Press Release courtesy of SMU Athletics.
SETTING THE SCENE
The SMU women’s swimming and diving team faces American Athletic Conference opponent Tulane, Friday, at 3 p.m. CT at the Reily Student-Recreation Center Natatorium in New Orleans, La. There will be no live results or video available for the meet.
The Mustangs and Green Wave have squared off four times dating back to the 1982-83 season. SMU leads the all-time series 4-0.
|Nov. 4, 2016||W||173-114|
|Nov. 8, 2015||W||153-146|
|Feb. 5, 1983||W||89-54|
ABOUT THE GREEN WAVE
Tulane is 1-1 to open the 2017-18 season after double-dual action with LSU and Loyola-New Orleans. The Green Wave defeated Loyola, 245-39, while falling to LSU, 175-125. Tulane finished sixth at the 2017 American Athletic Conference Championships and posted a 0-6 dual record.
LAST TIME VS. TULANE
MANSFIELD, Texas (SMU) – SMU defeated AAC opponent Tulane, 173-114, to sweep home dual meets going 3-0 for the 2016-17 season.
SMU earned victories in four of five freestyle events in the dual meet, with Vicky Cunningham leading the group with a pair of wins in the 50 and 100 distances. Maddie Hoch topped the field in the 200, an event the Mustangs swept with Ursa Bezan and Adrienn Santa finishing second and third, respectively, and junior Matea Samardzic won her first appearance in the 500 free.
The Mustangs picked up a win in the 200 back from Agata Magner, and in the 100, backstroke specialist Samardzic cruised to victory. SMU had its most successful showing in the 100 fly against Tulane, with the Ponies finishing in the top four positions. Marne Erasmus won the distance, while Erin Trahan, Anna Cheesbrough and Santa followed in order. The 200 was won by Cheesbrough.
Tara-Lynn Nicholas was the Mustangs’ top finisher in breaststroke events as she earned runner-up honors in the 100 and was third in the 200. Samardzic continued her dominance in the 400 IM defeating her closest competition by nearly eight seconds, touching the wall in 4:22.56 for the win.
The Mustangs swept event relays placing first and third in the opening 200 medley relay, and winning the 200 free relay to close the day. Samardzic, Nicholas, Erasmus and Cunningham teamed up to post a 1:45.69 for the medley win, and the 200 free went to Trahan, Rogers, Santa and Cunningham in a time of 1:35.87. Lauren Lamb picked up the win in 3-meter action and placed second on 1 meter.
BACK ON THE HILLTOP
Building on a legacy of proud Olympians, world records and 155 national titles, SMU broke ground on the new Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center and Barr-McMillion Natatorium on Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. The 42,000 square foot center will be home to SMU’s internationally-recognized men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams. Located at 5550 SMU Blvd. on the University’s growing east campus, the center will provide facilities for practice, competition and community use. The Aquatics Center will feature an Olympic-sized, eight-lane indoor pool with a platform diving area, including four springboards and a 10-meter tower for training and competition. Coaches’ offices, men’s, women’s and visitor locker rooms and a classroom and meeting area will be located adjacent to the pool. Spectator seating for 800 will be on the mezzanine level. The facility is set to open for the 2017-18 season and will serve as host to the 2018 American Athletic Conference Championships.
The women’s swimming and diving program earned the first of two possible College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) team awards this season. To be selected as a CSCAA Scholar All-America Team, programs must have achieved a grade point average of 3.00 or higher over the fall semester. The Mustangs posted a team GPA of 3.53 during the fall semester to position itself 24th of 165 teams to garner the honor. The total came in above the Division I national average of 3.336. The Mustang seniors have been honored each semester on the Hilltop thus far.
LAST TIME OUT
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark (SMU) – The Mustangs fell at Arkansas to open the 2017-18 season Sept. 16.
SMU was led by Matea Samardzic and Erin Trahan, who each picked up a pair of runner-up finishes in the loss. Trahan was second in the 50 free and 100 fly, while Samardzic touched second in the 200 IM and 500 free.
Katie Crown led the Mustang divers, finishing sixth on 1 meter and seventh on 3 meter. Kara Bradley and Brooke Pospichal also scored for the Ponies in diving, with Bradley earning SMU’s highest finish of sixth on 3 meter and Pospichal placing seventh on 1 meter.
The Mustangs also competed in an exhibition relay event at North Texas Sept. 29.
Senior Marne Erasmus and junior Matea Samardzic wrapped up the 2017 season at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in Indianapolis. Samardzic represented the Mustangs in the 200-yard backstroke and 400-yard individual medley, while Erasmus competed in the 100-yard butterfly.
