Pack women's golf signee Collom wins state tournament

Wolf Pack signee Katie Collom fired rounds of 75 and 72 this week to win the Oregon state 4A/3A/2A/1A girls golf tournament at Eagle Crest Golf Course in Redmond.

For Collom, of Henley High School, the individual state championship was the second of her career as she also won as a freshman in 2012. This year's performance brought more than one trophy as she led Henley to the team championship for the first time in school history.

Collom won medalist honors by 10 strokes and Henley won the team title going away, by 53 strokes over second-place Heppner.

Collom will enroll at Nevada in the fall and join the Wolf Pack women's golf team.

Dear Wolf Pack Fans:

It's been a busy start to 2015 with so many of our Nevada teams in action. We're thrilled with the performance of our swimming and diving team at the Mountain West Championships (link) and it's been a great start to the season by our baseball team, which is ranked No. 28 in the nation and sits in first place in the Mountain West after taking two of the three from UNLV over the weekend (link). And our softball program is hosting the Wolf Pack Classic at Hixson Park this weekend with conference play around the corner.

As many of you know, we saw the final dates of our 2015 football schedule come together as the Mountain West announced the dates of the conference games last week. That announcement has led to some questions from a number of you and I wanted to take this opportunity to answer some of the most frequent questions here.

1.     Why isn't the UNLV game being played on Nevada Day weekend or as the last game of the season?

The last two seasons, it was nice that our in-state rivalry game was able to be played at a special time - on Nevada Day weekend in 2013 and as the final regular season game last year when we reclaimed the cannon in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way this year. We don't have control over when our conference games are played as the Mountain West creates the conference schedule. Though we can and do ask, the Mountain West is unable to protect certain games being played at certain times as its focus is on creating the best schedule for all 12 schools. So this year, the Nevada-UNLV game is on Oct. 3, which should make for good weather and a great atmosphere at Mackay Stadium as we take on our friends from the southern part of the state.

2.     Why aren't we playing Boise State this year?

Boise State isn't on our schedule this year and we won't play the Broncos next year either. With 12 teams, the Mountain West is split into two six-team divisions - the Mountain Division and the West Division. Each school in the conference plays eight conference games each season. Each year, each school plays the five other teams in its division and three teams from the other division. The following year, each school plays those same eight teams, but alternates home and way. Following that two-year cycle, the three opponents from the other division change for the next two-year cycle.

In 2013 and 2014, we played all five teams from our West Division and we played Boise State, Colorado State and Air Force from the Mountain Division. Now we enter a new two-year cycle in which our Mountain Division opponents will be Wyoming, New Mexico and Utah State (in addition to playing our five West Division opponents). Nevada and Boise State will resume its rivalry again in 2017.

However, there's always a chance we could play Boise State before then. The winner of each division plays in the Mountain West Championship Game at the end of the season, so the possibility is there for us meet the Broncos before 2017.

3.     Why is the season opener against UC Davis on Thursday, Sept. 3?

The first week of the season falls over Labor Day weekend each year. Because we are playing an opponent from the FCS level, we have control what day and time we can play that game. Feedback from our fans and our students over the years has told us that most of you would rather come out on Thursday or Friday night and watch our opener at Mackay Stadium and then be able to enjoy a three-day weekend. If you were here in 2010, we opened that special season on a Thursday night against an FCS team as well. While this is not a new concept, it has become a popular trend recently and I suspect you'll see a dozen or more games being played on that Thursday night this year. We picked Thursday so as to not conflict with local high school football on Friday. And with nationally ranked Arizona coming to Mackay Stadium the following week, I'm sure Coach Polian doesn't mind having the extra days of rest for the team!

4.     When will we know what times the games will start?

Great question, but there's not a clear answer just yet. In the coming weeks, we'll learn how many of our games have been selected for national television broadcasts from the Mountain West's television partners, CBS Sports, ESPN and ROOT Sports. At that point, some of the game times will be decided based on the television networks decisions and others may be subject to a later decision by TV networks.

If any of our home games are not selected for a national television broadcast, we'll be able to decide the best time to play those games and we'll get the word out as soon as we can. We hope to have a clearer picture of this at some point in April, if not before. Generally speaking, if it's our decision, we prefer to play games later in the day or evening during the early, warmer part of the season and play earlier in the day towards the end of the season.

5.     When is Homecoming?

We went up and down the schedule and in looking at all of the great events our community has to offer in the spring and fall and in working with key folks in our campus community, the Oct. 23-24 weekend has been selected for Homecoming. So get ready for the annual March From the Arch on Friday, Oct. 23rd and we'll see you in Mackay on the 24th as we take on Hawai`i that day!

