MOODY: Always fun watching athletes move up the ladder | NevadaAppeal.com

MOODY: Always fun watching athletes move up the ladder

Darrell Moody
dmoody@nevadaappeal.com

As a sportswriter, one of the biggest joys I get is when an athlete I’ve covered in high school or college goes on to bigger and better things.

I was lucky enough to cover many De La Salle games in the early portion of my career, and I was able to see guys like wide receiver Amani Toomer and offensive guard Aaron Taylor make it to the NFL.

Another athlete I had fun covering was Spencer Levin, who played golf at Elk Grove High School.

Levin is currently on the PGA Tour and having an amazing season. He lost in a playoff in Mexico last weekend and took fourth place at the AT&T at Pebble Beach. He’s already won close to $1 million this year, and seems a lock to keep his card for the 2012 season. He’s playing in the Honda Classic and is currently tied for 16th, which means another healthy payday.

Levin is still searching for his first win on the tour, and I root him on very week. Hopefully that win will come sooner than later.

I’m hoping that I will be able to say the same thing about some of the athletes that will be coming out of Carson High in the next few years. You never know who might be the next college star, or even pro star for that matter.

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Arizona State’s Kayla Sanchez had a good weekend at the Last Chance Meet in Ames, Iowa, on Saturday.

Sanchez, a Carson High graduate, and her teammates were looking to improve their marks in an attempt to better their seeding or qualify for the NCAA meet next week, and they did exactly that by posting a 3:33.72 in the 4X400-meter relay. Their previous best was 3:35.99.

Other members of the team were Sarah Geren, Keia Pinnick and Jasmine Chaney.

The NCAA Indoor Championships will be held Friday and Saturday in College Station, Texas. A full list of qualifiers into the Championships will be announced Monday night by the NCAA.

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My good friend Anne Hansen of Western Nevada College recently relayed information about the exploits of some former WNC baseball players who are playing at Division 1 schools.

David Carroll, a 2010 WNC grad, beat Texas in his first college start. He allowed just three hits over six innings.

Jordan Lewis, another 2010 grad, is the No. 2 starter for Houston in Conference USA. He beat Texas-Arlington with seven innings of scoreless ball for his first Division 1 win.

Kramer Champlin, another 2010 WNC grad, started for the eighth-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils against New Mexico and went six innings, allowing two runs and striking out three to get the win against University of New Mexico.

Jeremy Gendlek and Jake Waardenburg, both 2010 WNC graduates are pitching for Utah Valley State and Pacific, respectively. Riley Bevill pitched two scoreless innings for New Mexico State in his debut.

Jerome Pena, a 2009 graduate, is now in his second season with TCU. He had four hits and three RBIs his first weekend back.

Spencer Ofelt, who is now at Cal-State Fullerton, and Jay Skilton, who is at Nevada, are both redshirting because of injuries. They played on last year’s WNC team.

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While we’re on the subject of WNC, this year’s Wildcats team is off to a 4-0 start in conference play after disposing of cellar-dwelling Colorado Northwestern.

WNC plays at Eastern Utah next weekend and then hosts in-state rival College of Southern Nevada on March 18-19. It’s early, but that series against CSN could tell us a lot about the Wildcats and whether they are contenders or pretenders.