Female Sports Science newsletter – May 5, 2019

Female Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for May 5, 2019



At 35, Portland Thorns captain Christine Sinclair is at the top of her game

OregonLive.com, Jamie Goldberg from

… “In the last two or three years, she has really evolved her game,” Parsons said. “She’s maintained all those qualities that she has had all her career, in and around the 18, scoring or creating. Now, she’s also becoming this playmaker. In her position, she crosses between three positions. She looks like a No. 8 sometimes, breaking from the midfield, arriving late. She’s this No. 10, who creates and sets people up. Then, she’s this No. 9, who is finishing chances inside the 18.”

While Sinclair’s performance during games has been critical to Portland’s success, her work ethic and leadership in training and in the locker room has been equally as important to the club.

Even though she has long been viewed as a superstar within the women’s game, Sinclair has never relied on her talent alone. During the offseason, she spent hours and hours working out in the gym and focusing on her conditioning. She said she is now the fittest that she has ever been in her career.


Inside Lane: Lindsay Flanagan, 9th at Boston, Talks About Training and Life

PodiumRunner, Johanna Gretschel from

In less than two years, Lindsay Flanagan, the former University of Washington star broke 2:30 for the first time (2:29:28 at the 2018 Frankfurt Marathon) and, this month, earned her first top 10 finish at a World Marathon Major by placing ninth at the Boston Marathon. The latter accomplishment has even more significance now, as top 10 at a Major meets the new IAAF Olympic qualifying standard. She is one of seven American women to nab the standard, which gives her a crucial leg up at next year’s Olympic Trials in Atlanta.

I caught Lindsay over the long Easter weekend, while she was taking a quick vacation with her family in Napa and Sonoma, to talk about the best race of career and learn more about her training and life.


Black Girl Strength: Harvard Grad Midge Purce Has Big Plans

The Shadow League blog, Adele Jackson-Gibson from

… Her speed on the ball and tenacious athleticism had wowed recruiters from Division I NCAA champions Stanford and Duke — schools that most wannabe pros would kill to play for. Harvard, on the other hand, had made some NCAA tournament appearances but frequently struggled to make it past the first round.

Choosing Harvard meant Purce wouldn’t always be facing the toughest competition. It meant that her youth national team peers who went to other D-I powerhouses might get ahead and have a greater chance of being noticed.

And yet, when Harvard coach Ray Leone called upon her to put on the Crimson jersey, she couldn’t pass him up.

“It’s kind of silly to have the opportunity to attend probably one of the best institutions in the world and say, ‘No’,” Purge told the Shadow League.


After turning pro, 13-year-old phenom Olivia Moultrie now stuck in soccer limbo

Yahoo Sports, Caitlin Murray from

… the big announcement of Moultrie as the youngest American girl to become a pro soccer player happened in February. Now it’s late April and the question becomes: So, what comes next?

Moultrie has been training with the Portland Thorns senior team alongside the likes of Horan and Tobin Heath, despite being part of the club’s youth academy. An eventual debut in the NWSL seems like the next logical step – but it won’t be happening anytime soon.


Hilary Knight happy to be the face of women’s hockey in the United States

espnW, Emily Kaplan from

On the cusp of breaking the record of the most appearances for Team USA at the women’s hockey world championship, Hilary Knight caught up with longtime USA star Angela Ruggiero.

“I don’t know when,” Ruggiero joked, “but you got old. It kind of just happened.”

Knight, for the record, turns 30 in July. But she is at the point in her career — which now includes a fifth-straight world championship gold medal, plus the once-elusive Olympic gold — where she is beginning to think about how she wants to be remembered. Somewhere along her journey, Knight became the face of women’s hockey in the United States, a title she doesn’t take lightly.


The remarkable story of 41-year-old Olympic marathon hopeful Roberta Groner

espnW, Mark Spezia from

… Balancing family and work while training and racing at a high level requires some creative scheduling on Groner’s part. She averaged nearly 100 miles a week in preparation for Rotterdam, often running twice a day and taking only two days off once she began training in earnest for the race.

