Nov. 20, 2013
Mustangs Set To Compete at the NCAA Championships:
The Mustangs are coming off a second place finish at the South Central Regional Championship which advanced them to the NCAA Championship meet this Saturday. The Mustangs edged USTFCCCA No. 28 Texas A&M to earn the final qualifying spot. SMU ran once already on the terrain set for the NCAA Championships when the team competed at the Indiana State Pre-National Invitational on Oct. 19. At that meet, SMU placed 18th out of 49 schools and defeated No. 19 Oklahoma State as it finished in 20th place. Sophomore Shanoah Souza paced the Mustangs as she finished 84th (21:20.0) overall out of 340 total runners in the 6K race.
Qualifying for the NCAA Championships:
The top two teams (Arkansas and SMU) and the four best individuals qualified for the NCAA Championship. SMU is headed to the NCAA Championships as a team for the first time since 2009. as a season ago, the Mustangs had only one student-athlete advance. This Saturday, SMU will look to capture its fir Now graduated Mary Alenbratt was the fourth-highest finishing individual a season ago, crossing the line in eighth place.
SMU Ranked 29th In Latest USTFCCCA Coaches Poll:
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 Nov. 15, advancing to the NCAA Championship meet for the first time since 2009.
SMU placed second out of 20 schools at the South Central Regional meet on Nov. 15 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. 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. Freshman Agnes Sjöström followed her as she finished in 21st with a time of 21:10.4. Sophomore Shanoah Souza placed 23rd in 21:15.6.
In addition, sophomores 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.
Three Mustangs Earn All-Region Honors:
Sophomore Shanoah Souza and freshmen Tova Magnusson and Agnes Sjöström were named USTFCCCA All-Region selections. The trio paced No. 29 SMU to a second place finish at the South Central Regional Championship, helping the Mustangs advance to the NCAA Championship meet for the first time since 2009. This was Souza's second All-Region honor.
Tradition of Excellence:
The Mustangs have enjoyed great success over the past six seasons, with five conference titles in six years, including three straight during that span. In 2013, head coach Cathy Casey enters her 11th year (2002-present) at SMU, having become the cross country coach in 2005. She has earned Coach of the Year honors during each championship season. SMU won the inaugural American Championship on Nov. 2 in Madison, Conn.
The Mustangs have looked to the team's youth as freshmen and sophomores have paced SMU in each race this fall. Sophomore Melanie Stemper placed first overall at the UTA Invitational. At the North Texas Invite, freshmen Tova Magnusson and Agnes Sjöström finished second and fifth and sophomores Shanoah Souza and Holly Archer earned third and fourth, respectively. Magnusson paced the Mustangs to its fifth conference championship in six seasons. In addition, five of the six All-American Athletic Conference selections were freshmen and sophomores for the Ponies. The trend continued at the South Central Regional Championship as Souza, Magnusson and Sjöström were named USTFCCCA All-Region selections for their efforts. The trio paced No. 29 SMU to a second place finish helping the Mustangs advance to the NCAA Championship meet for the first time since 2009.
Athlete of the Week:
Freshman Agnes Sjöström was selected as the American Athletic Conference Cross Country Athlete of the Week for her efforts in helping the Mustangs finish second out of eight schools at the Bear Twilight Invitational on Aug. 30. Sjöström garnered her first weekly honor as she finished third out of 89 runners with a time of 13:49.60. In her first collegiate meet, Sjöström led her team past six schools including No. 27 Texas, narrowly missing meet-winner Baylor by five points.
SMU Won The Inaugural American Athletic Conference Championship:
The Mustangs placed first and captured the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championship on Saturday, Nov. 2 in Madison, Conn. The championship was the fifth in the last six years (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013) and third straight for the Mustangs. The previous four conference titles came in Conference USA. At the American Championships SMU had six runners earn all-conference honors as the team finished with 29 total points beating second-place Louisville by 32 points. Rounding out the top five were UConn, UCF and Rutgers. Head Coach Cathy Casey earned Coach of the Year honors, garnering her fifth accolade since her arrival to the Hilltop. In addition to the six Ponies who earned all-conference distinction, five of them placed in the top ten.
