Carlini capping off strong season with Freshman of the Week honors

first_imgJill PetersA true team player and an extraordinary athlete, Wisconsin’s Lauren Carlini was named the Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week after a stellar performance this past weekend against Indiana Friday and Purdue Saturday.Recording back-to-back career bests in assists with an average of 12.78 assists per set over two matches, Carlini led all Big Ten setters on the weekend. Friday she put up a then career high 53 assists at Indiana before beating that with 62 assists at Purdue Saturday. This is Carlini’s first Big Ten weekly honor.While she is happy with the accomplishment, Carlini said she would take this award away in a heartbeat if it could have given the Badgers two more points to win the Purdue game.“It’s all about give and take,” she said.This 6-2 freshman has continued to prove herself in the competitive Big Ten conference. Head coach Kelly Sheffield is proud of her accomplishment and how she is developing not only as a player but also a leader on the court.“I think she is doing a really good job,” Sheffield said. “She is getting more confident and comfortable being able to direct her teammates and I think that’s a tough thing … She studies her craft and she works really, really hard. It’s paying off. I see her getting a lot stronger.”Carlini jumped right into a leadership role being placed as starting setter at the beginning of the season. Since then, the 2012 National Gatorade Player of the Year has continued to prove herself and carry the team further each match.“I have learned to kind of embrace [these] roles, it is something that I have kind of had to do over the years,” Carlini said. “I’ve usually been on teams who are older than me, so I have to learn how to play that role and kind of figure out my position on the court.”Junior Courtney Thomas, a longtime teammate, played with Carlini at the same club and expressed her excitement to have this freshman join the team. Carlini looked at the other girls as mentors as they helped her transition into her leadership role. Thomas said Carlini is adjusting well to her leadership position and taking on an integral role within the team.“She is really helping out our team a lot. She’s adjusted really, really well. I would never look at her and think she is a freshman, she is very confident and that is really key … She really knows how to communicate with us.”Along with Big Ten Co-Freshman of the week, Carlini has a team-leading 14 double-doubles so far this season, making her the top freshman in the country in that category.Carlini is already looking down the road to the Big Ten Conference. She wants to win.“I just want to lead my team. We are going to take it one game at a time and that’s going to be a big thing for all of us. I hope to lead us as far as we can into that.”last_img read more

Ghanaian Olympian, Akwasi Frimpong, features twice in Pyeongchang finals

first_imgGhana’s first skeleton Olympian, Akwasi Frimpong, twice qualified for the finals during the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation Pyeongchang InterContinental Cup this week in Pyeongchang, South Korea. It is the same track where Frimpong made history for his country and began his drive to become the Hope of a Billion when he competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Frimpong’s results this week showed just how far Frimpong has come as a skeleton athlete on the world stage. In 2018, Frimpong finished 30th out of 30 athletes.This week, Frimpong finished 19th and 20th out of 24 athletes beating countries from the Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, Luxembourg, and New Zealand.The results come despite not having a sliding coach. As his successful sliding season wraps up, Frimpong competed in 12 races and qualified for the finals eleven times. Frimpong currently ranks 76th out of 150 skeleton athletes in the world. He can still move up in the world rankings since only 7 best races are now counted on the world rankings with one more to be added by next weekend. “I made some big improvements this year,” Frimpong said. “I’m proud of what I have accomplished, but there is still so much work ahead of me before the 2022 Olympics. I hope in the upcoming season I can find the support I need to have a sliding coach to make bigger strides for Ghana.“ Qualifying for the Olympics is going to be extremely difficult if I don’t have a sliding coach and the resources of other countries. I trust something good will happen I just have to keep working hard and stay relentless.”“For now, I plan to take a couple of days off to be with my family then start training to prepare for next season. I want to thank my head sponsor, Ghana Gas, whose support has been critical to my growth this season. “Team Murdock Hyundai from Murray, Utah made my traveling to training locally possible since 2017 and my new sponsor, Forever Living Products International has been supporting me with their amazing Aloe Vera products which help with my recovery. Finally, I have to thank everyone who has been part of the Hope of a Billion story this season.”last_img read more