May 27, 2014
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (SMU) -- The SMU outdoor track & field team is set to travel to Fayetteville, Ark. to compete at the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds in a last chance effort to qualify for the NCAA Championships. The meet will last from May 29-31 as the Mustangs look to have multiple student-athletes qualify for the NCAA Championships.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN:
Competing this weekend at the NCAA Preliminary Rounds for SMU will be three distance runners, three throwers, two multi-event athletes and one sprinter. For the throwers, junior Rayann Chin and freshman Tochi Nlemchi will be competing in the shot put and the discus while senior Helena Perez is slated to compete in the hammer throw and the shot put. Sophomore Lucija Cvitanovic and senior Lisa Egarter are representing the multi-event athletes as Cvitanovic, who has already qualified for the NCAA's in the heptathlon, will compete in the javelin, while Egarter will jump in the high jump. The Mustangs have three distance runners competing across two events as Agnes Sjöström is set to compete in the 5,000-meter run while sophomore Shanoah Souza and freshman Tova Magnusson are set to run in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Junior Stephanie Kalu is the lone SMU sprinter competing this weekend and will run in the 100-meter and the 200-meter dash races.
SMU has three throwers, three distance runners, two multi-event athletes and one sprinter ranked in the top-100 in the country according to tfrrs.org.
For the throwers, Helena Perez is ranked 22nd in the hammer throw (61.34m) and 43rd in the shot put (15.97m) while Rayann Chin and Tochi Nlemchi sit 66th (15.44m) and 76th (15.22m) in the same event, respectively. In addition, Chin stands 45th in the discus with a mark of 52.48 meters.
Lucija Cvitanovic is ranked in the top-25 in two events including 17th in the heptathlon (5,534 points) and 21st in the javelin (50.63m). Lisa Egarter is 37th in the high jump with a leap of 1.78 meters.
Tova Magnusson leads the Mustang distance runners as she ranks 38th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10.23.85. In addition, sophomore Shanoah Souza stands 44th in the same event as she crossed the finish line in a time of 10:18.74. Freshman Agnes Sjöström ranks 57th in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 16:09.28.
Stephanie Kalu leads the SMU sprinters as she sits 41st in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.45 seconds.
TRACKING THE NCAA PRELIMINARY ROUNDS:
Fans can follow the championships on the Internet here: http://www.arkansasrazorbacks.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=6100&ATCLID=209418169&KEY=&DB_OEM_ID=6100&IN_SUBSCRIBER_CONTENT=
Available through this link is the schedule for each day and live results among many other links.
Following this weekend, qualifiers will compete at the NCAA Championships on June 11-14 in Eugene, Ore.
THE FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP:
SMU captured the first of the three titles at the 2013 AAC Cross Country Championships last fall. SMU won the meet with five top-10 finishes and six individuals overall earning All-American Athletic Conference honors. Head Coach Cathy Casey was named the AAC's Coach of the Year and freshman Tova Magnusson paced the Mustangs with a runner-up finish with a time of 20:23.16 in the 6K race.
THE SECOND CHAMPIONSHIP:
SMU won its second championship at the inaugural American Athletic Conference Indoor Championships on March 1 as the Mustangs totaled 118.5 points over the two-day meet. Three student-athletes claimed individual titles for SMU as Stephanie Kalu (60-meter dash, 7.31 seconds), Rayann Chin (shot put, 15.99 meters) and Lucija Cvitanovic (pentathlon, 3,854 points) led the way for the Mustangs. Chin was named as the 2014 Most Outstanding Field Athlete while Coach Wollman and his staff were selected as the AAC's women's Coaching Staff of the Year. The title was the first women's indoor crown in program history.
THE THIRD CHAMPIONSHIP:
SMU won its third championship at the inaugural American Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships on May 4 as the Mustangs totaled 153.2 points over the three-day meet. Six student-athletes claimed individual titles for SMU as Lucija Cvitanovic (javelin, 50.63m; heptathlon, 5,534 points), Rayann Chin (discus, 51.84m), Stephanie Kalu (100-meter dash, 11.53 seconds), Tova Magnusson (3,000-meter steeplechase, 10:17.84), Helena Perez (hammer throw, 61.22m) and Agnes Sjöström (5,000-meter run, 16:09.28) led the way for the Mustangs. Cvitanovic was named as the 2014 Most Outstanding Field Athlete while Coach Wollman and his staff were selected as the AAC's women's Coaching Staff of the Year. The title was the first women's outdoor crown in program history.
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.
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."