Longland Takes on Medical School Next

Former Wolf Pack swimmer Nikki Longland is in her first year of medical school in the University of Nevada's School of Medicine.

She joins a long list of former Wolf Pack student-athletes who have gone on to professional schools. Most recently, Nevada has seen Shavon Moore (women's basketball), Jacob Anderson (baseball) and Katie Lyons (skiing) go on to medical school, Alex Borcherts (women's golf) enroll in nursing school and Meghann Morill (rifle) and Kimberly Medina (swimming) enter law school just to name a few.

A local product from Sparks, Longland earned her bachelor's degree in biology in May of 2014. She competed in numerous events for the Wolf Pack swimming team during her career including the backstroke and breaststroke disciplines as well as the medley and medley relay events. An academic all-conference honoree, she won Nevada's Give Back Like Jack Community Service Award in 2014 for her dedication for giving back to the community. She is a certified emergency medical technician (EMT) and volunteered more than 350 hours in the Northern Nevada Medical Emergency Room and more than 60 hours as a volunteer in the Student Outreach Clinic on campus.

We recently caught up with Longland to talk about entering medical school and how her athletics experience will help her in her career endeavors.

Q: What are your ultimate career goals?
 
A: My ultimate career goal is to become the best physician that I can be. I'm not quite sure what field I want to go into yet. But, for whatever field I eventually chose, I want to be somewhere that I can help patients and enjoy work every day.

Q: When did you decide that you wanted to pursue medical school?

A: At the end of my freshman year of college I saw medicine as a potential field that I may be interested in.  I began volunteering in an emergency room and I became an EMT. These experiences made me realize how interesting and fun I found medicine to be, and I decided during my sophomore year that I wanted to become a physician.

Q: What did you do this summer to prepare (or to take a break from school)?

A: I prepared for medical school this summer by taking a complete mental and physical break. I spent a lot of time with my family and did some traveling. This break made me really excited to start school, and I think it was the best way to prepare for the next four challenging years.

Q: What do you think will be the most difficult part about your first year in medical school?
 
A: I think that the most difficult part of my first year will be adjusting to being just a student. I will need to put all of my time and energy into school, where previously I had always had multiple things to focus on. I am used to thinking about school, swimming, volunteering, and everything else. This will be the first time that I can put all of my work into school.

Q: How do you feel like your background as a high-level swimmer will help you as you pursue high-level post-graduate work?

A: There are so many ways that swimming has prepared me to be a better medical student. I have learned how to best manage my time. Also, the dedication, hard work and toughness that swimming required have taught me how to not only push though hard situations but to thrive in them. And it has also taught me that people are capable of much more than they ever thought they could be. I was always surprised at the end of a season at how much my teammates and I could accomplish. This has shown me that I can do more than I give myself credit for.
 

Pack alum Michael Allen wins again

SAN ANTONIO, Texas. - Former Nevada men's golfer Michael Allen won the Champions Tour AT&T Championship this past weekend. This was his second victory of the year, and his seventh on the Champions tour.

Allen finished the final round with a six-under 66, and finished with a 15-under 201 for the tournament. Allen birdied three of the final four holes, including a 5-footer on the 18th hole of TPC's San Antonio AT&T's Canyons Course.

Allen finished eighth in the Charles Schwab Cup with a scoring average of 69.75 and nine top-10 finishes.

Allen, who graduated from the University of Nevada in 1982, has 10 professional wins, seven of which came in the Champions Tour. In 2009 he won the Senior PGA Championship with a six-under 274.

He was inducted into the Nevada Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013.

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Members of the University of Nevada women's basketball team and coaching staff put on a local clinic this past Wednesday, Oct. 15 for students at Hidden Valley Elementary School. The clinic, which featured five Nevada student-athletes and four members of the coaching staff, was put on for sixth grade boys and girls attending Hidden Valley. With over 60 kids in attendance, the clinic was spearheaded by Nevada assistant coach Julie Rousseau and ran about an hour and a half long. The Pack set up a number of stations for drills, including shooting, ball handling, footwork, passing, defense and lay ups. The coaches and student-athletes also addressed the kids during the clinic about college life and playing at the Division I level. At the conclusion of the clinic, players took time to sign autographs for everyone in attendance.
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Christenson wins gold medal at Championship of the Americas

Dempster Christenson.jpgDempster Christenson a former member of the University of Nevada rifle team shot his way to a gold medal at the 2014 Championship of the Americas being held in Guadalajara, Mexico today.  Dempster was second heading into the finals of today's air rifle but averaged 10.32 points on his 20-shot final round to total a score of 206.4 in the finals to claim gold.  The 206.4 tied the tied the American finals record previously set at the 2013 World Cup USA in Ft. Benning, Ga.  The Sioux Falls, S.D. native also secured and Olympic quota for the US.  