SMU Places 18th At ISU Pre-Nationals:
SMU finished 18th out of 49 schools at the Indiana State Pre-National Invitational. The Mustangs defeated USTFCCCA then-No. 19 ranked Oklahoma State who finished 20th. Sophomore Shanoah Souza paced SMU as she finished 84th (21:20.0) overall out of 340 total runners in the 6k race. In addition to Souza, sophomore Karoline Skatteboe finished 98th with a time of 21:27.31. A total of 12.6 seconds separated four Mustangs, including freshmen Tova Magnusson (21:44.72) and Agnes Sjöström (21:46.97), sophomore Holly Archer (21:50.12) and senior Caitlin Keen (21:57.32) as they finished in 139th, 145th, 157th and 182nd place, respectively. Sophomore Melanie Stemper placed 213th in 22:09.07.
SMU Competes At Norte Dame Invitational:
SMU placed eighth out of 24 schools at the Notre Dame Invitational. The Mustangs defeated then No. 4 ranked Duke and regional foe Baylor as each team finished in 10th and 14th, respectively. Sophomore Melanie Stemper paced SMU as she finished 42nd (17:51.8) overall out of 198 total runners in the 5k race. Sophomore Karoline Skatteboe, who competed in her first race since the Mustangs opened the season at the Baylor Invitational, finished 51st with a time of 17:57.7. Following right behind her was freshman Tova Magnusson as she placed 55th and crossed the finish line just 1.9 seconds later with a time of 17:59.6.
Mustangs Win North Texas Invite:
SMU placed first at the Ken Garland Invitational hosted by North Texas. Freshman Tova Magnusson paced the Mustangs as she finished second (17:59.96) overall out of 53 total runners from five schools in the 5k race. In addition to Magnusson, sophomores Shanoah Souza and Holly Archer and freshman Agnes Sjöström immediately followed behind finishing third (18:02.81), fourth (18:03.69) and fifth (18:16.61) overall, respectively. Also finishing in the top 10 for the Mustangs was senior Caitlin Keen as she finished in seventh crossing the finish line in a time of 18:41.25.
SMU Wins UTA Invitational:
The Mustangs placed first at the University Texas-Arlington Invitational. Sophomores Melanie Stemper and Shanoah Souza paced the Mustangs as they finished first (17:09.7) and second (17:50.4) overall out of 48 total runners from six schools in the 5k race. Stemper earned the first individual title of her career in just her second collegiate race. Sophomore Holly Archer finished fourth crossing the finish line in 17:55.6, while senior Caitlin Keen rounded out the Mustangs in to top 10 as she placed sixth in 18:15.1.
Mustangs Finish Runner-Up At Bear Twilight Invitational:
SMU placed second as the team opened its 2013 season at the Bear Twilight Invitational, hosted by Baylor University. Freshmen Agnes Sjöström and Tova Magnusson paced the Mustangs as they finished third (13:49.6) and fourth (13:51.0) overall, respectively, in their first collegiate meet. In addition, sophomore Karoline Skatteboe placed sixth in a time of 13:55.2. She was followed by sophomore Melanie Stemper who rounded out the Mustangs in the top 10, as she placed ninth (13:58.6).
SMU Returned Two All-C-USA Athletes:
Three Mustangs took 2012 second team All-C-USA nods; now sophomores Karoline Skatteboe and Shanoah Souza who placed eighth and 10th overall, respectively. Now senior Caitlin Keen took 14th at the conference championships to earn her All-C-USA honor.
The Mustangs returned six letterwinners and seek the first American Athletic Conference Championship as well as a regional crown. Among its six returning letterwinners, that list includes three C-USA second team selections; senior Caitlin Keen and sophomores Karoline Skatteboe and Shanoah Souza. Last year's team leader Mary Alenbratt who is now graduated qualified for the NCAA Championship and was a first team All-C-USA selection. Those leadership responsibilities fell to the lone returning senior in Keen. Head Coach Cathy Casey is confident of her strengths and the example she sets. "Caitlin will be a great leader and has the ability to mentor our entire freshman class," said Casey.