As the old saying goes, “it is much better to give than to receive.”
So with that saying in mind, I decided to mix it up a little bit in the sports section for this year’s Valentine’s Day edition of The Nevada Sagebrush. Instead of a traditional “I-love-you column” to a certain player or coach, I’ve decided to spread the love around to the smaller sports of Wolf Pack athletics by bestowing them with what love song best describes them.
While football and men’s basketball get the lion’s share of adoration from fans, there are countless other men and women who work incredibly hard throughout the year for the pride of their school.
For that very reason let’s take this time to celebrate the overlooked sports on campus and also listen to some great Valentine’s Day jams.
SWIMMING & DIVING
Method Man ft. Mary J. Blige
“All I Need”
It’s time to give credit where it is due and the Pack swimming and diving team has quietly become the best athletic teams Nevada has to offer. The squad’s 8-2 record has spoken for itself this year and there have been numerous standouts on the squad. From junior Krysta Palmer setting a school record in the 3-meter dive to a perfect dual meet record at home, the squad only needs each other to make a splash, (see what I did there?).
While Method Man is normally known for a much harder edge in his songs, it is perfectly apt for the swimming and diving team who will have to ramp up the intensity to make an impact at the upcoming Mountain West Championships in the middle of February. It might make sense for standouts Yawen Li and Teresa Baerens to channel some Wu-Tang Clan vibes in order to inspire the younger members of the squad.
“I Want To Know What Love Is”
Aside from a shutout loss to Arizona this weekend, the women’s tennis team has been doing a phenomenal job of keeping matches close and within striking distance of winning. The tennis squad knocked off No. 70 ranked North Texas at the end of January and has done a solid job of dealing with the loss of all-time Pack great Michelle Okhremchuk. Senior Sheila Smiley currently has an undefeated record of 5-0 on the year and junior Sheila Morales defeated No. 51 nationally-ranked Alina Soltanici of Sacramento State during the team’s latest match on Saturday. If the squad continues its winning ways from its 3-3 start then it is going to find out what love is when the fans rightfully show them it.
TRACK & FIELD
“How Will I Know”
How will the women’s track team know if they have been successful this season? Looking at the smaller amount of records that have been notched this year, there hasn’t been much doubt the squad has been training diligently.
Junior EmKay Myers set a new record in the indoor 5,000-meter run by clocking in at 16:37, which was 30 seconds faster than the university’s previous best set in 2004. Earlier in the season, at the Bronco Invitational in January, the squad locked down 13 top five finishes (out of 15 events) en route to besting both Utah and host Boise State.
The other early season standouts have been junior Alison Powers and sophomore Anna DuBois. Powers was the runner-up in the pole vault at the Bronco Invitational by posting a mark of 3.80 meters which is good for fifth all-time at Nevada. At the Bronco invitational DuBois gained not only a new personal record in the shot put (14.03 meters), but her mark was also good for sixth all-time in the school’s record books.
Finally, I wanted to end this column by giving everyone who attended the Blue Tie Ball a shout-out for looking their best on Friday night. My only critique would be that Nevada running back Don Jackson should have opened the event the same way Apollo Creed did in “Rocky IV” before he fought Ivan Drago. In fact, any member of the Wolf Pack singing “Living in America” by James Brown before any game would almost clinch a victory before the first whistle blows.
Chris Boline can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.