MUSTANG HOOFPRINTS: Thanks to all who helped at Ag Bowl

Hello Mustang fans!

Thank you to all the fans and community members who came out to the Ag Bowl celebration prior to the Mustang football game Saturday. It was an impressive sight to see our stadium filled with the brown and gold of SMSU.

Former SMSU Student Body President Kyle Berndt found me during halftime and shared his excitement to be back on-campus for the Ag Bowl.

As we were looking up into the crowd at the Schwan Regional Event Center, he commented on the increased support and tradition that has grown around SMSU athletic events.

The campus community and residents from Marshall and southwestern Minnesota came out in full force to take part in the Ag Bowl. It was fun to hear about a positive collegiate experience Kyle had at SMSU.

A big thank you goes to Director of Athletic Development Tim Steinbach for all of his efforts in organizing many facets of the Ag Bowl. Thank you to all of the SMSU Athletics staff members and student-athletes who worked and administered at Saturday’s event. The SMSU electricians, maintenance staff, grounds crew and public safety officers worked hard to help us in all aspects of the event. Thank you for your efforts at the Ag Bowl, which was a huge success. It takes the hard work of many to put on an event of this magnitude.


Booster Club hosting Mustang Shootout

On Saturday, the fun continues! The Mustang Booster Club is hosting the eighth annual Mustang Shootout, presented by Marshall Radio, will be held at Shooters Sporting Clays, east of Marshall. All proceeds from this event go toward the SMSU Athletic Scholarship Fund.

The 2013 Mustang Shootout begins with registration and breakfast at 8 a.m. Warmup activities begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by the Sporting Clay Competition at 9:30 a.m. Lunch will be served at 12 p.m. before the Champion of Champions Shoot at 1 p.m. Prizes will be awarded at 1:15 p.m.

The Sporting Clay Competition has an entry fee of $75 for individuals or $40 for SMSU students and youth under age 18. Each shooter will have the opportunity to hit 100 birds, have lunch and receive a hat with a special edition pin. Shooters have the opportunity to win the event’s grand prize, a grill donated by Runnings.

For more information on how to register for the Mustang Shootout, call the SMSU Department of Athletics at (507) 537-7271 or go online to and click on the Mustang Shootout banner.

SMSU Athletics

Women’s Soccer

The SMSU women’s soccer team (3-0-0 overall) defeated the University of Sioux Falls 3-1 to kickoff the 2013 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference season.

The Mustangs open their home schedule at 3 p.m. Friday, when Lindenwood, Mo., University visits Marshall.

SMSU went on the road Friday and Saturday to pick up a pair of wins, beating Fort Hayes State, Kan., 1-0 and the University of Nebraska-Kearney 2-1, a couple of region victories against Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association opponents.


The SMSU football team (0-1 NSIC, 0-0 NSIC South) will play its first NSIC road game of 2013 on Saturday.

The Mustangs will battle MSU-Moorhead (0-1 NSIC, 0-0 NSIC North) with the kickoff set for 1 p.m. at Alex Nemzek Stadium in Moorhead.

SMSU lost its home opener, falling 49-35 to St. Cloud State.

The Mustangs have been successful against MSUM in their previous four meetings, winning three times at Moorhead and once at home.


The SMSU volleyball team went 2-2 on Friday and Saturday at the Grand Valley State Classic.

Two losses to unranked teams dropped the Mustangs to No. 14 in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Top 25 Poll. Coach Culhane and the Mustangs have now been ranked in the AVCA Top 25 for 94 consecutive weeks, dating back to Sept. 5, 2006.

SMSU volleyball heads back to the road Friday and Saturday, traveling to Denver, Colo., for the Premier Challenge. The Mustangs are scheduled to play four matches, starting the tournament by competing Friday against Adams State at 1 p.m and West Florida at 8 p.m.

Women’s Golf

The Mustang women’s golf team began their season Saturday with a fifth-place finish at the Cobber Open, which took place at Wildflower Golf Course in Detroit Lakes.

On Sunday, SMSU competed in a rain-shortened Concordia Invitational at Wildflower Golf Course. The Mustangs finished the one-round tournament by placing eighth.

The Mustangs return to action Sunday and Monday at the Concordia-St. Paul Invitational at Tartan Park in Lake Elmo.

Cross Country

The SMSU men’s and women’s cross country teams competed at the Augustana Twilight Invitational on Friday in Sioux Falls, S.D. The meet included 19 teams, with the women running a three-mile race and the men running four miles.

On the men’s side, SMSU finished ninth overall with 225 points. The University of Nebraska earned the title with 31 points. The Mustangs had a pair of runners finish in the top 30 in the 231-person race as SMSU’s Alejandro Sanchez led the way in 29th place in 20 minutes. Teammate Trent Smith finished right behind Sanchez in 30th place in 20:01.

On the women’s side, the Mustangs recorded a 14th-place effort with 406 points. Augustana won the meet with 34 points, beating Nebraska by 15 points. Leading the SMSU women was freshman Amanda Grengs in 18:10 to finish in 40th place among 196 runners. Freshman Paige Yi finished in 46th place in 18:13. The Mustangs are idle this weekend, but are scheduled to compete again in two weeks at the St. Olaf Invitational on Sept 21.

I would like to wish all of our teams the best of luck this season!

Go Mustangs!


Dr. Randy Johnson provided the correct answer to last week’s Mustang Hoofprint’s Trivia Question: What former SMSU student-athlete was inducted into the NSIC Hall of Fame this summer for his accomplishments in track & field and football?

Answer: Wayne Hawkins became the 22nd representative from SMSU to be inducted into the NSIC Hall of Fame.

Trivia Question

What SMSU goalkeeper holds the career record for saves on the Mustang women’s soccer team?

The first person to send me an email me at with the correct answer to this question will receive an SMSU t-shirt.

NOTE: Chris Hmielewski is the athletics director at Southwest Minnesota State University. His column ‘Mustang Hoofprints’ appears in The Marshall Independent each Thursday during the school year.