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Photo courtesy of Austin Lassell

Louisville softball seven-game win streak shows potential

By Justin Stephenson

Although the U of L softball team has been streaky at times during the season the season is starting to turn as the Cards went on a seven game winning streak before dropping the last two games.

“I think we have found a good mix and we’re really happy with this group,” Coach Sandy Pearsall said.

And why wouldn’t she be? U of L went on its longest win streak of the season at seven games, thanks to the dominant performance of the defense. In fact, the defense as of the seven game winning streak is only rivaled by the defense of the first seven games of the season posting 38 strikeouts in the stretch. The young pitching staff held opponents to an under 3.00 earned run average for the first time since the start of the season.

“We’ve made some defensive changes which I think has not only helped those players defensively, but also offensively. It’s taken a little bit of pressure off of them and they seem to be playing better. We’ve moved Kayla Soles from third base to right field, Whitney Arion from shortstop to third base and Hannah Kiyohara from right field to shortstop. If that main group of defense can continue on, I think we’ll be in a great position,” Coach Pearsall remarked.

There has also been another do over on defense as Maryssa Becker has claimed the new title of starting pitcher.

“Maryssa has definitely stepped up and has really gone with that opportunity to prove that she is very capable, although with that being said, we still need Caralisa Connell and Rachel LeCoq to throw good innings because we cannot put it all on Maryssa.”

Although their defense has been distinguished, the offense has held its own as well. The home run total has doubled from three to seven and their average assist numbers have doubled.

“On the offensive end, a lot of players have really stepped it up, we’ve gotten a lot of support from seniors Taner Fowler, Katie Keller, Maggie Ruckenbrod and Hannah Kiyohara. I also think that in our freshman class, Maryssa Becker has really stepped up for us and that has been huge because with her we’ve been able to get some things done,” Coach Pearsall said.

Despite the Cards seven-game win streak UCF still bested U of L winning the last two games the Cards played against them. On a two game losing streak the Cardinals travel to IU on Wednesday to get back to winning ways.

The Cardinals’ next home game is versus Temple on Saturday 4/26 at noon.

 

Photo courtesy of thecardinalconnect.com

Tall recruiting class comes in with big responsibilities

By Sam Draut

Three of Louisville’s incoming freshman participated in the 41st Derby Festival Basketball Classic at Freedom Hall.

Quentin Snider, a local prospect from Ballard High School was named MVP after leading his team with nine assists and eight points.

With the graduation of Russ Smith, Luke Hancock, Stephan Van Treese, Tim Henderson and the departure of Kevin Ware and Chane Behanan, Louisville reloaded with six recruits from the 2014 recruiting class.

“This will be one of better classes we have signed at the University of Louisville,” Coach Rick Pitino said.

Shaqquan Aaron headlines Pitino’s top-five-rated 2014 recruiting class.  The Seattle native is rated the 33rd best player in the country by ESPN, receiving offers from Arizona, UCLA, UNLV and USC among others.

Aaron is a six-foot-seven wing with the ability to play multiple positions.  Along with his athleticism and length, Aaron handles and distributes the ball well.

“He is a very well coached winner,” Pitino said. “He has unbelievable potential, I just love this young man’s game.”

Offensively, he is a gifted scorer who can create his own shot by slashing to the rim while his jump shot continues to improve.

At just 175 pounds, Aaron will need to add to his frame to compete in the ACC.

Quentin Snider ended up sticking with his hometown team after an odd recruiting process that went on throughout his high school career.

Snider committed to Louisville during his sophomore year, but then de-committed the summer going into his senior year.  Snider committed to Illinois in the fall, but signed with Louisville in November.

“At the last second, he had second thoughts, he always wanted to be a Louisville Cardinal,” Pitino said.

The six-foot-one point guard handles the ball well and should run the offense effectively.  Snider shoots the ball well off the catch and the dribble and also has the ability to streak by slower defenders to the rim.

