Senior Helena Perez
April 15, 2014
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (SMU/American) - Following her outstanding performance at the Texas Invitational, senior thrower Helena Perez has been named the outdoor track & field Athlete of the Week for the second consecutive week, American Athletic Conference officials announced Tuesday. The honor is the second of her career and SMU's seventh this season.
Competing against a strong field in Austin, Texas, Perez took first place in both the shot put (15.92m) and the hammer throw (60.34m). The senior ranks 25th in the hammer throw and 27th in the shot put, nationally. She also holds the top mark in The American in each event. In addition, Perez placed ninth in the discus with a distance of 40.95 meters while her mark in the hammer throw was a personal-best throw.
“Earning this award is a great lesson to all our young athletes,” Director of Track & Field Dave Wollman said. “When you decide that you are an athlete all of the time and commit yourself to that, these are the type of things that can happen. Helena, in her senior year, is doing just that.”
Perez won her first weekly honor a week ago when she led the Mustangs at the Texas Tech Open on April 5. At that meet, Perez placed first in the same events as she won the shot put and the hammer throw with marks of 15.62 meters and 60.03 meters, respectively.
Prior to the Texas Invitational, Perez finished third in both the shot put (15.69m) and the hammer throw (54.91m) and earned 10th in the discus (40.70m) in SMU’s first outdoor meet of the season, the TCU Horned Frog Invitational. She also was named an All-AAC performer following her third place finish in the shot put (15.66m) at the inaugural American Athletic Conference Indoor Championship as Perez helped SMU win the program’s first indoor conference championship in school history.
“Helena is getting better at the most important time of the year,” Wollman continued. “Her confidence is growing as we head toward the conference championships, and she is positioning herself well for the NCAA Championships too.”
Perez and the Mustangs are back in action as they split the team once again. This weekend the Mustang throwers and multi-event athletes will compete in the Sooner Invitational (April 19) in Norman, Okla. while the rest of the team will travel to the Michael Johnson Invitational in Waco, Texas on the same day.
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