April 17, 2014
SMU SPLITS ITS TEAM BETWEEN THE MICHAEL JOHNSON INVITE AND SOONER INVITE THIS WEEKEND:
The SMU outdoor track & field team continues its outdoor season as SMU splits its team between the Michael Johnson Invitational and the Sooner Invitational on Saturday. Just the throwers and the multi-event athletes are heading to Norman, Okla., while the rest of the Ponies will head to Waco, Texas, for the Michael Johnson Invite which is hosted by Baylor.
With the outdoor season upon SMU, the Mustangs will look to complete the trifecta and win the AAC Outdoor Track & Field Championship as the Ponies won the inaugural cross country title last fall and the indoor track & field crown on March 1.
Following this weekend, SMU will get its team full team back together next weekend for the Texas State Invitational in San Marcos, Texas on April 25-26.
TEXAS INVITATIONAL --
SMU competed Texas Invitational this past weekend where the Mustangs recorded 12 top-10 finishes in Austin. Senior Helena Perez led the SMU throwers as she placed first in both the shot put (15.92m) and the hammer throw (60.34m) and ninth in the discus (40.95m). Perez' mark in the hammer throw was a personal-best throw. Senior multi-event athlete Lisa Egarter continued her impressive spring as she notched two top-10 finishes at the Texas Invite. Her best mark came in the javelin as she placed fourth with a throw of 36.39 meters. Sophomore Rachel Scruggs paced the SMU sprinters as she finished ninth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 57.11 seconds.
SMU has three throwers, two distance runners, one sprinter and one multi-event athlete ranked in the top-75 in the country according to tfrrs.org.
For the throwers, Helena Perez is ranked 25th in the hammer throw (60.34m) and 27th in the shot put (15.92m) while Tochi Nlemchi is ranked 67th in the same event with a mark of 14.80 meters. In addition, Rayann Chin sits 76th in the shot put (14.72m).
Tova Magnusson leads the Mustang distance runners as she ranks 27th in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10.23.85. In the 10,000-meter run, Karoline Skatteboe stands 60th with a time of 35:46.57.
Stephanie Kalu leads the SMU sprinters as she sits 26th in the 100-meter dash (11.45 seconds) while Lucija Cvitanovic is ranked in the top-25 in two events including the eighth in the heptathlon (5,455 points) and 24th in the javelin (49.15m).
PEREZ DISPENSES ANOTHER AWARD:
Following her outstanding performance at the Texas Invitational, senior thrower Helena Perez was named the American Athletic Conference outdoor track & field Athlete of the Week for the second consecutive week. The honor is the second of her career and SMU's seventh this season. 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. She earned this honor a week ago for placing first in the same two events at the Texas Tech Open.
Following her fifth-place performance in the heptathlon at the 87th Annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, sophomore heptathlete Lucija Cvitanovic was named the American Athletic Conference outdoor track & field Athlete of the Week. The honor was the first of her career and SMU's fifth this season. Cvitanovic scored a personal-best 5,455 points over the seven events where she won the javelin with a mark of 48.26 meters (826 pts.), finished fourth in the 800-meter run in 2:18.38 (846 pts.), placed sixth in the shot put with a mark of 11.89 meters (654 pts.) and earned ninth in the high jump (1.66m, 806 pts.), 14th in the long jump (5.51m, 703 pts.), 15th in the 100-meter hurdles (14.71 seconds, 880 pts.) and 21st in the 200-meter dash (26.67 seconds, 740 pts.).
THIRD TIME'S A CHARM:
Junior Stephanie Kalu was named as the American Athletic Conference's first outdoor Track & Field Athlete of the Week on March 25. Kalu earned this award for finishing first in the 100-meter dash and second in the 200-meter dash, breaking her own school record in the 100-meter and setting the school record in the 200-meter as she posted times of 11.15 and 23.21 seconds, respectively. This was the third weekly honor this season for Kalu as she earned the accolades following her outstanding performances at the Vanderbilt Indoor Invitational and the Masked Rider Invitational in Lubbock, Texas.
Following her outstanding performance at the Iowa State Classic, junior thrower Rayann Chin was named the indoor track & field Athlete of the Week on Feb. 18. Competing against a strong field in Ames, Iowa, Chin took first place in the weight throw with a mark of 20.82 meters. That mark ranked her first in The American, 14th in the nation and second all-time at SMU in that event. In addition, Chin placed fourth in the shot put with a distance of 14.92m.
THE FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP:
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.
THE SECOND CHAMPIONSHIP:
SMU 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.
MUSTANGS RETURN TWO ALL-AMERICANS FOR 2014 SEASON:
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."