He was ranked the 40th player in the 2014 recruiting class by ESPN.

Chinanu Onuaku chose Louisville over Georgetown, Connecticut, and Miami among others.  ESPN ranked him as the 75th best player in the 2014 recruiting class while Scout.com ranked him as the ninth best center.

His brother Arinze Onuaku played four years at Syracuse from 2006-10 averaging 9.2 points per game.

Similar to his brother, Onuaku is a strong rebounder whose primary impact comes on the defense end of the floor.  In the Derby Festival Basketball Classic, he had seven points and 10 rebounds in 20 minutes of play.

“He is physically ready, unlike the other guys he is physically ready, he doesn’t have to put on a lot of weight,” Pitino said. “He has great upside.”

Onuaku will continue to work on his offensive game, but with his six-foot-ten, 232-pound frame, he should be able to body with other bigs early on.

Anas Osama Mahmoud was a late addition to the Cardinals recruiting class, signing his letter of intent on March 3.

The seven-foot-one center was ranked as the 99th-best player by ESPN.  Mahmoud is long and athletic, but at just 197 pounds, he will need to bulk up to defend heavier players in the post.

The Egyptian native chose Louisville over Georgia Tech and Minnesota.

Jaylen Johnson is a six-foot-nine power forward ranked 14th nationally at his position by Scout.com.  In the Derby Festival Basketball Classic, Johnson finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds in 20 minutes of play.

Johnson, who chose Louisville over Iowa State, Maryland, and Cincinnati among others, is an athletic forward still developing his face-up game.

“He is something we really needed.  He is long, he scores, he is an excellent defensive player.  Everything we want in a stretch four is exactly what he is,” Pitino said.

The biggest mystery in the Cardinals 2014 recruiting class is Norwegian center Matz Stockman.  The seven-foot-two big man signed with Louisville on November 19 as a relatively unknown name.

“He has great touch, he is a left hander, great wingspan, seven,” Pitino said.

Rated as the 19th-best center in the 2014 recruiting class by ESPN, Stockman has shown ample ability on the offensive end, but will need to continue to develop his game.

Photo by Austin Lassell

U of L, the only school with a women’s lacrosse stadium boasts true home field advantage

By Derek Brightwell

It is well known that U of L Athletic Director Tom Jurich has always done his best to give his programs the top facilities in the nation. But what you may not know is that he has given the lacrosse team something that only they can boast. Out of every university that has a women’s lacrosse program U of L is the only school that has a designated enclosed women’s lacrosse stadium.

The program, led by head coach Kellie Young, is winding down its seventh year as a program and in that small time frame has already risen to being a top 20 team. Young attributes some of that growth to their top-notch facilities.

“It’s allowed us to attract great recruits,” she said, noting the impact it had specifically on the first class. “It showed a real commitment from Tom to the success he wanted the program to have.”

But bringing in the recruits is only one part of building this program up. The facilities help the players to get better once they’re on campus.

“I definitely think the facility has helped us so much because we’re able to have the things we need when we want,” sophomore midfielder Courtnee Daley said. “The extra work is the biggest impact because that’s what makes teams better than other teams. We can shoot by ourselves, work on footwork and visualize the game on a field. It has a huge impact and the fact that we have that anytime is a huge bonus.”

The athletic aspects of the facilities are hard to deny and obvious to see; but perhaps the biggest benefit of them is in the academic side of the student-athlete’s lives. In addition to the locker rooms, training facilities and coaches offices, the impressive YUM! Center also includes a study hall and academic advising offices. These benefits may be overlooked by potential recruits on their first visit to campus but are never missed by parents.

“It impacts the parents more than the students, honestly,” Coach Young said of the recruiting power of academics. “The players are just amazed by the University of Louisville, but the parents see that they’ll be able to pursue any degree they want and we can work lacrosse around their lives so they don’t need to sacrifice their studies.”

