Tag Archives: Ryan Martin

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Softball dominates Longwood, 8-0,7-1

By Ryan Martin–

The University of Louisville softball team was dominant in their performances against Longwood University on Saturday, winning 8-0 and 7-1, respectively. Although the weather was an interfering factor for some parts of the game and even delayed the start for about an hour, the girls managed to play in effortless fashion.

“We have played in the rain before, so I don’t think it had much of an effect on our performance at all,” said pitcher Tara Collins, who threw her first no-hitter in the first game.

Head Coach Sandy Pearsall stated that she was very happy with the way her team performed. “I was kind of thinking it would be more of a close game,” she said, “I knew that it all depended on which team’s offense was going to play better, and luckily that went our way.”

The softball team will return to action on Wednesday, April 18 at Ulmer Stadium against the University of South Florida.

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Photos: Eric Voet/The Louisville Cardinal

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Swimming recruit named Swimmer of the Year

By Ryan Martin–

The University of Louisville swimming program has another reason to celebrate. Just a week after Carlos Almeida broke the NCAA breaststroke record, committed Louisville recruit Kelsi Worrell was named New Jersey High School Swimmer of the Year.

Worrell, a senior at Rancocas Valley High School, broke three records during her last year in high school and was recruited by the university. She also came up only 1:31 shy of breaking a nationally set record held by Misty Hyman, a former Olympic swimmer in 1996.

According to uoflsports.com, she is the first female swimmer that has ever broken three records in one single meet at the Meet of Champions.

Swimming head coach Arthur Albeiro could not have been any more pleased with his new recruit’s accomplishments.

“From the first time we met Kelsi, we were impressed with her personality,” Albeiro told multiple sources. “We believe her performances at the state meet have only scratched the surface of her potential. We see great leadership qualities in her, and we look forward to her development and impact in our program for the years to come.”

After breaking all of these records, Worrell is considered to be one of the greatest high school swimmers of all time to come from the state of New Jersey.

Worrell has given a great sense of self-confidence, as it was reported that after breaking these records, she called Albeiro, telling him “he won’t regret his decision.”

When asked about her record-breaking performances, Worrell simply said that she “left everything in the water.”

According to uoflsports.com, Worrell has won numerous awards during her high school swimming career that make her a great addition to the swimming program.

These awards include being Burlington County Swimmer of the Year and a Rancocas Valley MVP three years in a row, as well as making New Jersey All State in 2010 & 2011 and a USA Swimming Scholastic All-American two times in a row.

With this great addition to the program, the university has every reason to be excited.

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Photo courtesy ScarletKnights.com

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Swimmer Carlos Almeida wins NCAA National Championship

By Ryan Martin–

Last week, Carlos Almeida made University of Louisville history by becoming the first Cardinal to win the 200-breaststroke at the Swimming & Diving NCAA National Championship in what became one of the closest 200-breasts in NCAA history.

Swimming World Magazine reported that there was only a .02 second difference between him and California’s Trevor Hoyt, and that Almeida put in the fourth fastest 200-breast of all time with a final time of 1:55:88.

These events took place at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Washington.

While Almeida won the breaststroke tournament, the university as a whole finished ninth of the 39 teams that participated.

Senior swimmer Carlos Almeida made University of Louisville history by capturing a National Championship.

This was a very important accomplishment for the university’s swimming program, as Almeida was the first ever University of Louisville swimmer to receive this honor.

“I just kept thinking about all the people who have supported me and I had to get into the wall for them,” Almeida, a senior from Lisbon, Portugal, told the Courier Journal after his victory.

He went on to describe his performance the day before and how he was trying not to get “out touched in the 100.”

Throughout his swimming career at the university, Almeida has earned many accomplishments, such as being a four time Big East performer his junior year, as well as taking third place in the 100-breast and breaking a university record by setting a time of 52.02.

However, this is the most significant highlight of his career. Almieda is currently competing in the Grand Prix in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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File photos

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column: It’s never too early to start thinking about the Kentucky Derby

By Ryan Martin–

The Kentucky Derby is only two months away, which may seem like a long time to some students, but believe it or not, it’s right around the corner for many in the world of horseracing.

Many potential Derby prospects are already beginning to map out their final preparations for the first Saturday in May. If the Kentucky Derby is the Super Bowl of horseracing, then the playoffs are just getting started.

Obviously the Derby is pretty popular among students on campus, but for most, it’s just another excuse to go out and party. How many students on campus actually care about who will run or read a racing form on a regular basis? Very few, at the most, care.

