Sports: Sanders, McCann drafted to NFL, plus end-of-year honors

Brittany Gilliam

Sports: Sanders, McCann drafted to NFL, plus end-of-year honors

Bryan McCannEmmanuel SandersSenior wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (near right) and senior cornerback/kick return specialist Bryan McCann (far right) have been selected in the 2010 National Football League draft. Sanders, an All-Conference USA first-team pick, was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 3rd round – the highest level at which an SMU player has been selected since 1987. McCann, the active C-USA leader in career interceptions, will suit up for the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent. Read more about Sanders and McCann.

Thirty-four SMU student-athletes earned the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal during the 2009-10 academic year, Commissioner Britton Banowsky has announced. The Mustangs are among 420 medal winners leaguewide, each of whom have achieved a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.75 or better. The full list of winners (PDF format).

In addition, 183 SMU student-athletes earned recognition in the Commissioner’s Honor Roll during the 2009-10 academic year. The 183 Mustangs are among 2,027 total recipients, each of whom maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.00 or better. The full list of honor roll members (PDF format).

SMU rower Catherine CampbellSenior Catherine Campbell (left) is one of 18 collegiate rowers who have been invited to participate in the 2010 USRowing Women’s National Team Pre-Elite Camp, taking place June 6-July 18 at the Vesper Boat Club in Philadelphia. The camp focuses on developing athletes for the Under-23 and Senior National Teams. Participating athletes will have the opportunity to race at the Independence Day Regatta, USRowing Club National Championships and possibly at USRowing Under-23 Trials and USRowing Elite National Championships. Read more.

Senior guard Brittany Gilliam has received a training camp contract from the WNBA’s Tulsa Shock. The 2009-10 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-Conference selection finished the season with a league-leading 80 steals and averaging 14.7 points per game. She also posted a team-high 5 double-doubles and scored more than 20 points per game 6 times. Read more.

Get Kidz Fit Fest posterNearly 40 Mustang student-athletes took part in the Dallas Area Coalition to Prevent Childhood Obesity’s Get Kidz Fit Fest 2010 on April 24 at Fair Park. The free event showcased simple and fun ways families can incorporate physical activity and nutritious eating into day-to-day life, including healthy cooking demonstrations and sports and fitness activities. More than 3,000 children attended. Read more.

Houston City Council Member Oliver Pennington and Houston Mayor Annise Parker will honor former Mustang receiver Jerry LeVias (’69) on May 4, 2010, with an official proclamation declaring it “Jerry LeVias Day” in Houston. The honor recognizes LeVias’ work “on behalf of children throughout the state,” Pennington says. LeVias serves as community outreach director for Boys and Girls Harbor in La Porte, Texas, a nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive care for children and families in crisis.

LeVias entered SMU in 1965 as the first African-American to receive an athletic scholarship in the Southwest Conference. He made both athletic and academic All-American football teams and led the Mustangs to their first conference title in 18 years. After earning his B.S. degree from SMU in 1969, he played professional football for the Houston Oilers and San Diego Chargers. He received SMU’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006. Read more.

April 30, 2010|Sports|

Hot Links: Three Mustang teams earn C-USA titles

SMU Women's Basketball Coach Rhonda Rompola cuts the net

The women’s basketball team defeated UTEP 78-65 to win its first Conference USA championship Feb 28, 2009. Four players scored in the double digits: junior guards Brittany Gilliam and Jillian Samuels (with a game-high 24 points and 19 points, respectively); sophomore guard LaShandra Hill with 11 points; and first-year center Christine Elliott, who posted her 2nd consecutive double-double with 15 points and a team-high 11 rebounds.

Gilliam, with 71 steals for the season, was named the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year, as well as to the All-Conference Second Team and All-Defensive Team. Junior forward Delisha Wills joined Gilliam on the All-Conference Second Team, and Elliott was named to the All-Freshman Team, as well as Rookie of the Week for the week of March 2. Elliott had 21 rebounds against Tulane on Feb. 26, setting a new SMU record for a freshman and tying the school record for rebounds by any player set by Felicia Bluitt in 1986 against TCU. Elliott also tied for the second-highest total in any Conference USA game.

The team begins play in the 2009 C-USA tournament at noon March 6 in New Orleans. The Mustangs enter as the No. 1 seed. (Above, Head Coach Rhonda Rompola cuts the last string of the net after the UTEP game.) Read more.

SMU diver Matthew CulbertsonMeanwhile, the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams have each won their 13th consecutive conference championships. In the men’s competition, the Mustangs won 15 events and set 9 meet records on their way to the overall victory in the CRWC Natatorium at the University of Houston Feb. 25-28, 2009. Individual titleists included junior Thomas Fadnes (50 free, 100 free); junior Pontus Renholm (100 back, 200 back); junior Edward Downes (200 IM, 400 IM, 200 fly); and sophomore Matthew Culbertson (top left), who swept the one-meter springboard, three-meter springboard and platform diving events.

In addition, 5 relay teams finished first. Renholm, Fadnes and seniors Grega Plevelj and Luka Vrtovec won the 200 medley relay. Downes, first-year swimmers Robin Andreasson and Walter Rumans and junior Maverick Smalley won the 800 free relay. Renholm, Plevelj, Downes and Fadnes titled in the 400 medley relay. Fadnes, Vrtovec, Andreasson and Renholm swam to a new C-USA meet record, season-best, and NCAA “B” provisional-qualifying time of 1:18.35 in the 200 free relay. Finally, Andreasson, Vrtovec, Rumans and Fadnes won the 400 free relay. Read more.

SMU swimmer Petra KlosovaIn the women’s meet – also in Houston’s CRWC Natatorium Feb. 25-28, 2009 – the Mustangs swept the medal stand in two events. Seniors Petra Klosova (right) and Candace Blackman, with sophomore Sascha Van den Branden, finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the 100 free. Senior Jennifer Basel and juniors Devon Callaghan and Justine Clark took gold, silver and bronze in the 200 IM. Klosova also finished first in the 100 back with a season-best time of 53.82. Other individual titleists included Callaghan (100 breast), Van den Branden (50 free), first-year swimmer Raminta Dvariskyte (200 breast), first-year swimmer Therese Svendsen (200 back), and sophomore Elzanne Werth (100 fly).

The women’s team also titled in 5 relays. Svendsen, Klosova, Werth and Callaghan won the 200 medley relay. Blackman, Van den Branden, Klosova and freshman Christy-Leigh Lategan won the 800 free relay in 7:07 – 11 seconds ahead of second-place Rice. Svendsen, Callaghan, Werth and Klosova touched in at 3:34.62 in the 400 medley relay, a full 4 seconds faster than the record they set last season. Blackman, Van den Branden, Werth and Klosova titled in the 200 free relay. Finally, Blackman, Van den Branden, Werth and Klosova set another meet record and NCAA provisional qualifying time of 3:17.00 in the 400 free relay. Read more.

SMU golfer Marc SambolThe men’s golf team won the 2009 Northwood Spring Invite March 3 at Thorntree Country Club, carding a team total of 603 to defeat host Northwood by 13 strokes. Leading the Mustangs was first-year player Marc Sambol (bottom left) with a two-stroke victory over Benjamin Belfield of Northwood. All five SMU golfers finished in the top 8 of the 2-day event, with freshman Aaron Stewart and senior Frank Wrenn tying for 3rd, first-year Matt Schovee tying for 6th and sophomore Nicholas Soglanich taking 8th. Read more.

March 5, 2009|Sports|
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