SMU Ranked 29th In Latest USTFCCCA Coaches Poll
Nov. 18, 2013
NEW ORLEANS, La. (USTFCCCA) -- The SMU cross country team moved into the top 30 of the latest US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Poll. The No. 29 Mustangs are coming off a second place finish at the South Central Region Championship on Friday, advancing to the NCAA Championship meet for the first time since 2009 when the Mustangs won the South Central Regional.
The Ponies have been led by performances from the team's underclassmen this season. Five of the six runners who earned All-American Athletic Conference distinction two weeks ago at The American Championships were either freshmen or sophomores.
At the Regional, SMU edged then-No. 28 Texas A&M to earn the final qualifying spot.
The top two teams (Arkansas and SMU) and the four best individuals qualified 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.
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.
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 concludes its season at the NCAA Championship 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.