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WAC notebook: Reno athletes shine for Nevada track team

Darrell Moody
Nevada Appeal Sports Writer

Two former Reno athletes were named the Western Athletic Conference’s Indoor Track & Field Athletes of the Week.

Nevada’s Analisa Serrano, a redshirt senior from Reed High School, took first place in the 60-meter hurdles at the 2008 Jackson Open. Serrano was timed in 8.84. Teammate Gina Deckard was second in 9.06.

Serrano also recorded a PR in the long jump with an effort of 5.54 meters which was good for fourth place.

Olivetti, who went to Wooster High and is now at Boise State, won the pentathlon at the Jackson Open with 3,386 points. She won the 60-meter hurdles in 8.74 and the high jump at 5-3. She was second in the long jump.

JONES HONORED

Nevada guard Brandi Jones had her high school jersey retired on Friday at a ceremony at Canyon Springs High School in Moreno Valley, Calif.

Jones, who graduated from Canyon Springs High School in 2005, had her No. 23 high school jersey retired Friday afternoon along with former teammate and current Vanderbilt player Jennifer Risper. Jones attended the ceremony Friday while Nevada was in Southern California playing UC Santa Barbara and UCLA.

During her high school career, Jones helped lead Canyon Springs to a 31-4 overall record during their senior year, including a school record 25-game winning streak. As a senior she averaged 17 points, nine rebounds and two blocks per game. Jones also helped lead Canyon Springs to four consecutive Ivy League titles.

BASKETBALL POW’S

Boise State’s Mark Sanchez and Hawaii’s Keisha Kanekoa have been named the men’s and women’s players of the week.

Sanchez, a senior, led Boise State to wins over Wyoming and Colorado State. In the win over Wyoming, Sanchez scored 24 points and pulled down nine rebounds, and he scored 16 points and pulled down 10 rebounds against CSU. It is Sanchez’s second honor of the young season.

Kanekoa averaged 18 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 3.7 steals in leading the Rainbow Wahine to wins over Utah Valley State and UC Irvine, and a loss to Northern Arizona.

UTAH ASSISTANT HIRED AT USU

Gary Andersen, a former assistant coach at Utah, was named Utah State’s new head football coach last week.

Anderson had served as Utah’s assistant head coach for the past five years and defensive coordinator. He replaces Brent Guy, who was fired after going 9-38 in four years.

“Obviously Gary’s knowledge of the state of Utah coupled with overall recruiting success will pay long-term dividends to our program,” USU athletic director Scott Barnes said in a press release. “Gary’s leadership ability, vision and plan for football success at USU are on point.”

Personally, I can’t figure this one out. I think being a top assistant at Utah or BYU is much better than a head job at Utah State. The Aggies have so far to go that even a guy like Andersen won’t be able to dig them out in five years.

No matter who is the head guy at Utah State, they aren’t going to out-recruit BYU and Utah for in-state players.

SAN JOSE GETS SHUT OUT

The WAC got five teams in bowl games and there should have been a sixth, but San Jose State was left out of the mix.

The Spartans at 6-6 failed to get a post-season bid, apparently losing out to Florida Atlantic which also was 6-6, for a berth in the Motor City Bowl opposite Central Michigan.

Granted the Spartans had a rough finish to the season with three straight losses, but the Motor City Bowl must like the fact that Howard Schnellenberger coaches Florida Atlantic. There would be no other reason to pick a second team from the Sun Belt Conference, which is the weakest in Division 1A football.

Florida Atlantic had three marquee games on its schedule ” Texas, Minnesota and Michigan State. They lost all three by a combined score of 106-13.

I’m also scratching my head with the selection of Northern Illinois to the Independence Bowl. NIU was 6-6 and fourth place in its division.

Calls to the WAC office and San Jose for comments were not returned.

– Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281