So why not this weekend or that weekend? We're looking at the Arizona game on Sept. 12 as our annual Hall of Fame weekend. With so much at stake against UNLV on Oct. 3 with the Battle for the Fremont Cannon, there was a concern that Homecoming festivities might not get proper attention, or vice versa. A community scheduling conflict on the Oct. 10th weekend (vs. New Mexico) would not have allowed for the March From the Arch, which is a great new tradition here. And we felt the game against San Jose State on Nov. 14 was too late in the year. So the Oct. 24th game against Hawai`i made the most sense.

6.     What do the future schedules look like?

We get this one a lot. While future schedules are always subject to change we keep a listing of all of our scheduled non-conference games and known conference opponents on our website (link).

I hope that answers some questions about the football schedule. I'm excited to see so much interest already building for the football season six months away! And, in case you missed the news -- we're adding a new restroom facility in time for this season.

In the meantime, we'll cheer on our basketball teams at the Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas this week and get ready for an exciting spring season. We hope to see you out at Peccole Park and Hixson Park with our baseball and softball teams in the coming months while our golf, tennis and track and field teams gear up for the finals stretches of their seasons. And spring football starts later this month with the Silver and Blue Spring Game on April 25 at Mackay. See you there! 

Go Wolf Pack!

Doug Knuth

Director of Athletics

  • Photo Gallery

    Scenic ocean views and palm trees in late-February provided a pristine backdrop for the Nevada softball's team trip to Mexico for the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge last week, a tournament that also served as a final tune-up for the Wolf Pack's home opener against Idaho State this weekend. 

    But beyond the beaches and the games, the most fulfilling and talked-about part of the trip for the student-athletes happened off the diamond. Across the street from the field where the tournament was played, in the concrete courtyard of the local Club de Leones, or Lion's Club, head coach Matt Meuchel and the Pack put on a softball clinic for the local school children prior to its Thursday matchup against BYU.

    The clinic was made up of four different stations that taught the basic fundamentals of the game including fielding, throwing, catching and properly fielding groundballs. 

    "Working with the kids was a very rewarding experience," said senior Alex Youngberg, a secondary education major at Nevada. "The enthusiasm they showed for us being there and the smiles on their faces really showed us that we were making a difference in their lives."

    Pitchers Megan Dortch, McKenna Isenberg and Chase Redington instructed the children at their station the proper softball pitching motion while freshman Alyssa Mendez and sophomore Nikki Orozco, both fluent in Spanish, taught fielding and catching mechanics. At the conclusion of the clinic, members of the Pack handed out Nevada softball t-shirts to the newest Pack fans.

    Overall, Meuchel felt it was the most rewarding part of a memorable trip for his program.

    "It was an amazing opportunity for our players to share the game they love with children in another country and to see their love for playing sport as well," said Meuchel. "I know that each of our players left that experience feeling touched by the vigor and love that those children had for our sport."

Former Nevada coach headlines Boys and Girls Club Dinner

By Nick Beaton
Social Media Intern for Nevada Athletics and PR Coordinator for Boys and Girls Club of Mason Valley

Last Saturday, in a night that had constant feelings of appreciation, joy and reflection, Boys & Girls Clubs of Mason Valley honored their youth, volunteers and other members of the community in a packed gymnasium at their annual Youth of the Year ceremony. The ceremony kicked off with the singing of the National Anthem by local youth Tierra Marshall. Former Nevada football coach Chris Ault then took the stage as the keynote speaker.
Ault spoke about his experiences as a player and coach in dealing with adversity and how to get done what needs to get done. He brought up his first coaching stint with Nevada, and all the hard work and dedication it took to move up the rankings and through the lower divisions until finally the Wolf Pack was playing Division I football. Through it all, Ault said, one thing remained important.
"Our youth were always the focus," Ault said.
He also spoke about what a wonderful thing it was to see a community, like Reno, rally around a cause.
Throughout the night, the audience heard speeches from each of the seven Youth of the Year candidates, including Matt Phillips, Tommy Crowder, Jeffrey Valladares, Carlos Rodrigues and Shawn Spurlock from Yerington and Ashley Keith and Yerith Anaya from Silver Springs. Each member talked about struggles in their lives, such as experiences with suicide and divorce, and how the Club helped them to find some stability and support. The Youth of the Year candidates also spoke about their accomplishments and the impact they believe Boys & Girls Clubs can have on youth nationwide.
Various awards were also given throughout the night, including the Great Futures Start Here award, given to owners Leo Bergin, Pam Peri and David Peri of Nevada Fresh Pak, and the Champion of Youth Award, given to Lyon County School District Superintendent Keith Savage.
As the ceremony came to a close, Valladeres was announced as the 2015 Youth of the Year. He walked to the stage as the room stood up, and approached the podium with tears of joy.
"This is such an honor," Valladeres said. "I truly do love this Club."
Valladeres will represent the Club in Carson City at the Governor's Mansion on February 11 in the state competition.

