WISH event recap

The Louisville Women’s Sports Network hosted its fourth Women in Sports Honor (WISH) event Monday night at the Mellwood Arts Center.

It was a gathering of heroes from the collegiate level to the future stars of tomorrow, our budding high school stars.

WHAS11 Sports Anchor Whitney Harding hosted the even and gave her own inspiring speech mentioning she was like many of those in the crowd growing up.

Asia Durr was named WISH Athlete of the Year after being named the 2017-18 ACC Player of the Year averaging 18.7 points per game, while knocking down 108 3-point field goals and shooting 41.7 percent from beyond the arc. She is just the second player in program history to be named WBCA First Team All-American, joining Angel McCoughtry (2006-07; 2007-08; 2008-09).

Durr’s award made many people proud. Her whole family from Atlanta, Ga. was in attendance as was U of L athletic director Vince Tyra.

But most importantly, Durr gave credit to everybody else, told the crowd without her family and coaches, she wouldn’t be here today.

Faith Oakley was the Courage Award winner. She doesn’t let her ability to only use on are stop her and is one of the best archers in Kentucky and is being looked at by numerous colleges from around the country.

Oakley is hoping to eventually make it to the Olympics and then the Paralympics. After that, she wants to pursue a career in special education.

When her speech was finished, she received a standing ovation as many were awed by her courageous speech.

Last, but not least, the humble Arthur Albeiro received the prestigious Leadership Award. He gave credit to his assistant coaches and swimmer.

Sure, he doesn’t like the 4 a.m. wake-up calls, but by the time he’s at the pool, he’s ready to go – pursuing his passion.

He has coached olympic swimmers and NCAA champions. He has turned U of L into a swimming powerhouse.

Albeiro is a proven winner and has built champions inside of the pool and outside of the pool – Olympic swimmers Kelsi Worrell Dahlia and Mallory Comerford couldn’t have said enough words about the legendary coach.

Buffy Filipell was the featured speaker and spoke about her time rising to be a high ranking executive.

It was a night of female winners – champions on and off the court – some are our current leaders – but the majority of the winners are the future leaders of tomorrow. Some 25 years from now – one of those high school winners may receive the coveted leadership award, be a coach of one of the finest teams in the Louisville are, or a high ranking executive running the event.

Either way, it was a night of winners, and we were honored to have each and every one of those champions in attendance.

Here is a list of teams that won awards:

Cross Country – Manual

The Crimson runners kept rolling winning their second straight state title – third in school history – and beating out second-place Oldham County 42-74. Three Manual runners placed in the top 10 – Alena  Sapienza Wright sprinted to a second-place finish, Mye’cia Bright placed sixth, and Taylor Boggess came in ninth place. The Crimsons were recognized nationally – qualifying for national and being honored as the 19th best cross country team in the nation.

Golf – Sacred Heart

The Valkyries were dominant once again winning their sixth team title in seven years, their second in a row, and 11th in school history (most every by a program). The Valkyries won with relative ease winning by 37-strokes. However, Ryan Bender became the first Sacred Heart golfer to capture the individual state title since Lindsay Gahm (Game) won it in 2009 and was only the third to do so in school history. Taylor Edlin also tied for second-place.

Archery – Mercy

The Jaguars were the all-around best archery team in the Louisville area finishing sixth at the highly competitive state tournament. Mercy also won their regional tournament for the first time since the KHSAA started sanctioning archery. Mercy will be once again a favorite to win another regional title this year along with a strong showing at state.

Cheerleading – Bullitt East

The Lady Chargers won their third straight state title in the super-large division and fourth overall state title since the KHSAA started sponsoring cheerleading in the 2012-13 school year. The Lady Chargers had the second-highest score of any teams that participated regardless of school or team size. It was the school second-best score since moving from the small division to the super-large three years ago.

Track and Field – Male

The Lady Bulldogs dominated the Class 3-A track and field state meet again and won their third straight state title. This year Kaitlyn Lacy won the 3,200 and Miranda Morton, MiKayla Morton, Miyale (My-Yale) Dunn and Kamaya Johnson won the 4×200 relay. Male is the first girls’ track team in Kentucky’s largest class to three-peat since Ballard did it in 2000, 2001, and 2002.

