Comerford Rips Sub-47 Anchor as Louisville Opens Up Lead on Day 1 of SMU Classic

by Robert Gibbs 10

October 12th, 2018 AAC, ACC, Big Ten, College, News, Pac-12

2018 SMU Women’s Classic

  • Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center and Barr-McMillion Natatorium, Dallas, Texas
  • October 12th-13th, 2018
  • Teams: Louisville, Iowa, Miami SMU, USC, Virginia
  • Results here and on Meet Mobile

The SMU Classic is always a fun meet, with a unique format (only 8 swimmers + 1 diver per team and only two entries per team in individual swimming events) and a reputation for some very fast times for a mid-October meet.  The Louisville Cardinals came into this weekend having narrowly missed winning the meet each of the past two years, taking 2nd by one point in 2016, and a mere half point last year.

Louisville looks determine to get the win this year, as the Cardinals got things rolling in the 400 medley, where they won by almost 3 seconds, thanks largely to Mallory Comerford’s 46.86 anchor leg.  To put that in perspective, only Comerford and Simone Manuel had sub-47 medley relay anchor legs at last year’s NCAA championships.  USC finish 2nd in 3:34.01.  Louise Hansson is primarily known as a flyer, but she led off the Trojan’s relay, and went 51.97.  Virginia finished 3rd in 3:36.54.

It was the same finish order in the 400 IM, with the Cardinals’ Sophie Cattermole taking the win in 4:11.62.  It was a three-way battle for much of the race, as Virginia’s Abby Richter was in the lead at the halfway point, but USC’s Riley Scott split a 1:10 breaststroke leg to take the lead before Cattermole ran her down over the final leg.  Louisville’s Diana Dunn actually had the 3rd-fastest time overall, with a 4:14.95 to take the consolation final.

Unsurprisingly, Comerford cruised to a victory in the 200 free, her signature event, with a winning time of 1:42.79.  Her teammate Arina Openysheva went 1:45.12 in the B-final, while USC’s Tatum Wade went 1:45.55 for 2nd and UVA’s Paige Madden went 1:46.48 for 3rd.

Louisville’s winning streak was finally broken in the 50 free, where USC’s Marta Ciesla threw down a 22.18 for a solid victory.  Openysheva took 2nd in 22.51 just minutes after swimming the 200 free, and Virginia’s Morgan Hill took 3rd in 22.63.  The Cardinals did win their 3rd-straight B-final, thanks to Casey Fanz’s 22.44.

Miami got some first place points thanks to diver Alicia Blagg, who scored 301.55 in the 1 meter at the night’s halfway point.  UVA’s Sydney Dusel was 2nd with 295.60, and Iowa’s Jayah Mathews 3rd.

The Cardinals got right back to winning once the swimming events started.  Grace Oglesby blasted a 51.65 in the 100 fly to win by almost two seconds.  SMU’s Erin Trahan took 2nd in 53.33, while Iowa’s Kelsey Drake touched in 53.55 for 3rd.

Hansson backed up her medley relay leadoff with a 51.84 in the individual event to take the win.  Louisville’s Alina Kendzior took 2nd in 52.35, followed by UVA’s Abby Richter in 54.35.

The Trojans took the final individual event of the night, thanks to Scott’s 59.55 in the 100 breast.  SMU’s Andrea Podmanikova was the only other women under a minute, as she took 2nd in 59.68.  Louisville’s Mariia Astashkina finished 3rd in 1:00.35.

Unsurprisingly, Louisville wrapped up the night with a 7:03.79 in the 800 free relay. Comerford again anchored, splitting 1:42.97, another very fast time, especially at this point in the season.  Hansson led off in 1:44.80 for the Trojans, who ultimately finished 2nd in 7:09.10, while UVA took 3rd in 7:13.37.

Scores Through Day 1

1. Louisville 180  
2. USC 152
3. Virginia 149
4. Southern Methodist University 121
5. Iowa 120
6. Miami 113

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2 years ago

Are they wearing tech suits for this meet?

ct swim fan
Reply to  PPKL
2 years ago

I would say so as I doubt she does a 46+ and 142+ in a regular suit at this time of year.

samuel huntington
2 years ago

Besides Comerford, seems like slower times than normal?

Reply to  samuel huntington
2 years ago

Probably in heavier training

Any Mouse
Reply to  Hswimmer
2 years ago

In October? Seems like a stretch…

Reply to  Any Mouse
2 years ago

Really? I swim at a D2 college and we are getting killed right now.

Any Mouse
Reply to  Hswimmer
2 years ago

Sarcasm bro…

Reply to  Any Mouse
2 years ago

You are a lucky man to not know the horrors of rocktober.

2 years ago

Apparently according to the live results link, they are going to go back to the future to do session 2.