Three Kentucky Athletes Strike Gold on Six-Medal Day for Team Kentucky
Three athletes grabbed gold medals and three more added silver and bronze as Team Kentucky claimed six total medals on the first day possible at the Games.
Bowlers led the way in the medal count today, with Levi Oney of Olive Hill and Brianna Goode of Glasgow both claiming Gold in singles – the first event in the first-ever USA Games for both of them. Goode She rolled a 190 series to hold off Kailee Coleman of Georgia by 13 pins. Oney bowled a personal best 356 series to win the gold by 45 pins over Wyatt Branson of Tennessee.
Gymnast Racheal Connor of Versailles – the only first-time USA Games participant in the Team Kentucky gymnastics delegation – matched Goode and Oney by claiming the all-around gold in her first-ever USA Games event. Connor’s overall score of 70.8 included 17.9 on the beam, 19.1 in the vault, 17.4 in the balance beam and 16.4 on the uneven bars.
Bowling was the only multiple medal sport of the day. Dallas Derringer of Louisville also got in on the action claiming the silver medal in his division of singles. Derringer bowled an impressive 499 series, just 12 pins fewer than gold medalist Jeremy Sebourn of Missouri.
Franklin’s Casey Freeman rounded out the bowling awards, claiming fourth place in her division of the singles event. Freeman had a great day on the lanes with a 340 series, but fell just 22 pins outside the medals
At the track, Finchville’s Caitlin Roy used an incredible final 30 meters to shave more than 10 seconds off her preliminary time and claim the silver medal in the 400-meter run. Roy was fifth as she headed down the front stretch and then steadily moved forward until her final burst won her the silver. The medal was especially gratifying for Roy as the 400 meters was the only one of her events in which she didn’t medal at the 2018 USA Games.
Kentucky’s final medal of the day came at the bocce courts. Torrey Thompson of Rockport continued with the hot hand he had in his last match and a half yesterday, knocking off Dan Johnson of Louisiana12-3 to claim the bronze medal.
Kentucky’s other two bocce athletes – Amy Butler of Almo and Kym Dickamore of Murray each earned fifth ribbons in their singles divisions. . Butler fell behind 8-0 to open her match with Ca’Mayra Boulware of South Carolina, but came storming back to win 12-8. Like Butler, Dickamore also got her first win of the USA Games bocce competition, knocking off Barb Markin of Ohio 10-6.
Trevor Yates was the final award winner of the day. Yates of Shepherdsville ran a great race, but found himself in a very fast division of the 1500-meter run. Yates placed 6th in a time of 6:09.53.
In preliminary events at the track, Michaela Hickerson of Louisville placed second in her heat of the 100-meter dash. Hickerson ran a :17.33 in her first ever USA Games race. Also, Kevin Rates of Hawesville led his preliminary heat of the shot put with a throw of 10.59 meters.
Kentucky swimmers hit the pool for the first time today. Maddie Brinkman of Union, Justin Hale of Crestwood, Megan McCormick of Lexington and Austin Stine of Louisville combined to swim the 4×50-meter medley relay, swimming a team best 3:19.93. Hale also swam his prelim in the 200-yard freestyle, posting a time of 2:29.95 to place fourth in their heat, just a second out of third. McCormick swam preliminaries in both the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly. She finished third in her heat of the 200 free in a time of 3:23.21. She was second in her heat of the 100 fly with a time of 1:53.87, just about a second and a half behind Katie Baumgartle of Indiana.
At the golf course, The Unified golf team of athlete Wake Mullins and Unified partner Dennis Gaines from Lexington improved by two shots from yesterday in the 18-hole alternate shot competition. The pair combined for an 82. Gaines, who had a hole-in-one at the 2018 USA Games almost had another today, lipping the hole on the par 3 sixth on the Crooked Cat Course at Orange County National Golf Course. Athlete Bryan Cheely and his Unified partner and brother Kevin of Glasgow trimmed a whopping 12 shots off their score from yesterday in the 9-hole alternate shot golf event. The Cheelys posted an impressive 47 on the Panther Lake Course at Orange County National Golf Course. Both team’s go into tomorrow’s third round leading the second flight in their respective events.
Connor wasn’t the only of Team Kentucky’s three gymnasts in action yesterday. Aliya White of Lexington scored a near-perfect 19.8 in the vault on her way to total score of 74.0 in her artistic gymnastics division. White, who won the silver medal in her all-around division at the 2018 USA Games in Seattle, added a 19.1 in the floor exercise, 18.3 in the beam and 17.1 in the uneven bars. She will find out where she placed in an awards ceremony tomorrow. Lee Dockins of Russellville also took part in the all-around competition today. She posted scores of 19.1 in the floor exercise, 19.5 in the vault, 18.3 on the balance beam and 17.1 on the uneven bars for an all-around score of 74.0. We will find out both White’s and Dockins’ positions tomorrow.
Team Kentucky flag football had a tough morning on the field falling behind District of Columbia early and never really recovering on their way to a 48-7 loss.
The University of Louisville-based Team Kentucky Intercollegiate Unified basketball got its first win of the tournament and the first Unified team win ever for Team Kentucky this afternoon, knocking off Texas in a thriller 35-33. IT was the second game of the day for Team Kentucky. Their morning matchup with Ohio was tied at 13 at halftime, but Ohio was able to pull away in the second half, winning 45-36.
Tomorrow at the USA Games
Flag football and Unified basketball once again get the say started. Both play at 8 am. Flag football will take on New Jersey in their last preliminary game. Unified basketball moves on to the medal round where they will face the same North Carolina team that the played on Monday. Win or lose they will come back for a second game at 2:15.
Bocce will also get started at 8 am as Butler and Dykamore will team up in the doubles competition. They will play again at 9:15. Torrey Thompson will also get a partner for his competition tomorrow. Unified partner Mark McKinney will join him for the Unified doubles event.
Just like with bocce our bowlers will double up tomorrow. Derringer and Oney and Freeman and Goode will pair off for the doubles event.
Gymnasts also return to action tomorrow with all three participating in the first two of their individual event finals.
Both Unified golf pairs will compete in their third rounds tomorrow morning.
At the track, Kevin Rates will compete in the shot put and long jump finals, looking for his first-ever USA Games medals. Hickerson and Roy will both run preliminaries in the 200-meters. Then all four runners will compete in the 4×100-meter relay.
The pool will be the busiest venue of the day with Kentucky swimmers in the water almost nonstop from 9 am until 1 pm. All four swimmers will hit the water in the 4×50-yard medley relay final. Justin Hale will also swim the 200-yard freestyle final as well as the 200-yard individual medley preliminary. Megan McCormick will also swim in the 200-yard freestyle final as well as the 100-yard butterfly final. Maddie Brinkman and Austin Stine will each swim in 50-yard freestyle preliminaries.