Six Mustangs Earn Academic All-America Accolades, 13 Named to Honor Roll: Fourteen members of the SMU equestrian team earned National Collegiate Equestrian Association academic honors, the NCEA announced. Six riders earned spots on the Beval Saddlery Academic All-America team, while 13 were named to the La Hacienda Academic Honor Roll. Schaefer Raposa, Sylvia de Toledo and Keagan Snively achieved first-team status, which is awarded to student-athletes who competed in a minimum of 70 percent of meets during the 2015-16 season, and earned a cumulative 3.5 GPA. de Toledo achieved a team-high 3.97 GPA, Raposa boasted a 3.70 and Snively maintained a 3.54.
Three Mustangs Qualify for Rio Olympic Games: Nina Rangelova ’15 (Bulgaria), Rachel Nicol ’16 (Canada) and Matea Samardzic (Croatia) are headed to Brazil for the 2016 Olympic Games. Qualification rounds are ongoing but these three have already reached Olympic Qualifying Time standards in at least one event. Rangelova, current volunteer assistant coach, will be making her third appearance at an Olympics game. Nicol will be participating in her first. Samardzic who is set to join SMU for the 2016-2017 year will also be competing for the first time. Swimming action runs from Aug. 6-13 so be sure to support our Mustangs!
Acker Receives Presidential Award of Excellence: Avery Acker, a senior volleyball player, received the Presidential Award of Excellence: Scholar/Athlete Award at the Hilltop Excellence Awards. Acker was also named 2015-16 American Athletic Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year earlier this semester. Acker will attend medical school in the fall.
Mustangs Selected For NCAA Women’s Golf Bryan Regional: The SMU women’s golf team has been selected as one of 18 teams to compete at the NCAA Women’s Golf Regional held in Bryan, Texas, at Traditions Club May 5-7. SMU is the No.9 seed for the event. The Mustangs are seeking their first NCAA Championship appearance since 1992. The top six teams from each Regional will earn a championship berth, as well as the top three individuals from non-qualifying teams.
The artificial lower limbs of double-amputee Olympic hopeful Oscar Pistorius give him a clear and major advantage over his competition, taking 10 seconds or more off what his 400-meter race time would be if his prosthesis behaved like intact limbs.
That’s the conclusion – released to the public for the first time – of human performance experts Peter Weyand of SMU and Matthew Bundle of the University of Wyoming.
The Weyand-Bundle conclusion is part of a written point-counterpoint style debate published online Nov. 19 in the Journal of Applied Physiology. Weyand and Bundle were the first two authors of the study publishing the test results acquired as part of the legal appeal process undertaken after the governing body of track and field – the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) – banned Pistorius from able-bodied track competitions, including the Olympics.
In banning Pistorius, the IAAF had concluded on the basis of other data that Pistorius’ J-shaped artificial lower limbs, called “Cheetahs” by the manufacturer, gave him a competitive advantage over able-bodied competitors. But the ban subsequently was overturned on appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The case has been considered groundbreaking for the eligibility of disabled athletes and the regulation of prosthetic technology in sport. Pistorius hopes to qualify for the 2012 Olympics.
The newly released conclusion from Weyand and Bundle analyzes the scientific evidence and quantifies the competitive advantage provided by Pistorius’ “Cheetah” limbs.
“Pistorius’ sprinting mechanics are anomalous, advantageous and directly attributable to how much lighter and springier his artificial limbs are. The blades enhance sprint running speeds by 15-30 percent,” says Weyand, associate professor of applied physiology and biomechanics in SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Below the knee, Pistorius’ limbs weigh less than half as much as the limbs of an able-bodied male sprinter.
(Above, SMU Professor Peter Weyand and sprinter Oscar Pistorius during testing. Photo by Jeff Fitlow, Rice University.)
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