The Lady Muckers take on the 41st Annual International Collegiate Mining Competition – by Jennifer Sande (Nevada Today – March 27, 2019)

The Mackay Muckers had enough female recruits for both men’s and a women’s teams for the first time in five years.

When asked if she could think of a more proper term to describe her female team members other than “badass”, Claire Roberts, Captain of the Lady Muckers – the Mackay Muckers women’s team, thought for a minute before answering. “Kickass? That’s not much better, is it?” Roberts asked.

The “kickass” Lady Muckers competed on Friday, March 22nd in the 41st Annual International Collegiate Mining Competition in Virginia City alongside teams from all over the country and the world.

The teams compete in old-school mining techniques such as single jack hand steel (hammering a steel chisel into concrete by hand), jackleg drilling, hand mucking (shoveling “muck” or dirt into a mine cart and running it down and back a length of track), gold panning, track stand (quickly assembling an un-assembling a rail-cart track), and swede saw (sawing through a 4×4″ block of wood).

This is the first time in over 5 years the Mackay Muckers have had enough female recruits to have a women’s team at the competition. “What I think is really great about the women’s team is that it’s all support,” Roberts said. “Everyone’s out the pushing one another. We’re together all the time and we’ve created a great bond. It’s a really great competitive, positive environment.”

Different College’s host the competition each year, and this year was the University of Nevada, Reno’s opportunity to show off the uniquely Nevadan setting in Virginia City. The rich mining history was the perfect backdrop to the competition. The Lady Muckers started the day competing in single jack hand steel at 8 a.m. and ended the day with one of the more rigorous of the events – hand mucking.

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