SMU Wins The Inaugural American Athletic Conference Indoor Championship
March 1, 2014
NEW YORK (SMU) – The SMU indoor track & field team won the inaugural Indoor American Athletic Conference Indoor Championship as the Mustangs totaled 118.5 points over the two-day meet. Three student-athletes claimed individual titles for SMU as juniors Stephanie Kalu (60-meter dash, 7.31 seconds) and Rayann Chin (shot put, 15.99 meters) and sophomore Lucija Cvitanovic (pentathlon, 3,854 points) led the way for SMU. Chin was named as the 2014 Most Outstanding Field Athlete while Director of Track & Field Dave Wollman and his staff were selected as the Women’s Coaching Staff of the Year. The title was the first women’s indoor crown in program history. The meet was held at the Armory in New York.
“It was a great team effort and it was very exciting to win such a tightly contested championship,” Wollman said. “This is a very unique team and it has been a great experience for myself and our other coaches to watch them become a family. Everyone was fighting, pulling and rooting for each other all weekend long. It was great.”
In addition to the 60-meter, Kalu placed second in the 200-meter dash with a personal-record time of 23.94 seconds. She is also the lone Mustang qualified to compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships in two weeks on March, 14-15 in Albuquerque, N.M. At that meet, Kalu will race in the 60-meter dash.
Chin’s personal record performance in the shot put did not go unnoticed by her coach. “Rayann really stepped up when we needed her too,” Wollman continued. “Helena (Perez) has been battling some injuries so the team needed her to score well as she did just that. I am very proud of her.”
The aforementioned Perez, and freshman Tochi Nlemchi finished third (15.66 meters) and eighth (14.14 meters) in the same event.
In the 3,000-meter run, SMU notched five top 10 finishers which proved to clinch the championship as freshmen Agnes Sjöström and Tova Magnusson placed second (9:40.51) and fifth (9:46.07) and sophomores Melanie Stemper, Shanoah Souza and Holly Archer finished sixth (9:46.24), seventh (9:49.13) and 10th (9:49.13), respectively.
In addition, Archer, sophomore Karoline Skatteboe and Magnusson also finished runner-up, fourth and seventh in the one mile run with times of 4:53.67, 4:56.93 and 4:59.66, respectively.
In the high jump, senior Lisa Egarter placed fourth as she leaped a height of 1.72 meters.
Archer, Chin, Kalu, Perez and Sjöström all earned all-conference honors for finishing in the top three in of their respective events on day two.
SMU is back in action on Friday, March 21 as the team opens its 2014 outdoor season at the TCU Horned Frog Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas. SMU has now won the American Athletic Conference cross country championship and the indoor track & field championship. The Mustangs will look complete the trifecta this spring at the American Athletic Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
“We will enjoy this but our attention now turns to the outdoor season,” Wollman said in closing. “We only have three weeks to recover and reload to get ready for the new season. One of our goals at the beginning of the season was to win three conference championships this year, and we are on our way to doing that.”