Pack alum Triplett wins again

CARY, N.C. - Former Nevada men's golfer Kirk Triplett won the SAS Championship on Sunday. This was his second victory of the year, and fourth in three seasons on the Champions tour.

Triplett finished the final round with a three-under 69, and finished with a 14-under 202 for the tournament. Triplett fired off six birdies in the final round at Prestonwood Country Club.

Triplett is currently sixth in the 2014 Charles Schwab Cup Rank and has nine top-10 finishes with a stroke average of 69.45.

Triplett, who graduated from the University of Nevada in 1985, is a three-time PGA tour winner, with wins coming at the Nissan Open in 2000, the Reno Tahoe-Open in 2003, and the Chrysler Classic of Tucson in 2006. He is also the oldest player to win a Nationwide Tour event at the age of 49.

Triplett was inducted in the Nevada Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000.

Outside the Huddle with Nigel Haikins

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Hello Wolf Pack Fans!

My name is Nigel Haikins. I am a soon-to-be graduate of the University of Nevada and a senior on its football team. I was born in Berkeley, California and was raised in the Bay Area. Despite playing football at the Division-I level, I am rather new to it. This is due to the fact that I started playing the sport my senior year of high school. After high school, I attended Diablo Valley College where I played for two seasons before transferring to Nevada. Being relatively new to football, I have learned a lot about the sport and its culture in a relatively short amount of time.

The thing that has jumped out to me the most during my acclimation to the sport were the perceptions that came with it. For some reason, still unknown to me, football players are perceived as entitled, selfish, self-centered people. This generalization of such a broad spectrum of people, including myself, bothers me. I believe this warped perception of football players comes from a misunderstanding. A misunderstanding of what being a football player truly entails. Since most people are oblivious to what it means to be a football player, I will try to explain by mapping out what we do during the week.

Sundays: Because our games are usually on Saturdays, this day is used for evaluation and recovery. As a team, we come together in the late afternoon and go through various exercises and stretches that help get the soreness out of our bodies. We then have a quick team meeting then split up for meetings with our position groups. These position group meetings give our coaches the opportunity to critique individual performances and show us where we can improve. Sundays also feature a quick practice in the evening.

Mondays: For most students, Monday is the most dreaded day of the week. It marks the end of the weekend and the start of another class and work-filled week. However, for football players, it is the single best day of the week. This is because it is our day off. We have no football obligations for the day. Despite it being our lone day off, most players use it as an opportunity to start watching film on our next opponent and familiarizing ourselves with them. Many also use this day to knock out as many of their required study hall hours as they can.

Tuesdays & Wednesdays: I group these two days together because they are equally tough. Unlike Mondays, when we get to sleep in, we start these days off nice and early with 7 a.m. meetings. These meetings usually last about an hour and consist of coaches explaining the opponent. In addition to these morning meetings, we also have weights to attend. These days also feature the toughest practices of the week. Practices are long, grueling, and physical. Coaches and players refer to these couple of days as "work days."

Thursdays: This year, Coach Polian decided to place a bigger emphasis on the mental preparation for games. This led to "No Sweat Thursdays." This day is dedicated to the perfection of the mental aspect of our game plan. Instead of pads, we practice in shorts and t-shirts. Despite being a practice day, the atmosphere is much more laid back than the other days of the week.

Fridays: Friday practices are short and crisp. Although not as physically intense as Tuesday and Wednesday practice, the serious tones of those days are present. This is also the day that we depart for games.

Hopefully, this insight into the life of a football player helps you understand what we do on a daily basis. Although I have explained the obligations players have during the week, there is no way to truly convey the mental, emotional, and physical stress that players undergo on a routine basis. I don't write this to make you feel sorry for players; it is a life that we choose and enjoy. I write this just to give understanding to those that may hold those negative views towards football players. Instead of assuming that the player in your class didn't do his homework because he thought he could skate by due to the fact he plays football, you realize that maybe it slipped his mind because he is learning a new position. That player that neglected to hold the door open for you at the Joe? He wasn't being rude, his mind was simply on the game plan for that week. People aren't always what they seem, with football players being no exception.

Homecoming Week

Boise State week. Since I first arrived at Nevada, there has been a quiet reverence towards the Boise State football team. The practice week leading up to the Boise game have always been more intense. Coaches and players were more solemn and less likely to joke around. Despite being the perpetual underdog, Nevada football has traditionally placed special emphasis on beating Boise State.

