Mallory Comerford: Former UofL swimmer gets surprise sendoff ahead of Olympic trials

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 11:03 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Former University of Louisville swimmer Mallory Comerford left for the Olympic trials Thursday, but not before receiving a surprise sendoff at Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport.

Family and friends showed up early with “USA! USA!” chants to send their hero off to Omaha, Neb., for this weekend’s trials.

Friend Steven Ramirez said he didn’t mind the early wake-up call.

“It was a no brainer because she’s so great,” he said.

As a UofL sophomore in 2017, Comerford tied 2016 Olympic darling Katie Ledecky in the 200-meter freestyle at the NCAA national championships. In her junior season the following year, Comerford won the 200-meter freestyle outright, helping UofL finish fifth overall at the national championships.

Comerford capped off her senior season in 2019 by winning her third straight 200-meter freestyle race, and won the 100-meter freestyle.

Following her collegiate career, she swam for the Cali Condors in the International Swimming League in 2019.

“I get to swim and do this as my job, and it’s because of the people behind me,” she said.

Comerford also said she looks forward to trying to earn a spot on the Team USA Olympic roster.

“I’m excited and nervous,” she told WAVE 3 News on Thursday. “I’ve been working on this for five years.

“This is a dream come true that I get to go to Olympic trials and hopefully represent USA at the Olympics.”

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