SMU Heads To Birmingham For C-USA Indoor Championships This Weekend
Feb. 22, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (SMU) - The SMU Mustangs track and field team has had an eventful indoor season to this point, and the squad hopes to showcase their efforts at the Conference USA Indoor Championships hosted by UAB this weekend.
This season's accomplishments include two school records. Stephanie Kalu set the SMU all-time mark in the 60 meter dash at 7.37 (the 18th-best mark in the NCAA) and Mary Alenbratt in the mile run at 4:43.05.
"It's been extremely exciting," Mustangs coach Tony Miller said. "I think this team has some pieces that, if we can put it together the right way for the outdoor season, can be really special."
SMU will not only be competing against the best the C-USA has to offer, but they are also fighting the war of attrition, with some of the Mustangs' key athletes battling injuries at an inconvenient time.
"We have a really good, young team," Miller said. "It's unfortunate for some of them going into the conference championship that there's a couple of little, nagging injuries that might prevent them from competing. But I think we should have a really strong showing with who we're taking and if they go in there and do what they're capable of doing then I think we'll do quite well."
Distance running has played a huge role in the Mustangs' success. All of the active distance runners on the team also were key members of SMU's C-USA cross country championship. Alenbratt, the cross county team's top runner and lone senior, not only set the school record in the mile run but also posted the third-best 3000 meter time in the C-USA this season at 9:37.10. Ashlee Powers, the C-USA's top freshman cross country runner, has the conference's fourth-best 5000 meter time with a 16:48.30.
"It's the forefront of our team," Miller said of his distance runners. "They're a very good group. They do a good job of translating from cross country to track, and that's extremely important. That's a testament to how good of a coach Cathy (Casey) and what kind of a job she does on a year-in-year-out basis."
UAB will play host to the two-day championship event in Birmingham, Ala. The meet will start with combined events (pentathlon and heptathlon) at 9 a.m. tomorrow. Live results are available here.