However, there are multiple ways that students on campus can actually get into the racing aspect of the Run for the Roses.

Sophomore equine administration major Donna Rutland suggested that students not get tickets for the infield.

“When you go to the infield, it’s hard to watch any of the races so you can’t really get into the racing that way,” she said. “I would recommend getting grandstand section seats so you can watch the racing and still manage to have a good time.”

Throughout Derby history, the infield has been notorious for being the hot spot for partying at the Derby, and not many people that go to the infield actually go there to bet on the ponies.

Laurel Humbert, a sophomore who is also majoring in equine administration, recommends that students go to Dawn at the Downs, which features many of the Derby contenders putting in their final workouts at the track on Derby week.

“This can help students really see firsthand which of these horses are the ones to look out for,” she says.
While students can do more to pay attention to the actual running of the race, there is also quite a bit that campus can do to bring out the true Derby spirit as well.

The riding and racing club on campus already has handicapping lectures hosted by Churchill Downs racing analyst Jill Byrne and track announcer Mark Johnson.

Lauren Lilly, a sophomore equine administration major, went as far as to say that the university and Churchill Downs team up and have days where students can get in free with a college ID.

While the track hosts college scholarship days where college students are eligible to get up to $10,000 in scholarship money, she thinks it to be a good idea to allow students to get in on other days as well.

“Advertising Derby related events at sports games would be a great idea,” says Rutland. “Since so many students attend the university’s sporting events, this would help get the word out.”

For future reference, there are a handful of horses that are already being regarded as major threats in the Kentucky Derby that students planning on attending should know about.

One of these is Union Rags, who just came off a stellar victory in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park in Miami, Fla. Right now, he is 3-1 in the Future Wagers pool. Country music fans would be partial to Reckless Jerry seeing as though he is owned by country music star Toby Keith, a couple of weeks ago, this horse ran a good third in the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark.

Students should try watching some of the final Derby prep races such as the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park, the Wood Memorial at Aquedect Race Course in Long Island, N.Y. and the Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland in Lexington.

Horse racing may not be the most popular sport among students on campus, but when come Derby time, paying attention to these race may just come in handy.

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Club sports enhance the college experience of many

By Ryan Martin–

Division I sports are not the only way to get involved in campus athletics. University of Louisville offers intramurals, but the school also offers club sports, which includes a wide range of sports from bowling to lacrosse, racquetball or even ballroom dancing. Club sports, like intramural sports, are a great way for students to get involved on campus and be a part of something outside of the classroom. Although club sports may not get the attention and the publicity that the bigger sports get, they both function in somewhat similar ways, and are very beneficial to the students who get involved in them.

Racquetball club coach Gordon Henry emphasizes how much his club, as well as others, is good at developing a social network between students. “A couple of years back, a guy and a girl met through my club and wound up getting married,” he said. “I even have students that were in the club about seven years ago and they all still talk to each other.” He also went on to talk about how it doesn’t always stop at meeting students at the university’s club. “Sometimes, we will travel to other school’s campuses, and our students will meet students at these other schools,” he stated.

Aside from developing friendships and other relationships, there are many more benefits to joining a club sports. According to sophomore political science major Matt Leggett, a member of the rugby club, joining a club sport has taught him to be more responsible with his schedule. “When I’m involved in rugby, I have to balance out my schedule and this does a good job of keeping me in check,” he says. Many clubs have grade requirements that students must meet in order to participate. John McCarthy, the head coach of the bowling club at the university, stated that this is a great way to keep students in check. “When you give students a grade requirement to follow, then you give them just another reason to work that much harder.” Club sports have done a good job of allowing students to balance out their school and sports lives. Henry lets his players take their homework with them for weekend tournaments. “A lot of times you’ll see my students between matches typing up papers or studying for a test the following Monday,” he stated.

Not many students on campus hear a whole lot about club sports since they don’t get the attention that some of the bigger sports get. Matt Leggett stated club sports as being “undervalued.” “We don’t get enough attention,” he stated. Gordon Henry stated that there is more of a money issue on campus than there is with attention. “Recently the university has declared that all club sports are not guaranteed any money from the university,” he says. Henry went on to say that the racquetball club has gone on to do fundraisers and host tournaments for other schools in order to help with their own budget.

Club sports are an excellent way for students to get involved on campus, and come with many benefits. Although they may not get the attention that the bigger sports get, but students almost always have fun while participating and it helps get the most out of one’s college experience.