Groner has even found a way to train twice on days when she has her sons without sacrificing any evening family time with them. That means venturing out in the dark for a 5 a.m. run or squeezing it in after dropping the kids off at school prior to work. “Alarm off, running clothes on, shoes tied, hair up. Let’s Go!” her Twitter bio states.

Less than seven hours later, Groner is training again during her lunch break. She reserves longer evening workouts, such as 15-22 miles at a varying pace, for when her sons are with their father.



Athletic Remodeling in Female College Athletes: The “Morganroth Hypothesis” Revisited. – PubMed – NCBI

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine from


There is limited data regarding ventricular remodeling in college female athletes, especially when appropriate scaling of cardiac dimensions to lean body mass (LBM) is considered. Moreover, it is not well established whether cardiac remodeling in female athletes is a balanced process with proportional increase in left ventricular (LV) mass and volume or the right and LV size.

During the preparticipation competitive screening, 72 female college athletes volunteered to undergo dual energy x-ray absorptiometry scan for quantification of LBM and comprehensive 2D echocardiography including assessment of longitudinal myocardial strain. The athletes were divided in 2 groups according to the intensity of the dynamic and static components of their sport categories, ie, a higher intensity dynamic and resistive group (n = 37 participating in rowing, water polo and lacrosse) and a lower intensity group (n = 35, participating in short distance running, sailing, synchronized swimming, and softball). In addition, we recruited a group of 31 age-matched nonathlete controls.

The mean age of the study population was 18.7 ± 1.0 years. When scaled to body surface area, the higher intensity group had 17.1 ± 3.6% (P < 0.001) greater LV mass when compared with the lower intensity group and 21.7 ± 4.0% (P < 0.001) greater LV mass than the control group. The differences persisted after scaling to LBM with 14.2 ± 3.2% (P < 0.001) greater LV mass in the higher intensity group. By contrast, there was no difference in any of the relative remodeling indices including the LV mass to volume ratio, right to LV area ratio, or left atrial to LV volume ratio (P > 0.50 for all). In addition, no significant difference was noted among the 3 groups in LV ejection fraction (P = 0.22), LV global longitudinal strain (P = 0.55), LV systolic strain rate (P = 0.62), or right ventricular global longitudinal strain (P = 0.61).

Female collegiate athletes participating in higher intensity dynamic and resistive sports have higher indexed LV mass even when scaled to LBM. The remodeling process does however appear to be a balanced process not only at the intraventricular level but also at the interventricular and atrioventricular levels.


Coach Isabella Rojas’s Advice for New Climbers

Outside Online, Exposure, Michael A. Estrada from

The climber, photographer, and co-founder of Más wants you to know that you belong in the climbing gym


Sky Blue FC looking better in 2019 NWSL season on and off the field

Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald from

… “This is the team that we are, and I hope you guys can see the physicality, the fluidness in the movement, the aggressiveness — that’s who we want to be,” said Skroski, a Galloway Township native and product of Rutgers and Absegami High. “That’s what we showed the fans. … That’s how we’re going to come out every week.”


Q&A with Zack Zillner, Sports Performance Coach, University of Texas

Sparta Science from

What advice do you have for young athletes that could help them when they get to UT as freshman athletes?

1. Be Coachable: You are not always going to want to hear everything your coach is trying to tell you. Trust in the fact that they are doing everything they can to help you succeed. Get outside your comfort zone; nothing good has ever come from being comfortable.



Garmin adds menstrual cycle tracking to its consumer offerings

MobiHealthNews, Dave Muoio from

Garmin is the latest to throw its hat into the mobile women’s health ring, as this morning the company announced new menstrual cycle tracking to its app-based online fitness service alongside a slew of new Forerunner fitness smartwatches.

Starting today, Garmin Connect users can record their cycle type, symptoms and notes about their personal health. By doing so, the service will begin to predict when their next period will occur or outline windows of increased fertility. In addition, the app will surface fitness and nutrition educational content that is tailored to the user’s current phase of their cycle.


On a major US STEM test, girls are significantly ahead of boys

Quartz, Jenny Anderson from

On one major standardized test measuring proficiency in technology and engineering, there’s a gap in scores favoring girls. And it’s growing.