“I get the classes I need and the tutors I want,” Daley explained. “ And I don’t have to worry about a schedule change because other teams need the facility. I know exactly when practice will be and I can schedule my academics around that.”

It doesn’t take long for the players to realize the benefits of having everything they need all within a short walk of each other.

“I usually study for an hour, go shoot for half an hour and the come back and study,” sophomore midfielder Kaylin Morissette mentions. “It’s nice to have that balance. You don’t have to go to six different places.”

The stadium represents Jurich’s commitment to not only lacrosse but also all of the athletic programs at U of L as he has built the school into one of the top athletic programs in the nation.

“The great thing about Tom is that he supports our programs and our student athletes,” Young said of her AD. “And he does it the best I’ve ever seen. Our players get the same treatment as football and basketball. We get the same medical treatment, the same academic support; we get the same access to facilities and equipment. We get the best of what we need to perform at our best.”

That support is not lost on the players, either.

“I could tell they are dedicated to making it one of the best programs in the nation,” Daley remembers from her recruitment period. “That was very impressive and helped me to come here.”

In a season that was loaded with road games, the team feels proud to have what they have back home.

“I feel like sometimes we forget how privileged we are,” Daley said. “Especially this season when we traveled so much and we were getting ready to practice and there’d be either football or soccer or field hockey. We can practice anytime we want and we don’t have to worry about other teams and not a lot of teams are able to do that.”

The sophomore midfielder Morissette sums up the facility and life in Louisville athletics pretty well.

“It’s great,” she said. “You can’t ask for anything better.”

Photo by Austin Lassell

The Monster is back: Harrell returns for junior year

By Noah Allison

Card Nation held its breath awaiting an announcement from forward Montrezl Harrell on whether he would declare for the NBA draft or return for his junior season. A first year in the ACC without him could have proven quite long and frustrating, but alas the youngest of this last year’s captains has returned and no rim is safe.

After averaging 14 points and eight rebounds as a sophomore Harrell was named the AAC’s most-improved player. His 98 dunks shattered Louisville’s single-season dunk record of 59 and his 12 double-doubles and 311 rebounds led the Cardinals.

With one simple announcement the spirits and attitudes for next year took a giant leap forward.

“I’m ready.” Harrell said. “I’m ready to get back into the gym with my team and with my coach and prepare to have another great season. If the young guys come in prepared to work we still have a good core group of guys that were on the team this year and we have a lot of experience from this year coming back.”

Harrell will be the prominent big-man on a roster that along with returning red-shirt sophomore center Mangok Mathiang at six-foot ten, boasts a lot of height.

At center the Cardinals bring in seven-foot-two Matz Stockman, seven-foot-one Anas Osama Mahmoud and six-foot-ten Chinanu Onuaku. Backing up Harrell is six-foot-nine power forward Jaylen Johnson.

At six-foot-eight, 235 pounds Harrell may be the shortest of the group but is undoubtedly the biggest. His tenacious work ethic and relentless motor is what separates Harrell from the competition and its nothing but beneficial for this young squad of bigs to learn from the best.

“I feel like with the work ethic I have and the way that I compete those guys will come along,” Harrell said. “I can tell you first hand being a freshman coming in here that first week and a half kicked my butt. It comes to a point where you just get tired of it and you go to work from there. I feel like those guys will follow behind me and try to do some of the same things I’m doing and just work as hard as I am.”

Working as hard as Harrell is easier said than done. There is a reason Harrell made such a big improvement from his freshman to sophomore year. But Harrell isn’t just coming back and getting better for his draft stock. As the face of this program now he is getting better to keep the standard of Louisville basketball.

“Coming back I know I am going to have to play a huge role in our program and I’m fine with that. I’m fine with being one of the go-to players on the team and that doesn’t faze me, that just gives me extra motivation to work,” Harrell continues. “Having that spotlight is really an honor so you just have to take it and use it as motivation to get better.”

