Feb. 12, 2014
Mustangs Set To Compete At Iowa State Classic:
SMU is set to compete in its final meet prior to the American Athletic Conference Indoor Championships as the Mustangs travel to Ames, Iowa on Friday and Saturday to compete in the Iowa State Classic. SMU last competed at this meet two seasons ago when the Mustangs collected 12 Top-10 finishes. SMU was led by now junior Craishia Washington as she set a then school-record in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.59 seconds. In addition, Washington recorded a sixth place finish in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.67. In throwing events, the Mustangs came away with a pair of Top-Three performances that included now senior Helena Perez as she finished second in the shot put with a toss of 14.75m. SMU will look to have even more success this weekend.
Following the Iowa State Invitational, SMU sits idle until the American Athletic Conference Championships from Feb. 28 - March 1 in New York City, N.Y. (Qualifiers will then compete at the NCAA event in mid-March.)
Junior Stephanie Kalu placed first in the 55-meter dash and reset her own school-record with a time of 6.75 seconds as the SMU indoor track and field team continued its indoor season at the Red Raider Invitational in Lubbock, Texas. In addition to Kalu, sophomore Rachel Scruggs placed eighth in the 200-meter dash as she crossed the finish line in a time of 25.16. The Ponies earned first, second and third in the one mile run as freshman Agnes Sjöström, senior Caitlin Keen and sophomore Shanoah Souza finished with times of 5:04.77, 5:05.19 and 5:05.37, respectively.
The Mustangs dominated the throwing events and were led by junior Rayann Chin as she placed first in the weight throw (19.81m) and second (14.36m) in the shot put. With her mark in the weight throw, Chin recorded the top distance in the American Athletic Conference.
Mustangs in The National Rankings:
SMU has seven runners and two throwers ranked in the top 100 of the NCAA. The Mustangs are led by junior sprinter Stephanie Kalu as she ranks seventh in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.29 seconds. In the 200-meter dash, junior Craishia Washington has clocked a time of 24.38 to rank 97th.
In the throwing events, junior Rayann Chin ranks 27th (19.81m) in the weight throw and 53rd (15.12m). Also in the shot put, senior Helena Perez ranks 27th with a mark of 15.85m.
Freshman Agnes Sjöström leads the distance runners as she ranked 46th in the 5000-meter run with a time 17:15.23. Sophomores Melanie Stemper and Shanoah Souza and senior Caitlin Keen each rank 52nd (17.18.36), 55th (17:21.48) and 97th (17:33.79) in the same race, respectively. In the one mile run, freshman Tova Magnusson sits in 97th with a time of 4:51.96.
Two-Time Athlete of the Week:
Junior Stephanie Kalu was named as the American Athletic Conference Indoor Track & Field Athlete of the Week for the second consecutive week on Feb. 4. Kalu earned this award for finishing first in the 55-meter dash, breaking her own school record for the second-straight week with a time of 6.75 (which converts to 7.29 in the 60-meter dash). That 60-meter time ranks her seventh nationally and first in The American at the Masked Rider Invitational.
Kalu won her first weekly honor when he paced the Mustangs at the Vanderbilt Indoor Invitational on January 25. At that meet, Kalu took first place in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.34 seconds and placed 13th in the 200-meter in 24.92.
SMU Competed At The Vanderbilt Indoor Invitational:
The SMU indoor track and field team continued its 2014 indoor season this past weekend at the Vanderbilt Indoor Invitational in Nashville, Tenn., where the Mustangs had 17 individuals' record top 10 finishes in the unscored meet.
Junior Stephanie Kalu took first place in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.34 seconds. Her time not only broke her own SMU record, but ranks her first in The American and ninth in the nation in that event. In addition, junior Craishia Washington placed fourth (7.53) in the 60-meter dash and sixth (24.92) in the 200-meter dash. Senior Helena Perez and junior Rayann Chin led the Mustang throwers as they placed fifth (15.34m) and sixth (15.12m) in the shot put. Chin also notched a fifth place finish in the weight throw with a mark of 18.61m. In the distance events, freshman Tova Magnusson led SMU in the 3000-meter run with a sixth place finish as she crossed the finish line in a time of 9:43.94.
Mustangs Opened Indoor Season At Texas A&M:
The SMU indoor track and field team opened its 2014 season this past weekend at the Texas A&M Invitational in College Station, Texas, where the Mustangs placed third as a team and had 17 individual top 10 finishes.
Freshman Tova Magnusson and sophomore Holly Archer paced the distance runners as they finished second and third in the one mile run with times of 4:51.96 and 4:52.3, respectively. Senior Helena Perez and junior Rayann Chin led the throwers as Perez finished fourth in the shot put (50'00") while Chin placed third in the weight throw (61'0.25"). In addition, senior Lisa Egarter finished third in the high jump with mark of 5'8". For the sprinters, junior Stephanie Kalu paced the Mustangs as she placed third in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.47.
Mustang Distance Runners Found Great Success Last Fall:
The Mustang cross country team achieved many goals during the 2013 season and will now try to carry that momentum into the indoor and outdoor seasons for track & field. The team accomplishments from this past fall included winning the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championship and advancing as a team to the NCAA Championship meet by placing second at the South Central Regional meet. Individually, SMU had six individuals earn All-American Athletic Conference honors and three student-athletes earn All-Region accolades.
Mustangs Return Two All-Americans:
Junior sprinter Stephanie Kalu and sophomore multi event athlete Lucija Cvitanovic return with All-America honors that they each earned last spring at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Kalu, who set the 100-meter dash record at SMU last spring when she posted an 11.38 mark at the North Texas Classic, earned honorable mention All-America in that event as she placed 22nd on day one of the NCAA Championships last spring. Cvitanovic earned second-team honors for placing 14th in the javelin with a distance of 50.73 meters. That mark ranks her third all-time at SMU.
Sprint Heard Round The World:
Following an outstanding spring where junior sprinter Stephanie Kalu set the 100-meter dash record at SMU and earned honorable mention All-America honors at the NCAA Outdoor Championships; Kalu was invited to compete in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Track & Field World Championships in Moscow, Russia last August where she ran the 100 and on the 4x100-meter relay team.
"Stephanie is a break through athlete for us as she has taught everyone on this team regardless of their specific event to dream big," Director of Track & Field Dave Wollman said. "She has raised the bar and helped everyone to have greater focus and discipline."
The 2014 SMU track & field team returns 18 letterwinners and will seek to claim the first American Athletic Conference (AAC) Indoor Championship this winter. Director of Track & Field Dave Wollman has high expectations for his team and expects them to be very competitive. The Mustangs are coming off a second place finish at the Conference USA Outdoor Championships last spring and the distance runners won the inaugural AAC cross country championship last fall.
"I feel really good about how we have trained all offseason and we are ready to begin this competition this week," Wollman said. "The cross country championship last fall energized everyone in our program as now we want to carry that momentum over and get even more rings."