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Photo: Shelby Stafford/The Louisville Cardinal

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Men’s tennis dominates Belmont 6-1 in Saturday’s match

By Ryan Martin–

Men’s tennis dominated Belmont and Tennessee Tech in back-to-back 6-1 matches Saturday at the Bass Rudd Center.

Overall, the match against Belmont went pretty smoothly for the Cards, as the team completely swept the doubles round of the match.

Senior Andrew Carter and freshman Albert Wagner defeated the Belmont duo of Renado Aton and Rafael Matos 8-5. U of L’s Robert Hall and Sebastian Stiefelmeyer defeated Rodrigo Amaral and Fernando Mussolini 8-2. And freshman Van Damrongsri and sophomore Amaury Derogant defeated Enrique Norbiato and Bruno Silvia 8-4.

Senior Andrew Carter teams with freshman Sebastian Stiefelmeyer in doubles; the ITA ranks the pair at No. 24.

The singles round wasn’t a sweep, but it was close. The only player on the Cardinals who suffered a defeat was Andrew Carter.

Senior Robert Hall, the MVP of the match, won his first set in an effortless performance beating out Belmont’s Bruno Silva 6-0.

However, the second set did not go that easy for Hall. At one point during the game, Silva was up 4-1. But Hall managed to make a comeback and win 6-4.

“I was pretty concerned when I was down,” says Hall. “I did not want to have to play a third set, and I knew this was crucial in getting a quick win for the team.”

Head coach Rex Ecarma was pretty concerned during this time as well, comparing Hall’s situation to that of a team playing a great first half but a sloppy second half.

“I felt that he might have burned off a little bit of energy to win the first set decisively and really let down,” Ecarma stated. “But once he gathered himself up and started playing a cleaner game and got us that 2-0 lead pretty quickly.”

Ecarma went on to say playing a softer second set was never Hall’s style, describing him as “pretty methodized.”

“I was very surprised to see [Hall] get down 4-1, that’s something you’ll never see him do,” he said.

As expected, the team was pretty satisfied with its effort against Belmont.

“We had an extra two days of training before the match, which helps us play more aggressive rather than defensive and waiting for the opponent to mess up,” Hall said.

When discussing the outcome of this match, Hall went on to state that he very much expected the team to come out ahead.

“We expect ourselves to do well to do well just about every week,” he said. “There is so much talent and capability on this team and I think we have the ability to dominate almost every team in the country.”

French native sophomore Amaury Derogant went on to discuss the importance of freshman participation in these matches.

“It’s so good to see these freshman playing well,” he said. “It’s a new generation for the team, so it is important that they are able to learn the system.”

The team went on to mirror that performance against Tennessee Tech, winning 6-1.

Their next match will be against Wake Forest on Feb. 25 at the Bass Rudd Center.

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Photo: Austin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal

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Intramural sports provide students with extracurricular opportunities

By Ryan Martin–

As students are heading back to campus for the beginning of the spring semester, many of the extracurricular activities are starting to shape up as well. One of the more popular of these has to be intramural sports. For years, intramural sports have played a key role in getting students involved on campus in activities not related to the classroom. Whether it is basketball, bowling, indoor soccer or even a rock paper scissors tournament, intramural sports on Louisville’s campus offer a little something for everyone.

“Our goal is to get as many students involved on campus as we can,” said intramural assistant director David Hatfield, “which is why we offer such a wide range of opportunities.” Intramural sports have always had a positive impact not just on Louisville’s campus but also on campuses throughout the country. Assistant director John Smith states that there are “mountains and mountains” of data to show how much being involved in something outside the class can benefit a college student.

“When you get a student involved in something after class,” Smith said, “we’ve seen that GPAs and grades have been higher, and the performance in the classroom tends to be very good.”
These opportunities that Hatfield discusses do not just come in the form of athletic sports such as flag football and basketball. Justin Peterson, the intramural sports coordinator, emphasized the importance of getting everyone involved no matter what.

“We won’t ever turn anyone away because they weren’t a high school athlete or just couldn’t make it on a college team,” he said. “Our motto is ‘A sport for everyone and everyone to a sport,’ so intramurals don’t just apply to college athletes.” From rock paper scissors to sports trivia, there are, in fact, many types of non-athletic activities for students to get involved in on campus.

As time goes on, some sports decline and increase in popularity on campus. David Hatfield discussed these certain “fads” and predicted which sports the students are looking forward to the most.

“Obviously, with Kentucky being a basketball state, basketball tends to be our more popular sport,” Hatfield said. He also went on to discuss how popular team handball has been on campus the past couple years, as well as indoor soccer. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten requests from students about indoor soccer. However, indoor soccer is very hard to manage with the facilities that we have now.”

