Who’s who: A list of current and former Alabama athletes taking center stage at the 2022 World Games

Ashlee Woods | @ashleemwoods, Contributing Columnist

The 2022 World Games are now underway in Birmingham, Alabama. The multi-sport event will bring over 3,000 athletes to the Magic City. A few of those athletes started their journey to the World Games here at the University of Alabama. Here are the three current and former Alabama athletes that will compete in the World Games.  

Softball: Montana Fouts and Haylie McCleney  

Pitcher Montana Fouts will step into the circle for Team USA for the first time in her career. The Grayson, Kentucky, native just finished her fourth season with the Crimson Tide this spring. After a strong 2021 campaign, Fouts had another strong season for Alabama. Her efforts led her to several accolades, including being named SEC Pitcher of the Week three times during the 2022 season.  

Originally from Morris, Alabama, Haylie McCleney is a two-time world champion and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics silver medalist. McCleney played for the Crimson Tide from 2013 to 2016. The outfielder left UA as the program’s all-time leader in batting average, on base percentage, walks and triples. McCleney has been on Team USA since 2014.  

McCleney is happy that Fouts can learn from veteran softball players ahead of her final season at Alabama.  

“She deserves it,” McCleney said. “She’s one of the best pitchers in the world. I’m just happy she’s getting the opportunity to learn from players like Monica Abbott and Ally Carda and veterans of this game, I think it’s only going to help her, especially in her last season.”

The preliminary round for softball starts on July 9.  

Trick Water Skiing: Anna Gay 

Anna Gay will compete in the trick water ski event. The Winter Garden, Florida native is a nine-time gold medalist in the Water Ski World Championships. Gay competed the UA water ski team, SkiBama, for four years on the UA water ski team. During her time at UA, she won two world trick titles and two under-22 world titles for tricks. She is a two-time National Collegiate Water Ski Association trick champion. Preliminaries and finals for trick water skiing will take place on July 15.