Christenson earns spot in World Cup rifle competition

Dempster Christenson.jpg
RENO, Nev. - Dempster Christenson a former member of the University of Nevada rifle team has earned a spot on the United States World Cup team.  The World Cup will be held in Changwon, Korea in April.

The selection match was held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. and determined the competitors for three-position and prone rifle.  Christenson will compete in both events at the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Korea, April 8-16.  It also serves to help determine the smallbore rifle teams at the World Cups in Fort Benning, Ga. and Munich, Germany in May.

The four ISSF World Cups and the Pan American Games are the remaining opportunities for athletes to earn quota slots for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Christenson from Sioux Falls, S.D. finished second in three-position and third in prone.  In the three-position he finished 20 points back with a score of 2351.  In the prone event his score of 1257.4 earned him third.

Photo credit: Kris Mychasiw

University of Nevada track & field freshman Katherine Surin squared off yesterday afternoon in a friendly 30m race against her father, Bruny Surin.

On the surface it might seem like a piece of cake for Katherine, but her father Bruny is no pushover in the world of track & field. In the 1996 Olympic Summer Games, held in Atlanta, Ga., the elder Surin won a gold medal for Team Canada as part of the 4x100-meter relay team, which remains as Canada's only gold medal in the event. He is also the Canadian 60m and 100m record holder and was elected into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

His daughter, Katherine, is about to begin her first collegiate track & field season with the Wolf Pack when Nevada kicks off the indoor schedule next weekend at the Ed Jacoby Invitational in Nampa, Idaho.

Find out which Surin earned bragging rights by following this link:

Dear Wolf Pack Fans:

Happy 2015!  On behalf of our nearly 400 student-athletes, coaches and staff, please accept my best wishes for a wonderful New Year.

As we quite literally turn the page on a new year in our calendar and begin a new academic semester on campus, I wanted to peek backward for a brief opportunity to share some really good news from the recently completed fall semester.

In addition to beating UNLV in football and bringing the Fremont Cannon back to the north for all Nevada fans to enjoy, we enjoyed success in another important area that you should have great pride in knowing. 

During the fall semester, our teams earned a collective grade-point average (GPA) of 3.019 on a 4.0 scale. That's a B average for all 400 student-athletes. Our athletic successes are readily evident. It's important to recognize our academic successes as well and I believe these results show the effort and dedication of our student-athletes in the classroom.

The results are highlighted by:
  • -    3.207 GPA for all women's teams
  • -    2.849 GPA for all men's teams
  • -    Five teams with a 3.0 GPA or better: Women's basketball, women's cross country, women's golf, women's swimming and diving and rifle. Five additional teams with a 2.9 GPA: Baseball, men's tennis, softball, women's soccer and women's tennis
  • -    177 students (44% of all student athletes) earned a 3.0 GPA or better - every sport had at least two students with this GPA
  • -    16 students earned a perfect 4.0 GPA - represented in these sports: Women's swimming and diving (4 students), women's track and cross country (4), baseball (2), rifle (2), women's basketball, women's golf, softball and football
Congratulations to our student-athletes, coaches and staff who worked so hard this semester to earn these results.

We are grateful to the academic leadership across campus. At all levels of this university we enjoy great support.  We are united in our efforts to promote student success - in the classrooms, libraries, residence halls, student support services, admissions and financial aid and many other areas of campus.  Many thanks to our faculty and staff for supporting the Pack and helping students pursue success.

We are thankful for the great support of Wolf Pack fans as well. Your support through ticket purchases and donations helps to make these results possible. You are helping us grow the program and we are grateful. We are in need of additional support in purchasing laptops and funding important summer school classes - please let me know if you or your company is interested in making a tax deductible contribution to help make this possible for these talented students.

Lastly, our continuing gratitude to the many families who helped fund and build the Marguerite Wattis Petersen Academic Center - a facility which continues to add tremendous value to Wolf Pack Athletics every day.

Happy New Year Wolf Pack Nation!

Former University of Nevada track & field student-athlete Landis Hanson passed away on Dec. 16 at the age of 51.

Hanson attended Nevada on a track & field scholarship and was a decathlete for two years, eventually becoming a team captain. A native of Reno, Hanson was a track & field standout at Hug High School, as well, setting records in the hurdle and won a Nevada state championship in hurdles his senior year.

