SMU Men’s and Women’s Swim Teams Earn 5th Straight C-USA Titles

February 28, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Nate Regan

The SMU men’s and women’s swim teams each wrapped up their fifth consecutive Conference USA titles by wide margins Saturday at the CRWC Natatorium on the University of Houston campus.

It also marked the 14th straight conference title for the Mustangs dating back to 1997, when they were part of the Western Athletic Conference.

The SMU men compiled 871 points at the four-day event to beat runner-up Hawaii (833) while the women tallied 707 points to race past second-place East Carolina University (611).

On Wednesday, the Mustangs won the women’s 200 yard medley relay (1:39.25) with a lineup of Gabriella Soza, Devon Callaghan, Denisa Smolenova and Justine Clark.

Later, Sascha Van den Branden and Therese Svendsen joined Callaghan and Clark to post another first-place finish and NCAA “B” Qualifying time (7:11.99) in the 800 yard freestyle relay.

Junior Matthew Culbertson won the 1 meter diving event (361.45) for SMU before the men’s squad won the 200 yard medley relay (1:26.78) with Pontus Renholm, Hal Eubanks, David Larsson and Thomas Fadnes.

In the 800 yard freestyle relay, Nate Clark, Ed Downes, Blaz Korosec and Mindaugas Sadauskas combined to give the Mustangs another win and another NCAA “B” Qualifying time (6:28.94).

Both the men’s and women’s teams followed up with wins Thursday in the 400 yard medley relays (times of 3:12.29 and 3:36.97, respectively), and Callaghan won the women’s 200 yard individual medley with an NCAA “B” Qualifying time of 2:00.03.

SMU also took the top three finishes in the men’s 50 yard freestyle, including Fadnes (20.10 seconds), Sadauskas (20.16) and Larsson (20.26).

Friday saw more relay wins for the Mustangs, this time in the both the men’s and women’s 200 yard freestyle events with times of 1:19.07 and 1:31.84, respectively.

Culbertson won his second title of the tournament in the 3 meter diving event with a score of 411.25, and SMU claimed individual victories in the women’s 200 yard freestyle, 100 yard breaststroke, 100 yard backstroke and 100 yard butterfly.

For the men, Tom Cole (53.82 seconds) and Eubanks (55.02) each posted NCAA “B” Qualifying times in the 100 yard breaststroke while Renholm (47.76) and Sadauskas (48.61) placed first and second in the 100 yard backstroke event.

Both teams won the final relay event Saturday, the 400 freestyle, as the men posted an NCAA Qualifying time (2:56.72) while the women earned an NCAA “B” Qualifying time (3:19.24).

The Mustang men also recorded individual victories in the 1650 yard free, 200 yard breaststroke, 200 yard backstroke, 200 yard butterfly and 100 yard free, and Svendsen women’s 200 yard backstroke with a time of 1:54.98

The SMU men’s and women’s swim teams will both travel to Austin this weekend for the Austin Grand Prix, to be held at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center Mar. 4-6.

Women’s Swimmer Earns C-USA Award

February 9, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Robby Gillespie

SMU women’s swimmer Devon Callaghan was named Conference USA Swimmer of the Week Tuesday, three days after winning the 100-yard breaststroke against the Texas Longhorns.

Callaghan was also part of the 200 yard medley relay team that finished second by just .3 seconds (1:43.47-1:43.77). She was .06 seconds off her best time of the year in the 100 yard breaststroke.

Saturday, she also had a personal season-best 2:04.64 finish in the 200 yard IM. Callaghan’s victory was one of three on the day for the Mustangs against the (No. 3) Longhorns.

The Mustangs return to action Friday in Columbia, Mo. in the Grand Prix. Full results will be available on

SMU Swimmer Wins C-USA Weekly Award

January 27, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Robby Gillespie

SMU women’s swimmer Sascha Van Den Branden has been named Conference USA’s Swimmer of the Week after earning five first place finishes in two days of competition. It is her first career conference honor.

Van den Branden tallied wins on Jan. 22 against Rice, in the 1,000-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle and the 200-yard freestyle relay. Her victories earned SMU two conference wins.

SMU faces the University of Texas Saturday February 6th at Perkins Natatorium at 11 a.m.

Also, the Mustang diving team heads to the U.S. Diving National Championships in Columbus, Ohio on Feb. 1 for a five-day event.