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: Men’s tennis team improves to 19-7 over TCU

SMU tennis player Adolfo SolaresThe No. 47 men’s tennis team won its 6th straight match with a victory over No. 36 TCU in the Mustangs’ regular-season finale April 16. Senior Adolfo Solares (left) picked up his 7th consecutive singles win, and the team is now 19-7 for the season. Read more.

Former Mustang 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. The USTA’s director of men’s tennis since January 2002, Harmon achieved a singles ranking of No. 1 in the country during his time at SMU.

Hot Links: Fjortoft named C-USA Athlete of the Week

Silje FjortoftFirst-year runner Silje Fjortoft (right) has been named the Conference USA Athlete of the Week for the week of April 8, 2008, after recording the top time in the nation this season in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (9:59.01) at the Stanford Invitational. Fjortoft was the top collegiate finisher by more than nine seconds and easily qualified for the NCAA Regionals. Read more.

Senior Alex Skrypko earned Conference USA Men’s Tennis Player of the Week for the week of April 8, 2008, after winning his 10th straight singles match April 6 – defeating Ralph Knupfer of No. 19 Rice in straight sets. Skrypko’s singles record now stands at 14-6 (.700). Read more.

Football Coach June Jones participated in an online chat hosted by The Dallas Morning News April 9, in which he answered questions about the upcoming schedule, the importance of academics, and his coaching philosophy. Read a transcript.

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.

Hot Links: Meet Coach June Jones Mar. 1

Robin FahgenThe women’s basketball team set a new win record at 21 for the season (7 in a row) with its victory over Houston in the last home game of the season Feb. 23. Watch them play Conference USA’s other top team, the #19/23 UTEP Miners, at 7 p.m. CT Feb. 28 via online video stream.

The #44 men’s tennis team improved its season record to 9-2 with a home win over Minnesota Feb. 24. The team faces two ranked opponents this weekend: #32 Virginia Tech Feb. 29 and #21 VCU Mar. 1. The team is led by sophomore Robin Fahgen (left), who is ranked #50 in singles. Read more.

Football Coach June Jones will sign copies of Hawaii Warrior Football, A Story of Faith, Hope, and Redemption noon-1 p.m. Mar. 1 at the SMU Bookstore, 3060 Mockingbird Lane. Jones wrote the forward of the J. David Miller book that chronicles Jones’ approach to coaching the Warriors to the biggest turnaround in NCAA history.