As we continue in the summer dead period of July, it may seem a bit monotonous to continually talk about UofL athletes competing in non-UofL capacities. However, I would argue that the fact that we have athletes competing at higher levels during their offseasons is quite an accomplishment. It is something that I believe we should be proud of, and thus is worthy of reporting on this site. Today's article will pick up on some of the items Jeff mentioned yesterday. If this type of thing isn't of your interest, you have my permission to stop reading now.
Swimming in Budapest
The women's 4x100m Freestyle squad featuring Kelsi Worrell and Mallory Comerford followed up their top seeded qualifying swim with a gold medal finish in the event finals. Mallory Comerford led off the relay with an American record leadoff split, which was previously held by her teammate in this event (and the anchor of this race), Simone Manuel. Despite the fast start, the USA actually trailed after the first leg with Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom turning in a new world record leadoff split. Fortunately for our swimmers in question, the USA team fielded more consistency, with all four swimmers turning in splits of under 54 seconds. Simone Manuel anchored the team with the fastest split of the four and the USA claimed gold. Yesterday was only the first day of the finals and there will be many more swims to come.
Hockey World League Semifinals
It has been a busy time for Louisville field hockey-ers away from the Commonwealth. Both Nicole Woods, as Jeff mentioned yesterday, and Ayeisha McFerran have been representing their countries at the Hockey World League Semifinals, a qualifying tournament for next year's Hockey World Cup. Nicole Woods and the United States managed to come back in yesterday's final against Germany and secured a win of the tournament in a shootout. Nicole played six minutes in yesterday's game and totaled 40 minutes in the tournament while appearing in all 7 games. Meanwhile, Ayeisha McFerran and Ireland had a comeback of their own, coming from down a goal to defeat India 2-1 in the 7th place match.
The Hockey World Cup qualifying is a bit obscure. Sixteen teams will be selected to compete. The host nation is an automatic qualifier, as are the winners of the five continental cups (which have yet to be played). If the host nation wins one of those continental cups, an additional at large bid will be opened. The at large bids go to the highest placed teams at the Semifinals tournament, which has just been completed. The USA (and hopefully Nicole Woods remains on this team) are assuredly in, as they would be the highest at-large bid if they fail to win their continent. Ireland still have a good chance to get in as well, with their seventh place finish. Congratulations to these Louisville Cardinals. Hopefully this international competition experience has helped prepare them for this season back in the Ville!
Until next time, Go Cards!