December 21, 2012

Women’s tennis racks up awards

Senior Aleksandra Malyarchikova and freshman Hristina Dishkova took home
a pair of singles championships at the Texas Invitational in September. Malyarchikova and senior Edyta Cieplucha captured a doubles title to make it three championships. Malyarchikova was named the Conference USA tennis athlete of the month in September. Alumna Marta Lesniak ’12, who finished her career at SMU with a 102-18 record, was named to the 2012 ITA Collegiate All-Star Team in August. She was one of three Division I athletes to receive the honor.

Reaching Olympic Heights

Twelve current and former SMU athletes participated in London’s 2012 Olympic Games in August. Laura Bennett ’97 finished 17th for the United States in triathlon and Johan Brunstrom ’03 competed for Sweden in men’s doubles tennis. Competing in track and field were Aleksander Tammert ’96  for Estonia in discus and Jerome Bortoluzzi ’08  for France in the hammer throw. Swimming for their countries were Anja Carman ’08 (Slovenia), Sara Nordenstam ’06 (Norway), Denisa Smolenova ’12 (Slovakia), and Therese Svendsen ’12 and Lars Frolander ’98  (Sweden). Current Mustang swimmers Nina Rangelova ’14
(Bulgaria), Mindaugas Sadauskas ’13 (Lithuania) and freshman Danielle Villars (Switzerland) also competed. Also making the trip were swim coaches Steve Collins, who served as an assistant on the Bulgarian coaching staff, and Andy Kershaw, who was a manager for the U.S. swim team.

In addition, the late SMU senior Jonathan Wentz placed fourth for the United States in the Paralympian Equestrian Individual Championship Grade 1b competition at the 2012 Paralympics held Aug. 29-Sept. 4 in London. Wentz, who was born with cerebral palsy, died Sept. 30.

Blake McJunkin: A Good Sport

SMU senior Blake McJunkin was named in July the Division I male winner of the NCAA Sportsmanship Award. The offensive lineman also received the 2012 Conference USA Sportsmanship Award in June. In the 2011 season opener at Texas A&M, McJunkin protected a vulnerable opposing player from potential harm. After intercepting a Mustangs’ pass, Texas A&M defensive back Trent Hunter lost his helmet when he was tackled by McJunkin and Kelly Turner. With Hunter’s head exposed, McJunkin shielded his opponent with his arms until the play concluded.

View video here.

Margus Hunt: He Blocks That Kick!

SMU defensive lineman and special teams extraordinaire Margus Hunt set the NCAA record for blocked kicks when he stuffed his ninth career field goal try in SMU’s 52-0 victory over Stephen F. Austin on Sept. 8. He extended his record with a 10th block at UTEP on Oct. 6. The 6-foot-8 senior from Estonia was named DFW’s Best Athlete in a summer poll by and
also received the honor of being called the No. 1 “freak athlete” in college football by’s Bruce Feldman.