in the 10,000 (37:16.26).

She is also a three-time member of the GNAC all-academic team, earning a 3.66 GPA while majoring in biology.

Julie Jansen, a freshman from Oak Harbor on the Northwest College (Orange, Iowa) track team, competed in the weight events for the Red Raiders this spring.

Her best finish during the season was 15th in the discus at the Red Raider Open April 21.

Jansen’s other top places in the other events all came at the Dutch Invitational March 30: 18th in the shot put and javelin and 21st in the hammer.

Baseball

Oak Harbor’s Anthony Stewart, a national ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove winner in 2017, received his second consecutive Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Gold Glove honor this past season.

Playing for the University of Minnesota – Crookston, the senior centerfielder recorded a .991 fielding percentage with 115 putouts, one assist and only one error.

Stewart also excelled at the plate, hitting a team second-best .320 with 11 doubles, a team-high 10 triples, five home runs and 35 RBI for the 24-27 Golden Eagles. He also led the team with 10 stolen bases.

The 10 triples is double the previous single-season school record.

His 14 career triples and 23 career stolen bases are school records, and his career batting average of .332 is seventh-best in school history.

Coupeville’s Ben Etzell helped the St. John’s (Collegeville, Minn.) baseball team win the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title with a 16-4 mark (33-8 overall) and finish second in the conference tournament.

The senior right-hander appeared in a team-high 13 games, tossing 17.1 innings with a 1.56 ERA, best among regular pitchers on the Johnnies’ staff, and a 2-2 record.

He gave up 10 hits and eight walks while striking out 14; he recorded one save.

His best effort this spring came in the conference playoffs when he threw three hitless and scoreless innings against Bethel May 12.

Over his career, he appeared in 50 games with a 10-4 record and 4.49 ERA in 110.1 innings.

Freshman Tyler Snavely from Oak Harbor pitched for 16-23 Skagit Valley College this year, appearing in eight games. The right-hander had a 4.82 ERA over 9.1 innings, allowing nine hits, five runs and four walks while fanning five.

Oak Harbor’s Jay Stout is continuing his post-collegiate baseball career in the professional Pecos League with the Tucson Saguaros. Through June 27, he appeared in 14 games, getting eight hits in 31 at bats with six RBI, a home run, 10 walks and two stolen bases.

Stout also pitched one inning and earned the save for the 22-10 Saguaros.

Golf

Oak Harbor graduate Annie Leete golfed for Western Washington University this spring.

The junior appeared in nine tournaments for the Vikings, the most by any WWU player, and posted her best finish, 20th, at the season’s biggest meet, the Great Northwest Conference championships, with rounds of 88 and 79 April 23 and 24.

Leete had Western’s fourth-best average, 81.17, and second-best round of the season, 74.

Softball

Sophomore Lexie Findley played in 16 games for the 17-23 California Lutheran University (Thousand Oaks) softball team, hitting .188 (3-for-16) with two runs and three RBI. The Oak Harbor grad was 2-for-2 with a run and RBI in a 23-5 win over Chapman April 20.

Rowing

Oak Harbor native Brooke Pierson just finished her rowing career at the University of Washington, one of the country’s top programs.

Pierson, daughter of 1980 Oak Harbor graduate Randy Pierson, did not attend OHHS but was born here and attended first through fifth grade in Oak Harbor. Her father is in the Navy, and she attended 10 schools while growing up, graduating from West Potomac, Virginia.

“The North Whidbey Soccer Club really started my interest in sports and I ran my first 5K race at NAS Whidbey that got me into running,” she said. “I then went on to

play basketball, cross country and track through middle and high school and was recruited by UW to row.”

This season she stroked the second varsity 8 that won a gold medal at the NCAA Division I championships; as a junior she was a member of the first varsity 8 that won the national collegiate title.

Rowing for the United States, she won a bronze medal in women’s pair at the 2017 World Rowing U23 Championships in Bulgaria, and she has been invited to the U.S. Rowing U23 national team selection camp for 2018.

Soccer

Oak Harbor graduate Caley Powers, who plays soccer for California Baptist, recorded a 4.0 GPA for the spring semester, helping him earn a spot on the Academic All-PacWest team for the 2017-18 school year.

Dejon Devroe helped Mississippi State University set a school record in the 4x800 relay this year. (Photo courtesy of MSU Athletics)

Dejon Devroe helped Mississippi State University set a school record in the 4×800 relay this year. (Photo courtesy of MSU Athletics)

Ben Etzell was one of St. John’s top relievers this season. (Photo by Jennifer McNelly/St. John’s University)

Ben Etzell was one of St. John’s top relievers this season. (Photo by Jennifer McNelly/St. John’s University)

Lexie Findley is a back-up catcher for California Lutheran University. (Photo courtesy of CLU Athletics)

Lexie Findley is a back-up catcher for California Lutheran University. (Photo courtesy of CLU Athletics)

Alexandra Laiblin, joined by Western Washington University track coach of 31 seasons Pee Wee Halsell, shows off her diploma. (Photo courtesy of WWU Athletics)

Alexandra Laiblin, joined by Western Washington University track coach of 31 seasons Pee Wee Halsell, shows off her diploma. (Photo courtesy of WWU Athletics)

Alex Laiblin, running for Western Washington, competes at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Ore., on May 11. (Photo by Christopher Oertell/GNAC Athletics)

Alex Laiblin, running for Western Washington, competes at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Ore., on May 11. (Photo by Christopher Oertell/GNAC Athletics)

Annie Leete played on the Western Washington women’s golf team in 2018. (Photo courtesy of WWU Athletics)

Annie Leete played on the Western Washington women’s golf team in 2018. (Photo courtesy of WWU Athletics)

Anthony Stewart was a team leader on offense and defense for Minnesota-Crookston. (Photo by Terry Tollefson)

Anthony Stewart was a team leader on offense and defense for Minnesota-Crookston. (Photo by Terry Tollefson)

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