Nov. 18, 2009
DALLAS (SMU) - The SMU Cross Country team continued to pick up national respect, as the team received multiple posteason honors from the U.S. Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association Wednesday. Junior Silje Fjortoft was named South Central Region Athlete of the Year and head coach Cathryn Casey was named South Central Region Coach of the Year.
Fjortoft, who hails from Orsta, Norway, was first in the NCAA South Central Regional race, bettering the field by nearly 25 seconds, with a time of 20:29.7, leading her squad to the regional's team title. Fjortoft was second at this year's Conference USA championships, leading her team to a second-consecutive conference crown.
Under Casey's guidance, the Mustangs took four of the top eight spots at the NCAA South Central Regional to win the team's second regional crown, and its first since 2004, convincingly over Baylor, 43-54. Casey, in her fifth year as the squad's cross country coach, led SMU to its second-consecutive Conference USA title. SMU climbed three spots to 22nd on the national poll entering the NCAA Championships next Monday.
The team also had five players named to the NCAA South Central All Region Team. Garnering honors were Fjortoft, as well as Sara Sjokvist, Veronika Blom, Kristine Eikrem-Engeset and Mary Alenbratt. Fjortoft, Sjokvist, Blom and Eikrem-Engeset all finished in the top-10 at the South Central Regional this past Saturday. Alenbratt had a season-best fourth place finish at the Ken Garland Invitational with a time of 17:58.00.
SMU will finish its season on Monday Nov. 23, at the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. Last year the Mustangs finished 20th at the event.