Hatfield also stated that he expects intramural sports to grow within the next few years, especially with the new recreation center opening on the west side of campus in 2013. According to him, these new facilities will have cinder block walls that will take all of the pounding from soccer balls, unlike the facilities we have now. However, intramural sports have certainly been on the rise over the past few years; John Smith states that the amount of intramural teams has at least doubled within the past five years.

“There was a point in time where football was only a weekend sport back before we had Parkway Field,” he said. “But now we’ve expanded that out to a full season.”

Every semester, intramurals tend to get great turnouts, and this semester is no exception. Based on information from the intramural department, it looks like we’re in for some of the biggest intramural events the campus has ever seen. All students are strongly encouraged to participate in the activities that intramurals have to offer, regardless of athletic ability. As long as students are getting involved, that’s all that matters.

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COLUMN: Looking at Pitino’s 11 years with the Cards hoping for more

By Ryan Martin–

Let’s go back 11 years ago. The date is March 21, 2001. Every loyal Cardinal basketball fan couldn’t be any happier. Why is this? Because that just so happened to be the day that Coach Rick Pitino was hired as the men’s basketball head coach at the University of Louisville. Since then, he’s been a very familiar face around town and even the subject of some controversy.

Now, if a person were to go up to any Cards fan in 2001 and say, “In 11 years, I bet Louisville will have won no championships and have only gone to one Final Four,” they would probably look at you like you’re crazy. After all, Rick Pitino’s the coach now. He did wonders for Kentucky’s basketball team, and now that he’s back at the college level, he will start taking home the championship banners that the fans have been wanting. Obviously, fans today know that it didn’t happen quite like that.

Throughout the span of these 11 years Pitino’s teams have had their ups and downs from the Final Four in 2005, to going to the National Invitation Tournament the very next year. Now look at this year’s Cards; a team that was once regarded as one of the best in the nation has now lost five of their last eight games, and the fans couldn’t be more disappointed. The point is that the Pitino era in Cardinal basketball has been somewhat disappointing. This isn’t to say that Rick Pitino is a bad coach. His record with Kentucky as well as the other teams he has coached has clearly shown that he is quite the opposite. Today, he’s regarded as one of the great coaches in all of basketball, and rightfully so. But the fact of the matter is, when it’s been 11 years and nothing significant has happened, then there comes a time for a change. You see it all the time in sports. Coaches often will get fired, not so much because they’re not doing a good job, but because there is some need for a change. Just look at Mike Shanahan and the Denver Broncos. He won back-to-back Super Bowls and made numerous playoff appearances with the team. But after a while, the team’s performances weren’t meeting expectations and the time came for a change.

Will Rick Pitino leave U of L? If he does, you probably won’t see it happening anytime soon. His contract extension keeps him with the Cards through 2017. The city has embraced the man too much for him to get fired this soon. But give it a few more seasons, and if there aren’t any big turnarounds, Cards fans may be ready for a change. If that by some chance does happen, neither Pitino nor Cards fans need to fear. Imagine the numerous prestigious basketball colleges that will be lining up to hire Pitino. You know he won’t be out of work. And Louisville, being a basketball school itself, would be able to hire a coach pretty close to Pitino’s caliber. Either way, everyone will be happy.

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Photo: Austin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal

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‘Angels and Airwaves’ returns with ‘Love Part II’

By Ryan Martin–

Last month, I wrote a review on Blink 182’s new album, “Neighborhoods,” criticizing it for sounding too similar to that of lead singer Tom DeLonge’s side project Angels & Airwaves. I now am writing a review on the new Angels & Airwaves album. However this time, I am praising it for sounding like their older material.
Angels & Airwaves has not in any way abandoned their space rock roots on this album and the songs are similar to that of older Airwaves material. For example, the chorus of the song “Dry Your Eyes” contains almost the exact same melody from “Everything’s Magic,” a single off of their sophomore album “I-Empire.” This specific track even contains a riff at the beginning that sounds similar to that of Blink 182’s “Violence”.Angels & Airwaves’ “Love Part II” was released on Nov. 8, 2011 as a sequel to last year’s album, “Love.” This is their fourth album in six years together as a band. Throughout these six years, not much has changed as far as style goes. Not many bands can say that they’ve kept the same consistent sound throughout their time together. Angels & Airwaves is not one of those bands. Ever since the start, they’ve been an alternative, space rock influenced band and the material heard on “Love Part II” is no exception. Airwaves fans will not be disappointed in listening to this album. If you’ve been a fan since their beginnings in 2005, then this album is perfect for you.