Eighth-grade girls outperformed boys in every single category of the 2018 Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL) exam, including content-focused areas such as design and systems and technology and society, and “practice” areas, such as understanding technology principles and developing solutions and achieving goals.


I hear variations of this question often (“Men are doctors; women are nurses. Why is that a problem?” as one person asked after a talk I gave) so I want to address it.

Twitter, Rachel Thomas from

My brief answer is that the tech we build does not just reflect how the world is, but also shapes it. 1/?


sports medicine

Deficits in Quadriceps Force Control After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury: Potential Central Mechanisms. – PubMed – NCBI

Journal of Athletic Training from


Poor quadriceps force control has been observed after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction but has not been examined after ACL injury. Whether adaptations within the central nervous system are contributing to these impairments is unknown.

To examine quadriceps force control in individuals who had sustained a recent ACL injury and determine the associations between cortical excitability and quadriceps force control in these individuals.

Cross-sectional study.

Research laboratory.

Eighteen individuals with a recent unilateral ACL injury (6 women, 12 men; age = 29.6 ± 8.4 years, height = 1.74 ± 0.07 m, mass = 76.0 ± 10.4 kg, time postinjury = 69.5 ± 42.5 days) and 18 uninjured individuals (6 women, 12 men; age = 29.2 ± 6.8 years, height = 1.79 ± 0.07 m, mass = 79.0 ± 8.4 kg) serving as controls participated.

Quadriceps force control was quantified as the root mean square error between the quadriceps force and target force during a cyclical force-matching task. Cortical excitability was measured as the active motor threshold and cortical silent period. Outcome measures were determined bilaterally in a single testing session. Group and limb differences in quadriceps force control were assessed using mixed analyses of variance (2 × 2). Pearson product moment correlations were performed between quadriceps force control and cortical excitability in individuals with an ACL injury.

Individuals with an ACL injury exhibited greater total force-matching error with their involved (standardized mean difference [SMD] = 0.8) and uninvolved (SMD = 0.9) limbs than did controls (F1,27 = 11.347, P = .03). During the period of descending force, individuals with an ACL injury demonstrated greater error using their involved (SMD = 0.8) and uninvolved (SMD = 0.8) limbs than uninjured individuals (F1,27 = 4.941, P = .04). Greater force-matching error was not associated with any cortical excitability measures (P > .05).

Quadriceps force control was impaired bilaterally after recent ACL injury but was not associated with selected measures of cortical excitability. The findings highlight a need to incorporate submaximal-force control tasks into rehabilitation and “prehabilitation,” as the deficits were present before surgery.


After a Knee Injury, Be Wary When Returning to Sports

The New York Times, Gretchen Reynolds from

… little has been known about the long-term outcomes for athletes who pass — or fail — these exams.

So, for the new review, which was published in March in Sports Medicine, Kate Webster, a professor of sport, exercise and rehabilitation research at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, and her collaborator, Timothy Hewett, the director of the Orthopedic Biomechanics Laboratory at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn, decided to gather the few past studies that had tracked the results of return-to-play testing.


Celeste Geertsema: Are women that different from men when it comes to sports injuries? Looking at representation in sports medicine publications the answer is certainly YES

Twitter, Martin Hagglund from



May is National Osteoporosis Month – Put bone health on your radar screen.

NYCITYWOMAN, Georgetta Lordi Morque from

… Calcium of course is important for healthy bones, but what’s the best way to get it? “Number one is to improve your diet,” said Dr. Lane. “Eat something green every day, not peas, but leafy greens.” He also recommends building rich dairy products into your diet, such as yogurt and almond milk. “Then find out your calcium levels.” A 9.5 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter) range is the safest, according to Dr. Lane. “If it’s below 9, you’re not taking enough calcium. If it’s too high, you could be at risk for kidney stones.” Some studies have linked calcium supplements to kidney stones, however calcium citrate, which Dr. Lane, prefers, is less likely to cause kidney stones and more likely to be absorbed.

Vitamin D is essential in the absorption of calcium, so checking D levels is also important.


