SMU Advances To The NCAA Championship Meet
Nov. 15, 2013
WACO, Texas (SMU) - The SMU cross country team placed second out of 20 schools at the South Central Regional meet on Friday at The Cottonwood Creek Golf Course, advancing to the NCAA Championship meet for the first time since 2009 when the Mustangs won the South Central Regional. The Mustangs edged USTFCCCA No. 28 Texas A&M to earn the final qualifying spot.
The top two teams (Arkansas and SMU) and the four best individuals qualify for the NCAA Championship. Sophomore Tova Magnusson paced the Mustangs as she finished 12th of 140 total runners as she crossed the finish line in 20:49.7 in the 6K race.
"It was a team effort today," SMU head coach Cathy Casey said. "We knew we had it in us, we just had to go out there and prove it."
Sophomore's Karoline Skatteboe and Melanie Stemper finished 28th (21:26.5) and 32nd (21:28.6), respectively. Senior Caitlin Keen immediately followed Souza as she placed 33rd with a time of 21:36.5 and sophomore Holly Archer crossed the finish line in 50th with a time of 22:07.7.
"I really proud of all our athletes," Casey said. "This was our goal all season and to achieve it makes me really proud."
Two weeks ago, the Mustangs captured the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championship in Madison, Conn. The championship was the fifth in the last six years (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013) and third straight. The previous four conference titles came in Conference USA. SMU had six runners earn all-conference honors.
SMU concludes its season at the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 12 p.m. CT.
The Mustangs ran once already on this terrain when the team competed at the Indiana State Pre-National Invitational on Oct. 19. At the meet, SMU placed 18th out of 49 schools and defeated No. 19 Oklahoma State as it finished in 20th place. Souza paced the Mustangs as she finished 84th (21:20.0) overall out of 340 total runners in the 6K race.
SMU looks to have even more success at the national meet.