A returning captain Harrell joins up with senior forward Wayne Blackshear to captain this squad into the ACC. With a year of leadership experience under his belt Harrell carries with him first hand experience of being a part of championship basketball and will not shy away from expecting it.

“Honestly I am just one of those guys who are going to try to tell it like it is. I’m not trying to sugar coat anything because when you’re out there we are all playing for the same thing, to win the game,” Harrell said. “If someone is not doing something right and I feel they should know better on what they’re doing then I am going to be the one to speak on it. I am going to hold everybody accountable including myself.”

Harrell returning gives the Cardinals a chance to have a starting rotation of all returning players. The six freshmen coming in and returning bench players will all have to step up.

Harrell is the difference maker on this team and with it likely being his last season there is no doubt that he has more than just personal growth on the mind. A chance at another national championship is hard for any competitor to pass up.

“I feel like I can get back to another one, with the team that we have everybody just has to get to work in the gym, listen to what Coach P says and buy into the program,” Harrell concludes. “If guys come in willing to work and get better than there is no telling what we can do.”

Photo by Michelle Lewis

Will Gardner steps up to the spotlight

By Sam Draut

Waiting in the wings for the past two seasons behind Teddy Bridgewater, redshirt sophomore Will Gardner is now at the center of attention.

Replacing one of the programs greatest quarterbacks will be no easy task, but Gardner directed the offense well on his first big stage without the shadow of Bridgewater.

Gardner looked sharp and in control, completing 32-37 passes for 542 yards and four touchdowns in the Spring Game on Friday night.

“It was good to see Will in command of the offense, I liked the way he carried himself, I like the way he took charge in the huddle,” coach Bobby Petrino said. “He looked comfortable in delivering the football and for the most part, he was very accurate with his throws.”

On the third play of the game, Gardner connected with sophomore wide receiver James Quick for a 62 yard touchdown pass down the sideline.

“That was exciting, we said in the huddle we wanted to set the tone early,” Gardner said.

Quick, who believes Gardner throws a harder ball than Bridgewater, reeled in a team high 152 receiving yards.

“He played a great game, he played a well-rounded game,” Quick said.

Quick wasn’t the only receiver Gardner targeted, seniors DeVante Parker, Gerald Christian, and Eli Rogers all had over 100 receiving yards.

“We have a lot of playmakers, it’s hard to get the ball to everyone because we have so many, and it makes the quarterback’s job easier,” Gardner said.

“We have a very good wide receivers corps. DeVante Parker is a very special player, and there’s a good deal of speed and talent around him,” Petrino said. “That’s really going to help our quarterback. He just has to know that the defense and reads are going to dictate who is open, and then he just has to get the ball to that guy and let him make a play.”

With receptions from seven different players, Petrino was most impressed with the way Gardner distributed the ball and went through his progressions.

But, even with his stellar performance, Gardner was hesitant to give himself praise, remaining humble after a dominating audition as the predecessor of Bridgewater.

“We had good pass protection and guys were getting wide open.  When guys are getting wide open, you can’t miss them,” Gardner said. “I put the ball where I can and they make plays.”

Despite delivering the ball well to receivers throughout the night, Gardner did have one mistake, overthrowing a crossing route that was intercepted by Chucky Williams midway through the second quarter.

Gardner was able to learn from his few mistakes and adjust throughout the game.

“He missed one early in the second half, he kind of forced the ball and threw it out of bounds, over DeVante’s head, and we had a guy open down the middle, but he came back in the second half and hit him twice,” Petrino said. “So, he learned as the game went on, and that is going to be important because he is going to have to learn as the game goes on and not make the same mistake twice.”

After an impressive performance to wrap up spring practice, Gardner’s individual improvement becomes critical as players split from the coaches until summer camp.

“I have to grow into the playbook, become more confident, hit the weight room, get bigger and stronger,” Gardner said.

So now, a quarterback that has appeared in just six games and completed 8 of 12 passes for 112 yards in his collegiate career takes over a lethal offensive scheme and a program headed into its first year in the ACC.

