Natalie Rubio is from Yerington, Nevada and graduated from Yerington High School in Spring of 2021. She is a freshman studying Mining Engineering at the University of Nevada Reno.
Natalie and a four other students just returned from Rolla, Missouri where they competed at the International Mining Games.
The team, aptly named the Mackay Muckers, has not been able to compete since Covid began in 2020.
UNR Student/Mackay Mucker Karlee Bolle wrote: “Five students from the University of Nevada, Reno, called the Mackay Muckers, traveled to Missouri to compete in the 44th annual Intercollegiate Mining Games.
The games began in 1978 to honor and remember the fallen miners of the Sunshine Mine Disaster and ensure those miners will never be forgotten. The tradition continues as hundreds of students and alumni from around the world went to Missouri this year.
The five UNR students that attended this year’s games were Karlee Bolle, Natalie Rubio, Katie Nicholes, Dane Ehlers and Abraham Clayson.
Everyone on the co-ed team being new to the games, the team had to learn what each event was and the techniques that often take years to master. The team was in the mining field four-plus days a week for two-plus hours a day.
UNR’s best three events were single jack, track stand and mucking. After finishing these events they got 10.021 inches, 8 minutes and 11 seconds, and 9 minutes and 32 seconds, achieving their personal best and beating Colorado in these events. While Colorado beat UNR in jackleg, seed saw and gold panning, both teams accepted the tie and congratulated each other.
The closing banquet was when UNR found they received fourth in single jack and third in track stand. The event that surprised them was receiving second in mucking, only losing to Australia, making the Muckers the number-one co-ed team in mucking in the United States.
With next year’s competition in Australia, the Muckers are already looking for organizations to help with donating safety equipment, tools, funds for travel, and are also planning a fundraiser for the fall. For information or questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org”
Mackay Muckers representing UNR from left to right: Gillian Mandel , Karlee Bolle, Dane Ehlers, Katie Nicholes, Natalie Rubio, Abraham Clayson.