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2012 Archives

Olympic Watch 2012: Mustangs compete in London

SMU senior in paralympics

(Jonathan Wentz riding NTEC Richter Scale, owned by Kai Handt.)

DALLAS (SMU) – Born with cerebral palsy, Jonathan Wentz began riding horses for therapy at the tender age of two. He credits the sport he loves for the ability to overcome the balance, coordination, flexibility and strength problems that accompany cerebral palsy – and allowing him to defeat doctors’ predictions that he would never walk.

“On a horse, you’re doing the same motions as walking – but without the weight,” Wentz said.  “Your body learns the mechanics without having to achieve the muscle mass.”

Jonathan WentzNow, the 21-year-old SMU senior from Richardson will compete on the United States Para-Equestrian team at the 2012 Paralympics in London Aug. 30-Sept. 4.  One of four equestrians on the U.S. team, he will compete for individual and team medals in para dressage.

Wentz has a straightforward definition of dressage: “It’s like ballet for horses,” he explains.  It takes a very special kind of horse to compete successfully, and his four-legged partner, NTEC Richter Scale, is making the trip to London with him.

The Paralympic Games are a multi-sport event for athletes with physical, mental and sensorial disabilities. The Paralympic Games are held every four years, following the Olympic Games, and are governed by the International Paralympic Committee. The equestrian events are judged on the ability of horse and rider to display athletic prowess and elegance.

Wentz is a determined athlete who set his sites on the 2012 Paralympics when he was only 13.  As he explained in a video produced by the United States Para-Equestrian Association, “The reason I ride horses is nobody can really tell I have a disability until the judge looks at my dispensation certificate…it’s a very broad and level playing field.”

Now that he’s on his way to the Paralympics, Wentz says he’s probably most excited about getting to stay in the Olympic Village in London. But once the competition is over, Wentz says there won’t be time for playing tourist.

“Not really – I’ve got to get back to class,” said Wentz, who is majoring in political science, history and medieval studies. “I’ll graduate in the spring.”

Visit for more information on Jonathan and his preparations for the Paralympics.


August 3, 2012

2012 Olympics logoSMU students, coaches and alumni have been participating in the 2012 Summer Olympics, which continues in London through August 12.

Watch for these current and former Mustangs:

  • Former Mustang swimmer Laura (Reback) Bennett (’97) has qualified for the USA Triathlon team. This is Bennett’s second Olympic Games after placing fourth in the 2008 Beijing Games. Bennett was a four-year NCAA All-American at SMU.
  • Former SMU tennis All-American Johan Brunstrom will represent Sweden in doubles competition. In 2001 and 2002 Brunstrom was an All-American in doubles at SMU, and in singles in 2003.
  • This is the third Olympic Games for Anja Carman (’08) of Slovenia, who will compete in the 200-meter backstroke.
  • The 2012 London Games will be the sixth Olympics for Swedish swimmer Lars Frolander as he competes in the 100-meter butterfly.
  • Swimmer Sara Nordenstam (’06) will represent Norway in the 200-meter breaststroke. She won the Bronze Medal for the same event in the 2008 Beijing Games.
  • Current SMU swimmer Nina Rangelova (’14) of Bulgaria will compete in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter freestyle events.
  • Current Mustang swimmer Mindaugas Sadauskas (’13) will represent Lithuania in the 100-meter freestyle.
  • Recent SMU graduate Denisa Smolenova (’12) will race for Slovakia in the 100-meter butterfly.
  • Therese Svendsen (’12) of Sweden will compete in both the 200-meter backstroke and on the 4X100 medley relay races.
  • Incoming first-year Mustang swimmer Danielle Villars will represent Switzerland in the 100-meter butterfly and the 200-meter freestyle competitions.            

Two Mustang coaches heading to London Games:

  • SMU Women’s Swim Coach Steve Collins is a member of the Bulgarian coaching staff, serving as Nina Rangelova’s coach.
  • SMU Assistant Men’s Swim Coach Andy Kershaw will serve as the team manager for the U.S. Swimming Team.

Also See: Mustangs Olympic Breakdown SMU's Peruna

Olympics Event Schedule

(Times are times in Dallas)

Laura (Reback) Bennett (’97) (USA)

Women’s USA Triathlon team
One time event: Aug. 4 - 3:00 a.m.

Johan Brunstrom (Sweden)

Men’s Tennis Doubles

July 28 - July 29 - 1st Round
July 30 - 5:30 a.m.  - 2nd Round
July 31 - Aug 01 - Quarterfinals
Aug 02 - 5:30 a.m.  - Semifinals
Aug 04 - 6:00 a.m. - Gold/Bronze Matches

Anja Carman (Slovenia)

Women’s 200-meter backstroke swimming

Heat:   Aug. 2 - 5:46 a.m.
Semi:   Aug. 2 - 1:54 p.m.
Final: Aug. 3 - 1:30 p.m.

Lars Frolander (Sweden)

Men’s 100-meter butterfly swimming 

Heats:  Aug. 2 - 11:21 a.m.
Semi:   Aug. 2 - 2:46 p.m.
Final: Aug. 3 - 1:37 p.m.

Sara Nordenstam (Norway)

Women’s 200-meter breaststroke swimming  (She won the Bronze Medal for the same event in the 2008 Beijing Games)

Heats: Aug. 1 - 4:47 a.m.
Semi:   Aug. 1 - 2:24 p.m.
Final: Aug. 2 - 1:38 p.m.

Nina Rangelova (Current Mustang, Class of 2014) (Bulgaria)

(SMU Head Coach Steve Collins is a member of the Bulgarian coaching staff, serving as Nina Rangelova’s coach)

Women’s 100-meter freestyle swimming

Heats:  Aug. 1 - 4:00 a.m.
Semi:   Aug. 1 - 1:38 p.m.
Final:   Aug. 2 - 2:34 p.m.

Women’s 200-meter freestyle swimming

Heats: Aug. 1 - 4:00 a.m.
Semi:   Aug. 1 - 1:37 p.m.
Final:  Aug. 2 - 2:34 p.m.

Women’s 400-meter freestyle swimming

Heats: July 29 - 11:33 a.m.
Final:  July 29 - 2:13 p.m.

Mindaugas Sadauskas (Current Mustang, Class of 2013) (Lithuania)

Men’s 100-meter freestyle swimming

Heats: July 31 - 4:00 a.m.
Semi:   July 31 - 1:30 p.m.
Final:  Aug. 1 - 2:16 p.m.

Denisa Smolenova (Recent SMU grad, Class of 2012) (Slovakia)

Women’s100-meter butterfly swimming     

Heats: July 28 - 10:26 a.m.
Semi:   July 28 - 1:40 p.m.
Final: July 29, 1:30 p.m.

Therese Svendsen (Recent SMU grad, Class of 2012) (Sweden)

Women’s 200-meter backstroke swimming

Heats: Aug. 2 - 5:46 a.m.
Semi:   Aug. 2 - 11:46 a.m.
Final:  Aug. 3 - 1:30 p.m.

Women’s 4X100 medley relay team swimming     

Heats: Aug. 3 - 5:50 a.m.
Final:  Aug. 4 - 2:07 p.m.

Danielle Villars (Incoming first year Mustang) (Switzerland)

Women’s 100-meter butterfly swimming 

Heat:   July 28 - 10:26 a.m.
Semi:   July 28 - 1:40 p.m.
Final: July 29 - 1:30 p.m.

Women’s 200-meter freestyle swimming 

Heat:   July 30 - 4:00 a.m.
Final:  July 31 - 1:41 p.m.