Turning the pages of 2017
December 31, 2017
Turning back sports pages of 2017, The Record-Courier has selected 10 stories that were significant to Carson Valley readers. The categories covered a wide range of sports, from the professional and college ranks to high school and one remarkable story of a longtime Valley resident who came back from a near fatal automobile accident to post a major victory in drag boat racing. We hope you enjoy the read:
■ Wyatt Denny and Grant Denny, in pursuit of PRCA success: For the second straight year, Wyatt qualified for the National Finals Rodeo, and this time headed to Las Vegas ranked No. 5 in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association bareback standings. Denny, 22, finished his 2017 season with $140,084.23 in earnings for the year. The highlight came in July when he earned a career-best $50,000 pay check with a gold medal performance at the inaugural Days of '47 Rodeo in Salt Lake City. Denny also received a coveted invitation to the Calgary Stampede on July 7-16. As a footnote to the Denny family's PRCA success, older brother Grant, took fifth-place in bareback riding at the 98th Reno Rodeo in June and is currently No. 8 in the 2018 PRCA bareback standings.
■ Ty Tremaine, to Europe and back: From Carson Valley to Europe and back again, 21-year-old Ty Tremaine has compiled an impressive competitive motorcycle resume since turning pro four years ago. In 2015 Tremaine became the first American to win the International Motorcycling Federation junior world SuperEnduro championship, not to mention his three American Motorcyclist Association junior championships and three appearances at the X Games between 2013-15. And this year, he wrote a new chapter at the 92nd annual International Six Day Enduro in Brive-la-Gaillarde, France — where he stepped up to the podium as part of Team USA's bronze medal-winning performance. The 6-foot-4 Tremaine was the ninth fastest individual in his class and earned a gold medal in the motocross stage on the final day.
Mike Schiller, Comeback Kid: Winning at the World Finals of the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series is special for any speed boat driver. For Mike Schiller, his Quick Eliminator class championship in November in Chandler, Ariz., was a matter of defying all odds in returning from a serious automobile accident in 2010. The 62-years-young Carson Valley resident feels fortunate to still be alive let alone competing in his drag racing boat at a national level. About two months after that accident, he woke up with a lame left arm, no left leg below the knee, no front teeth and a severe brain injury. "I'm very fortunate that God allowed me to live," Schiller said. "I'm very fortunate to have the quality of life that I do." Schiller said his boat, "Centsless," got better with each run at the World Finals on Firebird Lake … all the way to his win against David Cooper of De Kalb, Texas.
■ Reagan Roberson, plays football for Wolf Pack: After his graduation from Douglas High School in June, Roberson made the University of Nevada football roster as a walk-on freshman and played on the Wolf Pack's PAT and field goal units. The 6-foot, 245-pound tight end's first career reception was timely, a 23-yard catch off a fake field goal that gave the Wolf Pack first-and-goal on the 1 in a game they eventually lost, 44-42, against Colorado State in Fort Collins, Colo. "I chose Nevada because it's close to home. That's the team I grew up watching, and I think it will be cool to represent my community," Roberson said in an interview this spring. "I grew up watching Brock Hekking and Colin Kaepernick and all those guys play, so I just want to be able to go there and play, too."
■ Kali Sargent, in pitcher's circle for Wolf Pack: Sargent compiled a 9-10 record in 27 appearances during her first season for the University of Nevada. The 2015 Douglas graduate started 19 games, finished with eight complete games and limited opposing hitters to a .289 batting average, which ranked 11th-best in the Mountain West Conference. Among the right-hander's highlights was a shutout victory over Nicholls State, allowing no walks and just five hits over seven innings, plus she threw two eight-inning complete games, earning wins over Southern Illinois and San Diego State. Sargent transferred to Nevada after playing one season for a Sacramento City College team that finished as the California state community college tournament runner-up in 2016.
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■ UCS Spirit, new Valley business with old ties: Since 1987, virtually every world record set by a man or woman in the pole vault has taken their ride on a pole manufactured by UCS Spirit in Nevada. And now Carson Valley has its share of the Spirit since the company's pole manufacturing division — under the direction of Steve Chappell and Lane Maestretti — moved into a new 19,000 square foot facility on Meridian Boulevard near Minden-Tahoe Airport. After working out of Carson City for 30 years, they are quite happy to be in a new and larger plant that produces an average of 35-40 poles every day throughout the year. "We're doing the same things we've been doing for a long time," Maestretti said. "New generations of vaulters keep coming up."
■ Talyn Jackson and Blake Murray, Division I signees: The Douglas seniors conducted their National Letter of Intent signings with Division I programs on the same day in November — Jackson to play volleyball at Virginia Tech and Murray to play baseball at Xavier. Jackson originally gave her verbal commitment to Virginia Tech during the spring of her sophomore year and was set to graduate a year early until an automobile accident. Her injuries included what turned out to be a concussion that limited her ability to play for more than six months. The 5-11 Jackson came back with a solid season as a setter and right side hitter for the Tigers and was recently honored as a first-team selection the Las Vegas Review-Journal all-state team. Murray, who verbally committed to Xavier in December 2016 as a catcher/outfielder. "I'm so happy," he said. "This is just the beginning, but I've been dreaming about this day since I was 8 years old. So it's a dream come true … kind of like Christmas. It's awesome."
■ Krysta Palmer, diving forward: Douglas High School and University of Nevada graduate Krysta Palmer combined with David Dinsmore (New Albany, Ohio/Miami, Fla.) to give the U.S. its first medal of the 2017 FINA World Championships in July, a bronze performance in the mixed 3-meter/10-meter team event in Budapest, Hungary. Palmer and Dinsmore combined to score 395.90 points on six dives to win their bronze medal. Palmer, a 2010 Douglas graduate and two-time Mountain West Diver of the Year for the Wolf Pack, picked up 47 points on a reverse dive pike on 10-meter and then scored 55.8 points on a front 3½ pike and 61.5 points on a back 2½ pike on 3-meter. She also placed 37th in women's 3-meter event. She now serves as a volunteer assistant diving coach for the Nevada Wolf Pack.
■ Wade Meddles, elite runner: Meddles, a product of Minden and 2010 Sierra Lutheran High School graduate, ran a sterling 13:59.85 in the men's high performance 5,000 meters at the Portland Track Festival in June. For Meddles, the time was a season best by more than 15 seconds and marked his first sub-14 minute performance since his junior year at Eastern Kentucky University in 2014 (13:46.27). The time, however, came up short of the 5,000 qualifying standard of 13:32.0 to qualify for the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Sacramento — a goal he hopes to attain in 2018. More recently, the 25-year-old Meddles placed sixth in the men's open race at the USATF Cross Country Club National Championships in Louisville, Ky.
■ Amgen Tour, professional women cyclists pass through Valley: Stage two of the Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease Women's Race brought cyclists through Alpine County and Carson Valley in June. The challenging 67.1-mile second stage race started from South Lake Tahoe and covered a route along Highway 88 toward Woodfords. Cyclists passed through Diamond Valley, then along Foothill Road and back over Kingsbury Grade. UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team rider Katie Hall won the race. Fred Rodriguez, a retired cyclist whose resume includes four U.S. national road racing championships and seven Tour de France appearances, spoke to students when he visited Minden and Gardnerville elementary schools to promote the event beforehand.