Samardzic earned her highest placement on day three of the Championships, placing 24th in heats of the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:10.13. The final day saw the junior finish 25th in preliminary action of the 200-yard backstroke, as she covered the distance in 1:53.42. Erasmus made her fourth consecutive appearance in the 100-yard butterfly prelims on Friday. The senior clocked a 52.41 to place 26th.
FOR THE RECORD
Samardzic finished her first season as a Mustang as the school record holder in the 400 IM (4:05.52) and conference champion in three events and three relays. She posted NCAA B cuts in both the 100- and 200-yard backstroke, as well as 200- and 400-yard individual medleys, and was part of SMU’s 400-yard medley relay that came in under the provisional standard. She has six all-conference honors (3 individual, 3 relay) on her resume.
Eight Mustangs accounted for 15 All-Conference honors and all five relays earned accolades in 2017.
Cheesbrough – 100 fly, 200 fly
Cunningham – 50 free, 100 free, 200 free
Erasmus – 100 fly*, 200 fly*
Nicholas – 100 breast, 200 breast
Pospichal – Platform*
Rogers – 50 free
Samardzic – 100 back*, 200 back*, 400 IM*
Trahan – 100 fly
200 free relay – Rogers, Trahan, Santa, Cunningham
400 free relay* – Santa, Rogers, Samardzic, Cunningham
800 free relay – Hoch, Bezan, Santa, Cunningham
200 medley relay* – Samardzic, Nicholas, Erasmus, Rogers
400 medley relay* – Samardzic, Nicholas, Erasmus, Cunningham
*denotes conference champion
MAKING THE CUT
SMU posted one qualifying and 16 NCAA provisional times during the 2016-17 season. Matea Samardzic led the way with 4 cuts, qualifying for the NCAA Championships in the 200-yard backstroke and 400-yard individual medley. She also had the opportunity to compete in the 100-yard backstroke based on her time. Her fourth event was the 200-yard individual medley. Marne Erasmus posted an NCAA A cut in the 100-yard butterfly, and a B cut in the 200.
SMU finished the 2016-17 season 4-1 in dual meets. The Mustangs picked up victories over American Athletic Conference opponents Houston and Tulane and had wins over Rice and North Texas as well. The only loss of the season came against then-No. 8 Texas A&M in College Station.
SMU has won 17 of the last 21 conference championships, most recently, a first-place finish at the American Athletic Conference Championship in 2016. The Mustangs have never finished outside of the top three under Steve Collins, with only two 3rd-place finishes. 2017 was the 33rd consecutive year the Mustangs appeared at the NCAA Championship, dating back to 1985. Of the 32 previous appearances, SMU has finished in the top 10 17 times, and inside the top five 10 times. The highest placement came at the 1996 Championship, where the Mustangs earned runner-up honors.
Matea Samardzic and Erin Trahan have earned their spots on SMU’s all-time top performers list, each posting top-10 times during the 2016-17 season. Samardzic has times in four different events, including the school record in the 400-yard individual medley (4:05.52). She also makes appearances on the 100 back (52.92, 4th), 200 back (1:52.69, 2nd) and 200 IM (1:59.43, 5th) lists. Trahan is sixth on the 100 fly list with a time of 52.91.
LEADER OF THE PACK
Head coach Steve Collins is a two-time American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, earning the honor in 2015 and 2016. Collins is in his 32nd year as the head coach of the SMU women’s swimming and diving team. A two-time NCAA Coach of the Year and 11-time conference Coach of the Year, Collins has led the Mustangs to 17 conference championships in the past 21 years. During his tenure, SMU has 15 top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships, nine of those in the top five.
WELCOME TO THE HILLTOP
Head Coach Steve Collins and the Mustangs welcome 11 student-athletes to the Hilltop for the 2017-18 season. The incoming class includes 10 freshmen and one junior transfer. Of the 11 fresh faces, five are divers. SMU also welcomes diving coach Darian Schmidt and assistant Anna Heller.
Schmidt, a former NCAA All-American and Big Ten Diver of the Year, comes to the Hilltop after a season at AAC member East Carolina, where he coached four Pirates to the NCAA Zone B Championships, one school record, 11 AAC Finals appearances and 11 career-best performances. On the men’s side, ECU won the AAC title.
Heller comes to SMU after a successful season as part of the Texas A&M women’s staff. She helped the Aggies to their highest ever finish of third at the NCAA Division I Swimming and Diving Championships and second consecutive SEC Championship.