For the past four years, Hanson had been a volunteer track coach at Damonte Ranch High School. Prior to that, he volunteered at Hug, Reno High School and Spanish Springs High School.

Hanson graduated from Nevada in 1989 with a degree in pre-med. In 1990 he obtained a degree as a medical laboratory scientist and was employed at Reno VA Medical Center from 1990-2014.

A memorial service for Hanson will be held at 2 p.m. Jan. 11 at St. Luke's Lutheran Church, 3835 Lakeside Drive, Reno.

Tonight's Wolf Pack basketball game will feature "Kindness Minute"

From Brian Williams, Nevada alum and founder of Think Kindness:

During the Nevada men's basketball game against Cal State Fullerton tonight, Wolf Pack fans will be asked to partake in the first ever 'Kindness Minute.' Nevada cheerleaders will run throughout the stands for 60 seconds asking fans to give loose change and donations into megaphones. All proceeds will go towards the purchase of toys for Toys For Tots.

The Kindness Minute is an initiative put forth by the University of Nevada's Cheer4Kindness team, which challenges cheerleaders from across the United States to carry out community acts of Kindness.

"It went from a coffee shop table side chat, to a social media post, to over 2,300 cheerleaders signing up across the country within the past 4 weeks," said Kim Anastasaatos, Nevada's head cheer coach. "When we work together, big things can happen."

The University of Nevada cheerleaders are now inspiring teens from across the country to cheer through their actions, not just their words. Today, the challenge will be passed onto Pack fans to ban together, donate loose change and carry out one single but powerful act of kindness.

Think Kindness is a local non-profit that inspires measurable acts of kindness in schools and communities around the country. Funds raised tonight will be used to purchase toys for children throughout Washoe County.

"Thousands of people doing one simple act of kindness will, in turn, impact hundreds of children in our community, in just 60 seconds," said Brian Williams, the founder of Think Kindness. "From a dime to a dollar, we will make a ripple of good in our community this holiday season. Kindness has no boundaries, especially at a Nevada basketball game!"

The Cheer4Kindness & Think Kindness team will be filming a video to showcase the impact every donor made in our community.

"We will show the act of kindness go full-circle," said Williams.

Tip-off for the game is 7 p.m. at Lawlor Events Center. 

Dear Wolf Pack Fans,

I have some exciting news to share with you as earlier today, our Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents gave approval to our plan to make some necessary upgrades and additions to Mackay Stadium.

We are grateful to President Marc Johnson, the senior leadership of the University and the NSHE Board for their support throughout the planning and approval process.

These changes are long overdue and the heart of the project centers around you, our fans. We want to improve the condition and safety of our stadium. We want to raise the level of the fan experience in our stadium. We want to make Mackay Stadium a destination on Saturdays in the fall for our community here in Northern Nevada.

For nearly three years, our team here has developed this project, working directly with fan focus groups and analyzing data collected in fan surveys. Ever since my arrival, I've listened to your feedback about the gameday environment at Mackay Stadium and heard a familiar message - the stadium needs improvement. We have a great stadium but we were not meeting the expectations of fans.

The result was the proposal that was approved today to enhance the safety, comfort and enjoyment for Wolf Pack fans. We will widen the aisles and add handrails for safety. We will move our ADA seating to a more prominent and accessible location while increasing the number of spaces for wheelchairs.  In seven sections of our stadium, we will remove the metal bleacher seating and add more comfortable chairback seating. We will add more seating and hospitality options with an indoor stadium club, club seats and loge boxes. And lastly, we will expand the eastside suites to include a patio area for indoor and outdoor seating.

For season ticket holders in the lower east and west sides of the stadium, the new seating areas and amenities will result in some changes to your particular seating area at the stadium. Our goal and the bulk of our work leading up to the 2016 season will be to keep fans in similar seats and sitting with the people they want to sit with at games.

We know you are eager to hear more about the changes coming to Mackay and we know you may have questions about the project. Over the next two months, our team will be fine-tuning the project and ironing out the final details. In February, we want to be able to share with you the final plans, answer your questions and begin implementing the renovation process.

As we go through the renovation process we will be communicating with season ticketholders via mail, email and phone.  You can ensure we have your correct contact information by calling (775) 348-PACK.  If you are not a season ticketholder, you can register to receive more information by clicking here or by calling (775) 348-PACK.

Exciting times are ahead and I hope you share in our enthusiasm for the future of Mackay Stadium and Wolf Pack Athletics.

Go Pack!

Doug Knuth

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