“Will Gardner is getting better. He’s getting his timing down and putting the ball where it needs to be more frequently, but we still have to get better there. He’s a very hard worker, he’s got a great attitude and he’s a natural leader, we just have to get him in the situations that he’s going to see in a game so that it’s not a shock for him,” Petrino said.

And as for being a quarterback without the shadow of Teddy Bridgewater looming in the starting spot, Gardner is ready for his time.

“It’s different, but I enjoy it, I have a great group of support around me, great teammates and they all support me,” Gardner said.

 

Photo by Tricia Stern

Kevin Ware transfers to Georgia State

By Noah Allison

Junior guard Kevin Ware has found his new home and it’s in a familiar place. Ware will be returning to his home in Atlanta, Ga. to play for Ron Hunter’s Georgia State Panthers.

Ware, the six-foot-two guard, only played nine games in the 2014 season before reinjuring his leg against Missouri State.

Ware was granted a medical red-shirt and still has two years of eligibility left to play.

Georgia State is a member of the Sun Belt conference. The Panthers went 25-9 overall with a 17-1 in-conference record. They went on to lose to Clemson in the NIT.

Ware will be joining a number of prominent transfers on Georgia State’s current roster. Most notable is former Kentucky guard Ryan Harrow who along with Georgia State’s R.J. Hunter played as one of the best mid-major back courts.

Along with Harrow Georgia State got considerable contribution from former Virginia Tech transfer Manny Atkins who led the Panthers in rebounds. USC transfer Curtis Washington was second on the Panthers in rebounds.

Ware is starting anew among many teammates who also took the non-traditional college route.

The Panthers of Georgia State return a full roster of talented players who were able to compete adamantly in their respective conference.

The storybook ending to Ware’s story would have had him remain at Louisville, but nothing can be changed now.

Kevin Ware is now a Panther and will finish his collegiate career at Georgia State. After breaking his leg against Duke in the Elite Eight nobody wanted anything more than to bring Kevin home to Atlanta. Now he is home, and hopefully can get back to the court.

Photo by Michelle Lewis

Annual Red v. White scrimmage held

By Annie Moore

The University of Louisville held its annual Red and White Scrimmage April 11 to showcase the team’s preparation in the spring. The offense, headlined by quarterback Will Gardner, and the defense led by veterans like junior linebacker James Burgess were on display, as were new head coach Bobby Petrino’s new system.

Coach Petrino was happy with what he saw from the team, and admitted there is much room for improvement before the season.

“We have a long way to go, but our coaches have done a great job at teaching our new schemes, and the players have worked really hard at learning them,” Petrino said.  “We’ve had some great competition in practice. The practices have been really physical and guys are really competing. I feel really good about our front seven on defense. Our linebackers are physical and fast and are going to be able to play the way we want them to play. We are a little bit concerned with our depth in the secondary and the inexperience at safety. That’s an area where we have to continue to work hard and get better.”

The Red Team, led by Gardner, routed the White Team, 56-13. Gardner was 32- of 37 for 542 yards and four touchdowns.

“We had good pass protection and guys getting wide open, and when guys are wide open, you can’t miss them. We had a lot of guys open when we called plays for them, so that was a good thing,” Gardner said.

Gardner too admitted that there was much work to be done in the time between now and kickoff in September.

“I’ve got to grind in the playbook, become more confident, hit the weight room hard and just get bigger and stronger.” Gardner said.

 Michael Dyer rushed for 99 yards on 10 carries for the Red, and added 51 yards and a 27-yard touchdown on four carries for the White.

The biggest search now will be for a player to step out as the leader for a team heading into its first season in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“You always worry about leadership, but this team has a terrific work ethic,” Petrino said.  “They grind in the weight room and really get after it at practice. They understand that everything is different, but have been very willing to adapt. We have good leadership and guys who know what it takes to win games, and that has made the transition a lot easier.”

