Nov. 7, 2012
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (SMU) - The SMU Mustangs won their fourth Conference USA title in five seasons on Oct. 29, and are looking to keep adding hardware to their 2012 collection at the NCAA South Central Regionals in Fayetteville, Ark., on Friday.
The Mustangs, who are headed to the Big East starting next season, wanted to leave the C-USA with a bang, and did so in dominating fashion. The team now wants to reach the NCAA Championships. To do so, the Mustangs are very aware of what they have to do.
"The goal for the team at Regionals is simple," Mary Alenbratt, the team's lone senior and top runner at the C-USA meet, said. "We want to make nationals. In order to do that, we need to finish first or second as a team. We definitely have a big chance to reach our goal since right now we are ranked number three (in the region) and we know how strong we are, especially considering our outstanding performance at (the C-USA meet)."
Not only does the team know what they have to do to accomplish their goal of reaching the NCAAs, but they feel they are prepared for the competition.
"Winning Conference USA was not easy and it gives us a good amount of confidence going into Regionals," Caitlin Keen, a Second Team All-C-USA runner, said. "We won handily and it's boosted our morale as a team that we can take on anyone, specifically Texas and Arkansas. Our consistency in workouts has also made us feel like we're ready to compete."
The Mustangs have had a very successful season, especially considering that of the eight runners heading to Regionals, five are freshmen. SMU has three meet victories on the season, and have learned to love the feeling of winning.
"We got a taste on how much fun winning as a team is, and for me as a freshman that was such a neat experience and something I definitely want to experience again," freshman Karoline Skatteboe said.
The South Central Regionals are being hosted by Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark. The Mustangs already competed there less than a month ago, on Oct. 13, at the Chile Pepper Invitational. SMU took home a third-place finish out of 43 schools competing. A top-two finish on Friday would guarantee the Mustangs a berth in the NCAA Championships on Nov. 17.