Mustangs Hope To Build On Record-Breaking Indoor Season
Contact Coach Casey at email@example.com
Cathy Casey is in her 10th year at SMU and seventh as a full-time coach. Casey is currently serves as an assistant cross country coach and assistant track and field coach. On the track, Casey specializes in the development of middle and long distance athletes. During her tenure on the Hilltop, Casey has played a pivotal role in the Mustangs' swift rise to national prominence, winning three Conference USA cross country championships, back-to-back top 25 finishes at the NCAA Cross Country Championships as well as developing several All-Americans.
During her first season as an assistant coach, Casey developed a talented group of athletes. Casey led the team to a third-place finish at the Conference USA Cross Country Championships. Jessie Jackson and Rachael Forish earned All-Conference honors, and Forish was selected to the All-Region first team with a seventh place finish at the NCAA South Central Region meet, which qualified her as an individual for the NCAA Cross Country Championships.
In the spring, Casey guided Forish to her first ever NCAA Outdoor appearance in which she ran a personal best time of 16:27.5. Forish was also named to the All-Midwest Region team in the 5000m. At the Conference USA Outdoor Championships, Forish, along with teammate Ilyssa Pettigrew earned individual All C-USA honors in the 1500m and 800m, respectively. During the indoor season, the distance medley relay team comprised of Rachel Barber, Franzi Lakomy, Pettigrew, and Jessica Jackson ran to a second place finish at the Conference USA Indoor Championships. In addition, Jackson (Mile) and Pettigrew (800m) earned All-Conference USA honors.
During the 2006 season, Casey led Forish to one of the best individual seasons in SMU history. Forish made her way into the record books as she became the Mustangs' first-ever Conference USA cross country champion and C-USA Athlete of the Year. A few weeks later she became the NCAA South Central Region champion (20:30.4) and was named NCAA South Central Region Athlete of the Year. After finishing 35th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships she received All-America honors for her outstanding effort.
As a team, the Mustangs finished in fifth at the 2006 NCAA South Central Region Championships. At the 2006 Conference USA Cross Country Championships, the team placed third for the second year in a row, with Jackson, Forish, and Jessa Simmons receiving All-Conference USA honors.
Silje Fjortoft was named C-USA Cross Country Newcomer of the Year and posted impressive performances at Regionals (20:35 in the 6k). Fjortoft was the second straight Casey-coached athlete to win Athlete of the Year honors in the region following Rachael Forish in 2006.
The 2007 season saw Casey lead the Mustangs to a No. 6 ranking in the South Central Region. Freshman Silje Fjortoft was named C-USA Cross Country Newcomer of the Year and posted impressive performances at Regionals (20:35 in the 6k). Fjortoft was the second straight Casey-coached athlete to win Athlete of the Year honors in the region following Rachael Forish in 2006.
The next season, SMU Cross Country would vault its way to a 20th place finish in the NCAA Division I Championships, the highest the program has finished in over a decade. The Mustangs captured the C-USA title and were a mainstay in the national rankings throughout the year. Silje Fjortoft followed her impressive inaugural season by being named Conference-USA Cross Country Athlete of the Year as voted upon by the league's head coaches during her sophomore season. The success was not only on the track for Mustang Cross Country in 2008, but also in the classroom as the team was named one of the 2008 NCAA Division I Scholar Teams of the Year by the USTFCCCA. The team boasted an impressive cumulative 3.29 GPA with Fjortoft and Jessica Simmons being selected to the C-USA All-Academic Team.
The Casey-led Cross Country program continued to find success in 2009. The team was consistently ranked throughout the year and finished 25th at the NCAA Championships. The program once again excelled academically, earning a 3.41 team GPA and was honored for the second straight year as an All-Academic Team by the USTFCCCA.
The 2011 season saw SMU add another Conference USA Championship to its trophy case as the squad was led by All-American Silje Fjortoft. Under Casey's tutelage, the senior capped off her Mustang career with a program-best 13th-place finish at the 2011 NCAA Championship. Leading up to nationals, she captured her third South Central Regional titlewhich earned her South Central Region Athlete of the Year merits by USTFCCA. Prior to that, she won her second C-USA Championship. In all, Fjortoft won six races in 2011 and led SMU to three first-place finishes
Prior to joining the staff full time (2002-2004), Casey assisted in the development of standout distance runner Karin van Rooyen, a two-time All-American, NCAA South Central Regional Champion, Western Athletic Conference (WAC) & SMU record holder, two-time WAC Athlete of the Year, and three-time WAC Champion.
In the last six years at SMU, Casey has assisted with three WAC Freshmen of the Year, six All-Region cross country student-athletes, seven All-WAC performers and four school record holders.
A native of Carbondale, Illinois, Cathy Casey was a member of the cross country/track and field team at the University of Texas, earning her degree in 1997. Casey currently resides in Dallas, TX with her husband Jim.