But with regards to the head coach’s overall feeling heading out of the game, he’s confident in his QB and ready to improve in other spots around the ball.

“You couldn’t leave a spring game happier with the way [Gardner] played,” Petrino said. “I was happy with our spring. I think we’re headed in the right direction, but we do have a long, long way to go.”

 

Photo by Austin Lassell

Lacrosse defeats Georgetown

By Derek Brightwell

The University of Louisville Lacrosse team opened up their Big East schedule with a 14-13 upset victory at No. 14 Georgetown on Saturday, improving their record to 7-3 on the season.

The Cardinals were led in goals by junior Faye Brust, who had five, three coming in the second half including the Cardinals final two goals. Her 34 goals on the year are just six less than her total from her first two seasons, with six games still remaining in the 2014 season.

The victory marks the first time in eight games that the Cardinals defeated the Hoyas and was the second win over a Top 20 opponent this season.

Senior Nikki Boltja increased her team high point total with three goals and two assists in the game, giving her 52 points on the year, 40 of which are goals.

One of the biggest keys for the Cardinals all year has been sophomore Kaylin Morissette’s draw control ability; she tied her own school single-game record 11 in the win over Saturday to put her season total at a school record 82.

Despite Georgetown (3-6, 0-1) only having the lead for a total of 15 seconds in the game, Louisville was never able to pull ahead comfortably until Brust gave them a three goal lead in the final 12 minutes that the Hoyas couldn’t overcome.

Louisville continues their five game road trip in Cincinnati to take on the Bearcats on Sunday, Arpril 6th. They’ll return to home to close out their season with three straight home games on April 17th against UConn.

Photo by Austin Lassell

Louisville women’s basketball advances to Elite Eight with win over LSU

By Sam Draut

Louisville cruised to a 73-47 victory over LSU on Sunday to advance to the Elite Eight.

Shoni Schimmel led Cardinal scorers with 19 points and added six assists.  Tia Gibbs hit five three pointers, finishing with 15 points and five rebounds.  The two seniors combined for eight of the Cardinals season-high 12 three-pointers.

“When Tia Gibbs gives you 15 points in 16 minutes off the bench it is pretty special,” Louisville coach Jeff Walz said.

The seventh-seeded Tigers were limited to playing just eight players due to injuries, while Louisville’s bench outscored LSU’s reserves 28-0.  In three NCAA tournament games, Louisville’s bench has outscored opponents 84-2.

‘‘They did all that they could consider, and our bench, they came in and they tried their best,’’ LSU coach Nikki Caldwell. ‘’I’m proud of them for that. We didn’t execute as well as we wanted to.”

Antonita Slaughter scored 10 points.  Asia Taylor pulled down 10 rebounds and added 7 points.

LSU (21-13) held a 12-11 lead through the first eight minutes of the game, but Louisville (33-4) closed the half on an extended 30-11 run, giving them a comfortable 41-23 halftime lead.

During the run, Gibbs connected with two threes on back-to-back possessions.

“I was trying to provide a spark to the team.  Coming off the bench, that is our job,” Gibbs said.  “My teammates did a great job looking for me.”

LSU was led by sophomore guard Danielle Ballard, who finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds.  She had 12 of the Tigers 24 field goals.  Minus Ballard, LSU was just 4 of 42 from the field.

“We had a hard time containing her, but I thought we did a good job on the rest of their players,” Walz said.

Taylor and Sara Hammond were able to slow the post presence of Theresa Plaisance, who scored seven points on 1-of-13 shooting, well below her season average of 15.3 points per game.

Hammond was limited to  16 minutes because of foul trouble, but had five points and eight rebounds.

“We have to get Sara going, we are running out of games,” Walz said. “She is in a little bit of a slump, but I would be shocked if she had three games where she struggled on the offensive end of the floor.”

Through three NCAA tournament games, the Cardinals have outscored their opponents by 46, 30, and 26 respectively.