Inspirational – South Oldham Lacrosse

The Dragons went 15-5 and made it to the state tournament. It was a special season considering South Oldham only went 7-10 the year before, an eight game improvement in just the span of one-year. The Dragons also won the small division in Sacred Heart’s prestigious Braveheart Tournament this past April. It was the first time they won the Braveheart tourney since 2012.


Swimming – Sacred Heart

The Valkyries can’t be stopped winning their sixth straight state championship and setting the record with 520.5 points, the most ever scored in a state meet. Claire Donan, Annabel Crush, Emily Lenihan, Tonner DeBeer, Ellie Masterson, Karson Dickinson, and Allison Bauer won individual or relay titles. Head coach Jim Luebbe (Luby) was named National High School Coaches Association Girls’ Swim Coach of the Year after the season. Sacred Heart will again be a favorite this winter to win a seventh straight state title.

Field Hockey – Christian Academy

The Lady Centurions had a special season. Since the KHSAA started sanctioning the sport back in 2014, Assumption and Sacred Heart had captured both titles. Not in 2017 as CAL shocked the state and won their first field hockey state championship, they also won their first ever Apple Tournament title at Sacred Heart. The Centurions finished the year with a 22-5 record, the best in the state.

Bowling – Pleasure Ridge Park

The Lady Panthers won the bowling state title, beating Mercy in the first round, Cooper in the quarterfinals, Bryan Station in the semifinals, and Corbin in the championship match. Five Panthers went onto announce they will bowl at the collegiate level. Michaela Payne finished fourth in the state in the singles bracket. The Panthers are expected to compete for another state championship this winter.

Dance – Floyd Central

Floyd Central dazzlers are one of the winningest dance teams in our region and country and have won 13 national championships including 2017 and a finalist in the 2018 national hip hop and large pom championships while being recognized as the dominant dance team in the state of Indiana.

Tennis – Sacred Heart

The Valkyries are back on top of the tennis world after a four-year hiatus – their state championship win was the 10th in school history, the second most in the state, and they won again won the region. Carrie Beckman won the state title by beating her own teammate Ellie Eades in the singles finals. It was the first time a Valkyrie won a singles state title since 1991.


Volleyball – Assumption

The Rockets went 40-3 and won the KHSAA state title, another stunning dominant year for Ron Kordes as they won their 20th state title. Only one of Assumption’s losses was to an in-state team while Kayla Kaiser was named Miss Volleyball when the dust settled. The team was recognized nationally having won the Durango (Las Vegas) Fall Classic tournament and coming in second in the LIVT and Asics Challenge (Chicago) tournaments.

Lacrosse – Kentucky Country Day

The Lady Bearcats have established themselves as a true dynasty winning their fourth straight state title this past season. They beat Eastern twice and knocked off Sacred Heart 14-8 despite losing to them in the regular season. Goalie Macy Fugitte was named MVP and junior attacker Sophia Sparks led the attack with four goals and 2 assists. It was the 13th straight year KCD has made the state championship game.

Basketball – Mercy

It was a special season for the Jaguars. The regular season wasn’t always pretty, but Mercy picked up steam as the season went along, and won 12 of their last 15 games including winning the 24th District title and the Sixth Region title. At the state tournament, the Jaguars beat Knott County Central, Ryle, and Boyd County before losing to perennial powerhouse Mercer County.

Soccer – Silver Creek (Ind.)

It was a special year for Silver Creek as they went 17-2-2 and made it to the state quarterfinals. It was the fourth straight year the Dragons won the Mid-Southern Conference title and only the second time in school history that they won their sectional. Maggie Day finished with 36 goals and was named the News and Tribune Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year.

Softball – Ballard

The Lady Bruins finally got a monkey off their back and won their first Seventh Region championship since 2011. Playing a brutally tough schedule, Ballard finished the season 29-6, won the 27th District Tournament and was the only Kentucky team to beat eventual state champion Scott County in the regular season. At the state tournament, the Bruins finished off the year as the seventh best team in the state and will make another strong run this spring.