The Daily Update: Tuesday, April 19

April 19, 2011 by · Comments Off 

A 23-year-old exchange student is dead after being attacked in her dorm room. Her boyfriend witnessed it all via webcam. Wildfires continue to spread across Texas, and religious leaders are furious over Lady Gaga’s new single. All this and more on your Daily Update.

Sports Blog: SMU Looks For Conference Championship Over UCF

December 4, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Kellis Cunningham

Last night, I had the chance to go to the ESPN 30 for 30 early premier of Pony Excess, the newest edition to the television series that was based on the story of the Death Penalty.

Being a former player who had the chance to be apart of the team that brought the first bowl back to SMU, I knew the film would show people who were unfamiliar with our school the reason why the last twenty five years have been so rough. A period of time that nearly killed a program…nearly.

The film was brilliant and tells all sides of the story, but I don’t want to give much away and I don’t want to take away from the real reason why I am writing this blog. Tomorrow the Mustangs will be in Orlando, Florida battling against the University of Central Florida for the Conference USA Championship.

Head Coach June Jones will lead his Mustangs into Knight country where they will be facing a fast and physical team in UCF. Clearly both teams are in this position for a reason, but the actual question needing to be asked is which teams will show up Saturday.

When you put both teams next to each other, the guess on who would actually win may come down to who is used to being in this position, that team being UCF. But is there more to this game than experience? Are the Mustangs capable of going into Orlando and overcoming a hostile UCF crowd to capture the first CUSA Conference Championship ever?

UCF has the defense. SMU has the offense. So I would say that the x-factor in this game will be special teams. Who will show the passion in that extra play to create a moment that can grab momentum and hang on to it for four quarters? The game begins tomorrow at 11 a.m., so have your television set ready to see CUSA football at its finest.

Kraft Named Player of the Year

May 7, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Robby Gillespie

A successful junior season, in which he finished the year ranked No. 41 nationally, earned SMU men’s golfer Kelly Kraft the Conference USA Golfer of the Year Award Tuesday.

“It was one of my goals starting the season,” Kraft said. “During the year I didn’t think about it too much. It feels good to be rewarded for the work I put in, and it reassures me that I am getting better.”

After finishing in the top 20 in ten tournaments this season, Kraft finished ninth in the conference tournament last week, a performance he is not satisfied with.

“[It] was disappointing, I was hoping to get a win there,” Kraft said. “I put to many expectations on that tournament. I should of just went out and played golf.”

SMU earned fourth place as a team, led by the play of Kraft and James Kwon, who finished tied for 16th. The Mustangs shot 15 over par in the first round and finished two strokes out of second place.

“We finished the tournament only two shots out of second, so we were right in the hunt if you take out our first round,” Kraft said. “We are going to win that thing next year. We are due to win C-USA.”

The three-time All-Conference USA selection was the unanimous winner of Golfer of the Year honors. He also won C-USA Golfer of the Week twice this season.

Kraft started the season off with a top 3 finish at The Gopher Invitational. That preceded seven more top ten finishes. At the beginning of the season, Kraft knew he needed to have a better year than the previous season. As inspiration his coach gave him a quote that he credits with instigating his improved play: “We cannot remain what we need to be my remaining what we are.”

“This year if I was hot I would attack pins and make a lot of birdies. If I knew I was not hitting it great I would play away from tough pins and just aim for the middle of greens,” Kraft said. “This saved a lot of my rounds.”

As a freshman, Kraft won the Texas State Amateur and finished the collegiate season as the Conference USA Freshman of the year.

Kraft and his Mustang teammates await word on an NCAA Tournament berth, which will be announced Monday, May 10.

Going into the season, Kraft had two goals: to win C-USA Player of the Year and to earn an All-American honor.

“I have done one so far,” Kraft said. “Hopefully the other is to follow.”

SMU Track & Field Outperforms At Final Meet

May 3, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Robby Gillespie

The SMU track & field won four events Saturday at the Oliver Jackson Open at Abilene Christian University to finish up the regular season schedule.

Sophomore Simone Du Toit won both the discus throw and the shot put. She earned the sixth best distance in the NCAA this season after throwing the discus 54.45 meters.