‘’I think we’re playing really good basketball right now,’’ Walz said.

“We don’t play the score.  We won’t let up on people.  We know there is a lot we still have to work on,” Gibbs said.

Louisville will play fourth-seeded Maryland on Tuesday night at the KFC YUM! Center for a trip to the Final Four.

Walz spent five seasons at Maryland under the direction of Terrapin coach Brenda Frese  before coming to Louisville.

“We know we are going to have our hands full.  They are a very talented basketball team, they have great size,” Walz said. “We know what is at stake.”

AAC indoor hurdling champion Calvin Aresnault

By Sam Draut

Whether he is competing in Barcelona, Spain, Ontario, Canada, or Louisville, Ky., Calvin Arsenault has ran well regardless of what sector of the globe he sprints across.

The junior from Kitchener, Ontario competes in the hurdles, running the 60 meter during the indoor season and the 110 meter and 400 meter races during the outdoor season.

Arsenault logged a third place finish with 14.22 seconds in the 110m hurdles last Friday at the Alabama Relays.

In the Lenny Lyles/Clark Wood Invitational at Cardinal Park this past weekend, Arsenault finished second in the 110m hurdles and fifth in the 400m hurdles.

Arsenault enters the outdoor season coming off an American Athletic Conference championship in the 60m hurdles event for the indoor season though the season didn’t begin as smoothly as it finished.

“The indoor season didn’t start as well as I wanted to, it was more of a slow start, I didn’t start as fast as I wanted to, but as the season progresses, you learn new things, you fine-tune things,” Arsenault said.

Arsenault said the indoor season can be difficult to gear up for, beginning in January, because athletes are just coming off of the preseason.  Additionally, a change in the fall workouts added a bit of a transitional period.

“We actually had a different weight coach, we worked out with the football weight coach this fall, so that added a lot more strength that I am used to, so that helped my foot speed which made my transition to the hurdles more difficult because that means everything is faster,” Arsenault said. “I wasn’t satisfied on what I was running, I started working harder in practice, trying to fine-tune some things and it finally clicked once conference season came around.”

Winning the AAC championship isn’t the first title Arsenault has won; he bagged the Canadian national title in 2011 for the 400m hurdles.

He qualified for the 2011 Pan Am Junior Championships and was a member of Team Canada that traveled to Barcelona, Spain.

“I made the world junior team over in Spain and that was an awesome experience, I made the semi-finals.  Represented Canada really well, I PR’ed, it was a great experience running for your country on European soil,” Arsenault said.

Arsenault, who holds the school record in 400m and 110m hurdles, had a tremendous freshman year at Louisville.  He qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Round in the 110m hurdles and had four outdoor victories during the year.

Arsenault decided to run in the United States during his college years.  He connected with University of Louisville sprints coach Terry Winston, who contacted him the end of his senior year.  Arsenault came to Louisville for a visit in July and signed, coming to school the next month.

Despite being from another country, the transition culturally has been no different.

“I come from a decent size city in Canada to a large city here.  The biggest difference was the training and the weight training,” Arsenault said. “I came from a program that didn’t lift weights.  So, to come here where you are lifting three times a week and you’re training six times a week on the track that was more than double from what I was coming off in high school.  So, that was the biggest adjustment, allowing your body to recover quicker to come back for workout after workout after workout.”

With the outdoor AAC championships around a month away, Arsenault has his goals lined up already.

“I want to get another conference title under my belt personally in my individual events and for the whole team to win the conference championship.  I think we have the people to do it and I think we have the motivation behind us to do it,” Arsenault said.

“The NCAAs are separated into two separate meets, you’re going into the first round, I think I have already qualified for the first round, go in there and have strong showing because they take the top 12 there for the NCAA finals.  So if I can a great first round I can qualify for the finals in Eugene, Ore.  My ultimate goal is to be an All-American,” Arsenault said.