Perez & Magnusson Capture American Athletic Conference Individual Crowns on Day One of AAC Championship
May 2, 2014
TAMPA, Fla. (SMU) - Senior thrower Helena Perez and freshman distance runner Tova Magnusson claimed SMU's first and second American Athletic Conference individual titles on day one of the inaugural AAC Championships in Tampa, Fla. Perez claimed her title in the hammer throw with a mark of 61.22 meters while Magnusson captured her crown in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a personal-best time of 10:17.84. Along with the two individual champs, SMU had two other student-athletes earn all-conference honors for finishing in the top-3 of their respective events. The Mustangs sit in first place following day one of The American Championships as the Ponies posted a team score of 47 points. SMU leads second place Louisville by 25 points.
"This team has in its mind to honor the memory of a great teammate and beautiful person," Director of Track & Field Dave Wollman said. "Our whole team has made this commitment to each other: To do this by putting 100 percent effort into every single performance."
The Mustangs captured three top-4 finishes in the steeplechase including Magnusson's first place finish. Right behind the freshman was sophomore Shanoah Souza who finished runner-up with a personal-best time of 10:18.74 while senior Caitlin Keen placed fourth in 11:02.18. Souza earned all-conference honors for her top-3 finish.
In the 10,000-meter run, SMU had four top-10 finishes and were led by sophomore Melanie Stemper, who garnered all-conference honors as she finished in third place with a time of 35:32.25.
"Hannah Moss is in every single mind and we carry her with us in each performance as we compete to honor her memory," Wollman continued. "Today's performance by each and every student-athlete on this team was a performance motivated by love for their teammates."
"We do not know if we will win or not at the end of the next two days, but we do know that we are one team caring for each other and performing with Hannah front and center on our mind."
In addition to Perez in the hammer, junior Rayann Chin finished sixth in the event with a mark of 51.68 meters.
The heptathlon completed four of its seven events today including the 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put and the 200-meter dash. SMU has two student-athletes competing in this event including sophomore Lucija Cvitanovic and senior Lisa Egarter.
Cvitanovic recorded her two best finishes in the high jump and shot put where she placed first and second with marks of 1.73 meters and 12.05 meters, respectively. Meanwhile, Egarter earned her top finish in the high jump as she finished runner-up to her teammate with leap of 1.70 meters.
"Every single athlete performed up to and beyond their personal levels today," Wollman said in closing. "We are rocking and are going to continue going hard for the next two days."
SMU is back in action tomorrow to compete on the second day of the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championship with the first female event beginning at 1:30 p.m. CT and the running events at 3:30 p.m.
Please visit http://www.theamerican.org/sports/2014/4/2/OUTDOOR_0402140602.aspx for a complete schedule of tomorrow's events and ways to follow and watch the meet live.
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