There are many other tracks on the album that stuck out to me, one of them being the first single “Anxiety” which takes on somewhat of an arena rock sound in comparison to much of the rest of the album.

The album opens with a track titled “Saturday Love” which sounds a lot like the typical opening for your average Angels & Airwaves album. It starts out slow, but gradually progresses into a more upbeat song.

Over all, the album was great. I strongly praise the band for actually sticking to their original roots and not making any drastic changes to their style. Every band goes through some changes, very few are truly loyal to their original sound. I would give this album 4 out of 5 stars.

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Photos courtesy Geffen Records

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Churchill Downs hosts the Breeder’s Cup for eighth time

Stephanie's Kitten

By Ryan Martin–

Just a short distance away from campus this last weekend, Churchill Downs hosted the Breeders Cup world thoroughbred championships, a two day event that consists of 15 races, takes place each fall at different race tracks and is geared towards highlighting the sports’ best runners. In its 27th year, the Breeders’ Cup came to Churchill Downs for a record eighth time. Both days had its share of unpredictable results, the biggest being 64-1 longshot Court Vision taking the Breeders’ Cup Mile, making this his first win since last September.

The biggest story coming out the race was the defeat of Goldikova, who was going for her fourth consecutive Breeders’ Cup Mile victory. Going into the far turn, the six year old mare was on the rail, full of run, but was trapped behind a wall of horses. At the top of the stretch she found room, but was unable to hold off Court Vision and runner up Turallure.

“She ran well,” commented Peslier, “When we came onto the turn there was nowhere to go. But she got through with good acceleration.” The Breeders’ Cup Mile will be Goldikova’s last race, finishing her career with 17 wins out 27 career starts.

Another upset pulled on the Breeders’ Cup card was in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, the most prominent of the 15 races, when last year’s Belmont Stakes champion Drosselmeyer with jockey Mike Smith in the irons ran right past pace-setting Game On Dude, ridden by Smith’s ex-girlfriend Chantal Sutherland, winning by 1 ½ lengths. Mike Smith was the subject of much criticism in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic for his ride on the undefeated filly Zenyatta who was going for her record 20th consecutive victory, only missing by a nose.

“That race will always hurt,” he told the Daily Racing Form, “but coming back and winning this year sure does help.”

The victory was trainer Bill Mott’s second of the weekend, the other one coming from Royal Delta on Friday night in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic. Mott became the second trainer to sweep both feature races, the other being John Sherriffs in 2009. Smith is now tied with former jockey Jerry Bailey for most overall wins in the Breeders’ Cup with fifteen.

2011 Belmont winner Ruler On Ice checked in third, followed by the mare Havre de Grace, the favorite Flat Out was next followed by the New Zealand bred So You Think, To Honor and Serve, Ice Box, Rattlesnake Bridge, the Micheal Repole owned duo of Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty were next and Headache finished last.

As always, Europe made their presence known in this year’s Breeders’ Cup. This year that presence came in the Breeders’ Cup Turf when the Irish invader St. Nicholas Abbey came from off the pace to win defeating a nine horse field. This was probably the most emotional race on the card as a father-son duo teamed up as trainer Aidan O’Brien’s son Joseph O’Brien rode the horse to a 2 ¼ length victory. Joseph O’ Brien is now the youngest jockey to win a Breeders’ Cup race at the age of 18 years and 5 months.

“I have been going to the Breeders’ Cup ever since I was very small,” says J. O’Brien, “To win a race like this for my father is out of this world,” Trainer Aidan O’ Brien, who earlier that day won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf with Wrote, could not have been more pleased with his son’s ride. “This is such a special day and a wonderful race,” he stated. “My son is an amazing rider.” St Nicholas Abbey layed a good four lengths off the lead as his stable mate, Await the Dawn, set the early pace setting a moderate 24.2 opening quarter and a 50 flat half. This was his first victory since winning the Coronation Cup, a prestigious Turf race in Ireland, earlier this summer.

Other wins on the day included a 41-1 upset pulled by Afleet Again in the Dirt Marathon, Hansen winning wire to wire holding off huge favorite Union Rags in the Juvenile, Royal Delta winning the Ladies Classic, Caleb’s Posse defeating Preakness winner Shackleford in the Dirt Mile and Musical Romance winning the Filly & Mare Sprint at 20-1. The overall attendance for both days was 105,820 under clearing skies 63 degrees.

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Photos: Michael Baldwin/The Louisville Cardinal