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Sunday, June 7, 2020

Louisville Swimming and Diving Accolades -- Sunday Cardinal Couple

The summer slump is definitely here, and this year it's a super-sized version.  The slump always presents us with challenges for finding topics to write about, but there is a silver lining, as it gives us the possibility to look back a little and pick up on some topics that slid by undetected even from our finely tuned women's sports radar.  Today is one of those days.

Swim and Dive Awards

Swimming and Diving started to have some of their athletes reporting back to campus this week, but just over a week ago, they held a virtual version of their annual awards presentations.

The Rick Hill Award, for the most valuable member of the team was awarded to Casey Fanz and Nick Albiero.  With two silvers and three bronze medals as the ACC Championships, Fanz contributed 53 points to the UofL score.  Albiera won the 100 backstroke event at the Championship.

The coaches awards went to Grace Oglesby, a name that has graced the pages of Cardinal Couple more than a few times in our coverage, and Evgenii Somov.  Oglesby took the top spot in the 200 fly, a podium spot the Cards seem to perpetually own, while Somov racked up 90 points for the Cards with several top podium finishes.  The award on the divers' side of the team went to Molly Fears, another name showing up here frequently, and Daniel Pinto.  Fears was the 2019 Louie Award winner for breakthrough athlete of the year, 2nd all time for platform and 3-meter, and 3rd all time for 1-meter diving at UofL.

The Joseph Mittel award is awarded to graduating seniors for supporting the team in devotion to training and competition.  Lainey Visscher and Sam Steele were the winners of this one.  Visscher is yet another one to have received several mentions here at Cardinal Couple.  She had 2nd place finishes in four events at the ACC Championships, including the 200 and 400 free relays.

The Ralph Wright Most Memorable Performance Award is voted on by the team, and was given this
year to Nick Albiero for his 200 fly finish in the ACC finals, and to Arina Openysheva for her 200 free, and opening leg in the 800 free relay at the ACC Championships.

And finally, takes note of these names as you will likely seem them on these pages more in the future, the winners of the Freshman of the Year award are Abby Hay and Abdelrahman "Haridi" Sameh.  Hay finished 5th and 6th in the 200 and 400 IMs.

Congratulations to all of the UofL Swim and Dive folks on a great, albeit shortened, season.  Good luck as you get back into training this week.

UofL Sports Journalism Takes a Hit

Journalism, in general, has been struggling in recent years across the board, and sports journalism is no exception to that.

Danielle Lerner announced that she was part of a round of layoffs from The Athletic, where she had been writing predominantly about UofL Men's Basketball.  Prior to The Athletic, Lerner was with the CJ and was focused on women's sports, with a particular emphasis on UofL Women's Basketball.  Her coverage was considered by someto be insightful, in-depth, and respectful, and she is a class act.

Lerner can also go toe to toe with anyone in taco analysis and coverage.  Check out this 2019 list of the top taco joints in the city.  This sort of in-depth research and dedication is hard to find in journalism.  And while tacos are not her core coverage area, this coverage is emblematic of her level of dedication to research and getting the story.

The local sports journalism world is a fairly small circle of folks.  I'm out on the very periphery of it, but have had the opportunity to meet Danielle once or twice in addition to reading much of her work.  She's one of the good ones, and I hope she gets the opportunity to continue her craft locally.

(The opinions expressed here by the columnist may not necessarily reflect those of  Cardinal Couple management or editors)

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast.

Case, Paulie, and I were on the call yesterday, with Jared listening in, and chiming in with his quiz picks from the bank.  We celebrated Anna Debeer's latest award, the return of UofL student athletes to campus, and we dealt a bit with the turmoil in our country.

Check it out below.


  1. That's one man's opinion on Lerner. I choose to disagree. I am sorry she lost her job. I did not agree with a lot of her opinions, though. She was not in tune with the black athlete and wrote for a "pay for" periodical. I prefer the free ones.

    I bombed on the mascot quiz. Don't spend much time watching them.

    Nick O.

    1. A huge part of journalism is inspiring the reader to think. The thoughts can stimulate the reader in different ways, obviously.

      We hate to see people lose jobs, obviously. It's not our job or intent to judge any other journalists skills in a favorable or unfavorable light. What appeals to some, doesn't to others.

      All opinions are welcome here. Those, too, provoke thought. Thought, and action, are what's needed in society today.



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