Athletes Paired by Profession in ‘The Nevada Passage’ Made-for-TV Adventure Competition

Six-day event will conclude at Reno’s Whitewater Park

Tom Lyons

Tom Lyons

Courtesy Of Nevada Commission on Tourism

Twenty athletes from 11 states will participate in The Nevada Passage, a made-for-television, multi-sport adventure competition May 19-24 that will start in Las Vegas and loop around the state, concluding in Reno.

Ten male-female teams, all amateur athletes and paired by profession, will compete in the six-day six-adventure series. Each team will compete in all six sports, and the team with the most points at the end wins. Their Nevada adventure will be filmed and edited into a one-hour reality television program, syndicated and broadcast in more than 80 U.S. markets beginning in August. The Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT), which initiated the event, expects the program to reach at least 2 million television viewers, Lt. Governor Lorraine Hunt, NCOT chair, said.

“TV viewers watching The Nevada Passage will see Nevada in a new way,” Hunt said. “Most programs focus on Las Vegas and its fabulous hotels and entertainment, but this program also will capture athletes in action on Nevada’s beautiful high desert and let viewers see what’s out there beyond the dazzling city lights.”

The Nevada Passage begins with rock climbing in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and riding personal watercraft on Lake Mead, both near Las Vegas; four-wheel driving in the high desert near Ely, bicycling in Lamoille Canyon near Elko, sandboarding at Sand Mountain near Fallon and kayaking on the Truckee River Whitewater Park in downtown Reno. After each day of competition, the teams will travel to the site of the next day’s event.

“Nevada offers the unexpected, a rugged, mountainous landscape with great scenic beauty that is wide open for sports activities to suit many interests,” Bruce Bommarito, NCOT executive director, said. “We expect that The Nevada Passage will expose millions of viewers to parts of Nevada they have never seen and inspire them to come and experience an outdoor adventure for themselves.”

Three Nevada residents are among the athletes that TEAM Unlimited, the Hawaii-based company that is producing The Nevada Passage, selected for the competition: Tom Lyons and Kent Robison, both lifelong residents of Reno, and Susan Hughes of Incline Village. Other states represented in The Nevada Passage are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

To emphasize that Nevada’s adventures are accessible to people of all skill levels, TEAM Unlimited selected athletes age 25 to 57 representing a variety of professions, including bartending, finance, law, aviation, medicine, news media, firefighting, and business.

“These athletes have full-time careers and lives that involve activities TV viewers can relate to, like balancing parenting, playing in bands, household chores and sports,” Hunt said. “Pairing a man and woman by profession is an unusual twist and adds special interest. Viewers might find themselves rooting for the team that shares their profession.”

Nevada Passage Roster of Confirmed Athletes
(subject to change)


Randi Grush, 38, chief financial officer of a post-production facility in Los Angeles, CA
Ashley Burt, 37, bank president from Gunnison, CO


Ashley Brooks, 30, in-house counsel for a marketing/promotions agency in Richmond, VA
Kent Robison, 57, attorney from Reno, NV (Note: Kent will turn 58 on May 22.)


Susan Hughes, 39, commercial pilot from Incline Village, NV
Todd Borke, 36, express mail pilot from Anchorage, AK


Sage Grossi, 27, geography and meteorology professor from Tempe, AZ
Andy Feeney, 27, middle school science teacher in Boulder, CO


Lara Usinowicz, 34, bartender from Evergreen, CO (Note. Lara will turn 35 on May 22.)
Anthony Snoble, 30, bartender and martial arts instructor from East Islip, NY


Kathleen Coutinho, 34, sports chiropractor from Springfield, VA
Audie Smith, 51, anesthesiologist and assistant professor of medicine from Knoxville, TN

Independent Business Owners:

Megan Melgaard, 25, swimwear company co-owner from Atlanta, Ga.
Tom Lyons, 43, real estate investor from Reno, NV


Melanie Kim, 38, freelance television reporter from Sacramento, CA
Scott Schumaker, 34, freelance journalist from Boulder, CO


Erin Johnson, 29, firefighter, city of Greensboro, NC
Brian Rothell, 41, firefighter from Richmond, VA

Veterinary Medicine:

Kylie Kavanagh, 30, veterinarian from Winston-Salem, NC
Rory Carolan, 48, a veterinarian from Bethesda, MD