However, the 2014 season marks the end of this placement of Boise on a pedestal. Coach Polian has changed the harmful habit of the team looking into the future and circling games on the schedule. This season, we make the effort to look at each game as a one game season. This has led to us putting our full effort and concentration into each game and an optimism surrounding the team that is not usually there. Time will tell if this new method of thinking will help the Nevada football finally defeat Boise State.

Wolf Pack student-athletes learn about resume writing

On Monday night, 49 Wolf Pack student-athletes took some time out of their busy schedules to attend a workshop on resume writing.

Taught by Mary T Calhoon from the University of Nevada's Career Studio, the workshop focused on helping student-athletes transfer their experiences on and off the field to their resumes.

Calhoon told the student-athletes that their resumes are their own "unique personal marketing tools." She also helped them identify the skills they learn as student-athletes that employers are looking for, including being goal-oriented and competitive, resilient, strong communicators, team players, good time managers and hard workers.

The resume writing workshop was part of the Wolf Pack Life Skills program, which is committed to student-athletes' complete development personally and professionally. The program strives to teach student-athletes skills and provide them the resources they will need to be successful in college and in life after athletics by offering workshops, presentations and guest speakers as well as directing them to additional on- and off-campus resources.

Other topics scheduled for this year include finding the right major and career path, personal finance, dressing for success, car maintenance and winter driving, nutrition, personal etiquette and interviewing for jobs.

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Pack basketball team participates in JDRF walk

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For the second year in a row the University of Nevada men's basketball team, coaches and support staff participated in the JDRF Walk held on campus Sunday morning. 

The Wolf Pack were part of team Double Trouble organized by the family of Amie and Maddie Barnard who were both diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  Funds raised from the walk are used for research to find a cure for type 1 diabetes.  There were numerous teams that participated in the walk in support of finding a cure for type 1 diabetes.

Marion Motley Featured in New Documentary

Former Wolf Pack star Marion Motley will be featured in a documentary, "Forgotten Four," premiering on EPIX tomorrow, Sept. 23.

"Forgotten Four" tells the story of the four men - Motley, Woody Strode, Kenny Washington and Bill Willis - who broke the color barrier in professional football in 1946, one year before Jackie Robinson made his historic debut in Major League Baseball.

Motley, Marion-1.jpgA native of Canton, Ohio, Motley came to the University of Nevada in 1940 where he quickly established himself as a star. He broke into the starting lineup at fullback and linebacker and played for the Wolf Pack for three seasons from 1940-42. A powerful blocker and tackler at 6-1 and 240 pounds, Motley also returned several kickoffs for touchdown, including a 105-yarder in a 1941 game that is still tied for the school record. While Motley was at Nevada, a Reno reporter wrote that "in Marion Motley, the ball club has one of the best backs in the entire nation."

Motley left Nevada in 1942 when he was inducted into the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was sent to the Great Lakes Naval Station just outside of Chicago where he played on the station football team, which was coached by future Pro Hall of Famer Paul Brown. In 1945, Brown signed on to coach the Cleveland Browns of the new All-American Football Conference, and gave Motley, then 26 years old, married with four children and working in a mill in his hometown, a chance to try out for his team.

Motley made the Cleveland squad, and in 1946, he, Browns teammate Willis and Washington and Strode, who were signed by the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League, broke the color line in modern professional football.

Motley played nine seasons of professional football, including eight with the Browns (1946-53) and one with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1955). He was the all-time rushing champion of the AAFC and led the National Football League in rushing in 1950. Called "the greatest fullback ever" by his coach Brown after a 1946 game, Motley amassed 4,720 rushing yards in his career and averaged a staggering 5.7 yards per carry, and played in the 1951 Pro Bowl. Motley was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his hometown of Canton, Ohio, in 1968, becoming the second African-American to earn the sport's highest honor.

Even 40 years after he played the game, Motley's legacy is still recognized. In 1994, he was named to the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, while Sports Illustrated's Paul "Dr. Z" Zimmerman called Motley, who died in 1999 at the age of 79, the best player in the history of football in his book, A Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football.

EPIX is available by subscription on most cable networks, and the trailer for the documentary can be viewed here:

Brother of Pack's Mile Cilic wins US Open

Marin Cilic won his first Grand Slam event on Monday defeating Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-3 and 6-3 to claim the US Open.  Marin is the brother of University of Nevada freshman Mile Cilic.  "Mile is a walk-on for the Wolf Pack men's tennis team," head coach Erik Burton said.  "He is a good recruit and very good player.  We are lucky to have him." 


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