How Diet Impacts Bone Health

Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter from

Healthy bone is a balancing act. Our bodies continually remove older bone and replace it with new. As adults, if we lose bone at too fast a rate, replace it at too slow a rate, or both, the result is osteoporosis—weak, porous bones that fracture easily. The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that nearly 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, and over 43 million more have its precursor—low bone density. The disorder is more common in older than younger people. Fractured bones from this condition can be life-altering, and even life-threatening, but they are not inevitable. There is much we can do to maintain our bones. The earlier we start the better.



NCAA unveils 5-year strategy for women’s hoops

ESPN College Basketball, Associated Press from

… The NCAA wants to increase the number of qualified officials in the pipeline through enhancing skill development, evaluations and accountability of the referees. The NCAA also plans to collaborate with the Sports Science Institute to promote mental health awareness for women’s basketball. There will also be a review of championship formats to try to enhance site selections for regionals.


Drake women get historic $5 million gift

KCCI Des Moines (IA) from

Longtime Drake University supporter and local philanthropist Suzie Glazer Burt has made a historic $5 million gift to the Drake University women’s basketball program, Drake University president Marty Martin and director of athletics Brian Hardin announced Monday, April 29.

Glazer Burt’s $5 million commitment to the program is the largest non-capital gift to a women’s basketball program in NCAA history and will have a transformational effect on the Drake women’s basketball program and its student-athletes. [video, 0:56]


Bucs female assistants blazed different paths to success

Tampa Bay Times, Eduardo A. Encina from

In the historical sense, Bucs assistant coaches Lori Locust and Maral Javadifar will forever be linked as the trail-blazing duo on the first NFL coaching staff to include two female fulltime assistants.

And while they took very different paths here, their roles on new head coach Bruce Arians’ staff are equally as important in Arians’ outside-the-box plan to make the Bucs a winner.


Dutch magic and the Montemurro effect: the story of Arsenal’s WSL title

The Guardian, Suzanne Wrack from

Arsenal coped with a rash of injuries to win the Women’s Super League with a game to spare and this is how they did it


Here’s Why Emily Sisson’s London Marathon Performance Matters Right Now

Women's Running, Erin Strout from

… “I know our training works and I can put that together on the next one,” [Molly] Huddle wrote on Instagram.

It’s been well-documented that more U.S. women are benefitting from working together like Sisson and Huddle do. Formal and informal teams of distance runners are feeding off each other’s success, sharing the workloads during workouts, and feeling a new degree of comfort on the starting lines when they compete. After all, if you can hang with the best on training days, it’s reasonable to expect you can do so on race day, too.



Nike Aims to Better Support Women’s Basketball with Apparel, Action

Front Office Sports, Anya Alvarez from

Women have begun to receive more recognition within sports, but the dollar figures have yet to catch up. According to a 2018 Statista report, women’s sports receive only 0.4% of total sports sponsorships. In a market where global sports sponsorships were worth $106.8 billion, just $427 million was spent on women’s sports.

One of the companies aiming to improve those conditions is Nike, particularly for women’s basketball. But how, and what does support for growth of the game actually look like?

They aimed to answer these questions during a panel at the WNBA draft held at Nike HQ in New York City, where WNBA legend Sheryl Swoopes, Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird, New York Liberty guard Kia Nurse and Vice President and General Manager of Nike Women Rosemary St. Clair shared their opinions on how women’s basketball can be better supported.


Soccer: Lyon reaping rich rewards of greater gender equality

Reuters, Julien Pretot from

… At the heart of their achievements is a pervasive ethos that promotes gender equality throughout the club, starting in the youth academy.

In 2013, Aulas appointed former Lyon and France player Sonia Bompastor as head of the Women’s Academy — the female equivalent of one of France’s top youth set-ups that has produced players such as Karim Benzema, Alexandre Lacazette and Hatem Ben Arfa.


Opinion: White House celebrating women athletes shouldn’t be new concept

USA Today, Opinion, Nancy Armour from

Two-plus years and a heart attack’s worth of fast food later, President Donald Trump has finally realized that women win championships, too.

Baylor will visit the White House on Monday, the first women’s team to receive an individual invite from Trump. While we could question why it’s taken so long or ponder why Baylor was deemed worthy when South Carolina, the Minnesota Lynx and Seattle Storm were not, let’s instead focus on the positives.


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