While SwimSwam was covering the SMU Classic, I embedded with the Louisville women to document what meet life looked like for them. The SMU Classic was a perfect meet to do it at, because it follows an unusual format. A team can only bring 8 swimmers and 1 diver, with 2 relays, 6 individual swimming events and 1 diving event occurring each day over the 2-day meet. A swimmer is limited to 3 events per day, and every swimmer must compete in at least 1 relay per day.
The Louisville women came into this meet with a chip on their shoulders, having lost the 2016 edition of the meet last year by 1 point to Michigan. The girls took their racing very seriously, but you could tell that the smaller group made it much easier to enjoy each others’ company and bond as a team. It was a young group, as the women brought 3 juniors, 4 sophomores, and 2 freshman, led by team captain and reigning NCAA champion Mallory Comerford.
Across the board, the girls put up impressive times for a meet in October, regardless of the fact that they wore tech suits. Both head coach Arthur Albiero and assistant coach Stephanie Juncker seemed very pleased and a bit surprised that through their hard October training, their women were able to produced results that quick. The women ended placing 2nd again, this time by 1/2 a point, and although losing is never easy, both coaches commented that with so many little mistakes made throughout the 2 days of great racing, they were excited at what was to come.