The premiere of "So Sharp" happened on Lifetime last night. People from everywhere tuned in to see what the hype was about. What they saw was Todd Sharp and the Louisville Ladybirds.
Before going in depth to our spirit squads at Louisville I do want to clarify one thing. "So Sharp" is a reality tv show and does NOT accurately depict any of the folks on the show. The show is entirely scripted and everything that happens is staged. Well, except for their talent.
The talent of our cheerleaders and Ladybirds is incredible. Young women from all around the country come to the University of Louisville in hopes of joining the best of the best.
The cheerleaders are divided into three groups: small coed, large coed, and all girl. Small coed has won 10 national championships with the most recent being 2017. Large coed has 17 championships, with their most recent being in 2016. All girl has claimed the crown 13 times, most recently in 2017. The Ladybirds have had most of their success recently, winning their 14th championship in 2017.
While many people are kicking back and relaxing throughout the summer the members of the spirit squad are having to stay in shape for the upcoming season and tryouts. Tryouts happen over the summer so the teams can start preparing even before the school year starts.
Once school starts they find time to practice in the evenings 30 minutes across town at GymTyme. The late night practices are to prevent conflicts with school, which despite what you may have heard on the tv show, school does come first. The weeks leading up to nationals in Daytona involve intense practices as the members finish up perfecting their routines.
I'm sure some people are asking why I'm talking about an unofficial sport at UofL. Well, they work just as hard as any of the athletes do. The cheerleaders and Ladybirds are students and find a way to balance school and cheer/dance. And on top of that they receive ZERO scholarship money. Each and every one of the members has to pay their own tuition unless they have academic scholarships and then have to fund their own outfits and equipment. And of course, each of the squads has enough championships on their own to beat out all of the 21 official UofL sports combined.
So next time you're watching a halftime routine or see some highlights of the Louisville cheerleaders and Ladybirds take a minute to reflect their dedication and hard work. And also be sure to thank Todd Sharp for his terrific leadership and choreography.
Swimming World Record...With a Caveat
In Budapest, the dynamic duo of Kelsi Worrell and Mallory Comerford also had some success yesterday. Kelsi and Mallory swam the last two legs (Fly and Free) of the US Mixed Medley 4x100 relay team in the semi-final round. After the Ryan Murphy kicked off the event with an improved time over his Olympic appearance in the backstroke, Kevin Cordes continued to the US excellence in the breast stroke. Then Kelsi hit the water for her specialty, the Fly, with a 56.17 split. Then it was Mallory's time to shine in the Free. She charged past the World Record pace line, and finished off the event with a 52.82 split, for a total time of 3:40.28, bettering the World Record by about a second and a half, and beating the rest of the field by about 4 seconds.
Alas, the record wouldn't be held for long. In the evening, the other half of the mixed medley team took to the water and shaved about 2 seconds off the overall time to improve the WR that much more.
The Mixed Medley event is a relatively new event on the International Swimming scene, with it only being added to the World Championships for the last competition in 2015. It will be in the upcoming 2020 Olympics, so there is an air of excitement around the race. Because it's such a new event, however, frequent World Records are to be expected.
Regardless of the newness of the race, Kelsi and Mallory can, and should, revel in having held, however briefly, a World Record.