Lauren Kuhner won the hammer throw with a distance of 56.54 meters, after placing third in the discus throw. Victoria Leks jumped 1.7 meters to win the high jump event, for her second win in two weeks.

On the track, Amber Evans had two runner-up finishes in the 100 meter dash and the 200 meter dash.

The team takes a week off before heading to Orlando, Fla. for the Conference USA Championship on May 13-15.

Men’s Golf Finishes Fourth at Conference Championship

April 29, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Robby Gillespie

Shooting their best score in the final round wasn’t enough for the SMU men’s golf team to move up from fourth place on the final day at the Conference USA Championsip at the RedTail Golf Club.

SMU’s final round score of 285 was six shots better than their second round and 18 shots better than their first round score. The Mustangs finished three shots out of second place.

Kelly Kraft shot a final round 70 to move into ninth place, finishing with a total of 217. Freshman James Kwon shot a 221 to finish 16th, while Matt Schovee and Ben Tewes tied for 27th at 225.

Central Florida took the conference title with an overall score of 858. Rice’s Christopher Brown won the individual title, after shooting a total score of 209.

To see the full leaderboard, click here.

Men’s Tennis Advances To Conference Tournament

April 23, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Robby Gillespie

The SMU men’s tennis team heads to the Conference USA semifinals after taking down fifth-seeded UAB 4-0 in Houston.

The Mustangs will take on Tulsa for the first time in four years in the C-USA semifinals Saturday. SMU extended their winning streak to five matches, having won eight of their last nine.

The team jumped out to a two point lead with singles wins at No. 2 and No.4, followed by two SMU freshmen winning to close out the victory.

SMU has never played in the conference championship, but it will be its fifth straight C-USA semifinals.

SMU Women Earn Top Seed In Conference Tournament

April 22, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Robby Gillespie

After finishing the regular season with a No. 27 national ranking, the SMU women’s tennis team looks to defend its Conference USA title as the No. 1 seed.

The Mustangs (22-3) received a first round bye and will take on the winner of Thursday’s match between No. 8 Southern Miss and No. 9 Memphis. The second round match up is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday in Tulsa.

SMU enters the season finale tournament with three ITA ranked singles players: No. 29 Marta Lesniak, No. 114 Aleksandra Malyarchikova, and No. 116 Edyta Cieplucha. These three helped the team go 6-0 in C-USA play this season.

The next closest ranked team is No. 35 Tulsa and No. 47 Rice. SMU topped both teams during the regular season.

The C-USA Championship runs April 22-25. The champion receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. The NCAA Tournament selections will be announced on Tuesday, April 27; the tournament begins on May 1.

Sports Blog: SMU Cross Country Team Works Hard, Runs Fast, Wins Big

November 9, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Kimmy Ryan

They just keep running, and running, and running, and running.

The SMU cross country team, much like the Energizer Bunny, “just keeps going.”

The team won the Conference USA Championship and head coach Cathy Casey earned Coach of the Year honors. The glory of winning did not come without pain though. As SMU and other cross country runners crossed the finish line at the Championship, many fell to their knees, out of breath and unable to move their legs any longer.

Silje Fjortoft, SMU’s top finisher at the Championship, placed second with a time of 18:01. What took Fjortoft about 18 minutes to complete would take most of us at least a good 45 minutes. The SMU cross country athletes are in serious shape.

You may have seen them running around school, White Rock Lake, or the Cady Trail. They log more running hours during the week than many students log in school. And, although they are not as recognizable as the basketball, football, or soccer players on campus, they are one of SMU’s best teams. The SMU cross country team is ranked 25th in the nation. And, this is the second consecutive year they have won the Conference USA Championship. (Successful and consistent… not something many SMU teams have been able to pull off lately.)

These girls work hard. They lift weights, run for hours, and give it their all every time. So next time you see a petit female on campus in small blue spandex and an SMU cross country shirt, give a shout out or a high five because these girls deserve to be treated like the successful, hardworking athletes they are.

Check out the Conference USA video on the SMU athletic website to see how intense the meet really got!