Olympic Watch 2008: Second-week highlights

Nastia LiukinMore Mustang action from the second week of competition in Beijing:

Libor Charfreitag (’00), competing for Slovakia, finished 8th in the men’s hammer throw finals Aug. 17.

Laura Reback Bennett (’97), competing for the USA, finished 4th in the women’s triathlon finals Aug. 18.

Aleksander Tammert (’96), competing for Estonia, finished 12th in the men’s discus finals Aug. 18.

Nastia Liukin (right), who attended SMU in 2007 before focusing full-time on her training for the Olympics, added three individual medals in event finals to her gold in the women’s gymnastics all-around competition and her silver in the team competition. She received silver medals in the uneven bars competition Aug. 18 and the balance beam Aug. 19, as well as a bronze in floor exercise Aug. 17.

Olympic Watch 2008: Four Mustangs for Beijing

Beijing Olympics 2008As the world watches the action surrounding the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, SMU students and alumni are gearing up for the games as competitors, coaches and officials. Four Mustangs to watch for in China:

  • Junior swimmer Petra Klosova has qualified to represent her home country of the Czech Republic based on her time in the 100 LC meter back final at the Missouri Grand Prix in February, according to Head Coach Steve Collins.
  • Swimmer turned rower Dr. Rania Elwani (’99) is a member of the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes Commission. She was elected to the position by her fellow athletes at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens.
  • Former Mustang swimmer Laura Reback Bennett (’97) has qualified for the first spot on the 2008 U.S. Olympic triathlon team.
  • Tennis letterwinner Rodney Harmon (’83) has been named head men’s tennis coach of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, as announced by the United States Tennis Association. Harmon achieved a singles ranking of No. 1 in the country during his time at SMU.

Hot Links: An Iron Skillet and a Mustang Olympian

SMU kicker Thomas MorsteadSMU meets TCU in the State Farm DFW Duel – Battle for the Iron Skillet at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22 in TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth. The football game will be broadcast nationally on CSTV as well as online. Read more from Coach Phil Bennett‘s TCU Week press conference.

Junior kicker Thomas Morstead (left) has been named to the watch list for the 2007 Ray Guy Award, which identifies the nation’s top collegiate punter, as announced by the Greater Augusta Sports Council Sept. 18. With a 47.3-yard average in 2007, Morstead ranks second in the nation and first in Conference USA. Read more.

Former Mustang swimmer Laura Reback Bennett (’97) has qualified for the first spot on the U.S. Olympic triathlon team and is scheduled to compete at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing. Read more from SMU Athletics and USA Triathlon.