Sports: Awards, scholarships close out busy year

Sascha Van den Branden

Sports: Awards, scholarships close out busy year

Kelly KraftHow To Draft Well, A Primer: It was announced on May 10, 2011 that two signees for the 2011 men’s soccer squad have both been named the Gatorade Player of the Year in their respective states. Representing Texas is Aaron Simmons, a 6′ 1″ senior midfield and defender from Mansfield High School, who recorded 16 goals and 10 assists this season. He has served as team captain for two seasons. Simmons comes in as the No. 38 recruit in the nation, and follows current SMU midfielder Zach Barnes as the Texas winner. Six-foot forward Will Smith won the Gatorade Player of the Year award for the state of Oklahoma, where he is leading the Timberwolves of Norman North High School to the Class 6A semifinals with a shocking 27 goals and 7 assists. Smith has also maintained a 4.0 G.P.A. in the classroom and was named the Oklahoma Offensive Player of the Year in 2010.

Traveling after college, indeed: The SMU men’s golf team has been selected for the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf San Diego Regional, which will take place May 19-21 at The Farms Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe, California. First-Team All C-USA senior Kelly Kraft (pictured) will return to California with the team, where they won the San Diego Intercollegiate tournament in March, besting 12 other teams. SMU is the tenth seed out of 13 teams for this tournament; other notable competitors include No. 2 Texas and No. 7 UNT.

Egenolf'SMU awards, postgrad edition: Last week, two SMU swimmers received a few more NCAA honors for both their academic and athletic victories. Diver Audra Egenolf and swimmer Sascha Van den Branden, both seniors, were awarded postgraduate scholarships for their future academic careers on May 4, 2011. Egenolf, a four-time All-American with honors in both three-meter and platform diving, will be pursuing a Master of Science in Accounting at the University of Indiana. In April 2011, Egenolf (pictured) was one of three students to receive the Presidential Award of Excellence, and she was also selected as the Cox School of Business’s Outstanding Accounting Major for 2011. Van den Branden, a six-time All-American with distinction in the 200-, 400-, and 800-yard freestyle relays, will be returning to her home country of Belgium to study international business management. Van den Branden is also a four-time C-USA Academic Medal recipient and a four-time C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll member.

May 12, 2011|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|

Hot Links: Women’s basketball takes on Notre Dame

Anja CarmanThe women’s basketball team won a spot in this year’s NCAA tournament with a victory over UTEP in the Conference USA tournament. Now they face Notre Dame, ranked No. 15 in the Associated Press poll, in the NCAA first round at 1:30 p.m. March 23 in Purdue University’s Mackey Arena. Keep up at SMU Athletics’ 2008 Tournament Central.

The No. 14 women’s swimming and diving team competes at the 2008 NCAA Championships March 20-22. Swimming for SMU will be Jennifer Basel, Candace Blackman, Jennifer Blackman, Devon Callaghan, Anja Carman (left), Petra Klosova, Sascha Van den Branden and Elzanne Werth. Audra Egenolf qualified for the platform diving event at the Zone D Diving Championships March 16 in Houston. Read more.

The men’s tennis team upset No. 36 California 4-2 to win the third annual Pebble Beach Collegiate Classic March 15. The team’s record improved to 12-6 with the victory. Read more.

March 20, 2008|Sports|
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