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The University of Texas at San Antonio Online Magazine

Roadrunner Sports


Athlete Spotlight: Mark Waters

Even as a child, Mark Waters was hyper. The only solution, his family thought, was to put him in football.

"My family had a hard time keeping me calm," the 22-year-old said. "I’d be outside, running around on the streets."

Quickly, he discovered he not only liked the sport, but he was pretty good at it, too.

"I liked being violent on the field," he laughs.

Waters is one of only two seniors on UTSA’s first football team. The 5-foot-10-inch safety from El Paso was selected in March 2010 as one of the team’s first walk-ons. He’s the only one that remains from that first selection.

He’s also one of the few that come with experience. He got his start playing for new Mexico State in 2007, but transferred to UTSA after finding out about the fledgling program. He’s credited for being a strong leader on the field, and it’s a role he takes seriously.

But what may make an even bigger impression is that he is an inspiring, optimistic person off the field as well.

"When it’s not football, I really try to be a happy person," he said. "People notice that I’m smiling. I try to stay positive."

The kinesiology major wants to become a physical therapist someday to help injured athletes return to their sports. His inspiration is his aunt, who uses a wheelchair.

"She said I would be a good help to people," he said. "I want to help people get back to where they want to be."

Click on a circle to read more.



Sports Briefs

Football

UTSA completed its inaugural season with a 4–6 record with victories against Northwestern State (31–3), Bacone (54–7), Georgia State (17–14/OT) and Minot State (49–7). The Roadrunners set NCAA start-up program records for first-game attendance (56,743) and per-game attendance (35,521) at the Alamodome. UTSA, which played as a Football Championship Subdivision independent in 2011, will join the Western Athletic Conference next fall and play a full WAC schedule in addition to non-conference games against South Alabama (Sept. 1), Georgia State (Sept. 15), Northwestern Oklahoma State (Sept. 22), Rice (Oct. 13) and McNeese State (Nov. 10).

Cross Country

The UTSA men’s and women’s cross-country teams both finished second at October’s Southland Conference Championships. The men’s runner-up finish was the program’s best since winning the league title in 1997, while the women posted their best showing in a dozen years. Seniors Albert Cardenas (third) and Cole Reveal (fifth) both earned all-conference honors for the second consecutive season. Cardenas’ third-place performance was the best by a Roadrunner male since Philo Saunders finished third in 1998. Meanwhile, Nina Herrera (seventh) and Alyssa Diaz (ninth) garnered all-league accolades for the women with their top-10 finishes.

Women’s Golf

The women’s golf team started the fall with a string of challenging tournaments against some of the nation’s best. The efforts of the squad paid off as UTSA won its home tournament, The Alamo Invitational (Oct. 30–Nov. 1), by three strokes over Baylor. The team was led by sophomore Fabiola Arriaga, who took home individual medalist honors with a career-best 213 (69–72–72). It marks the fourth tournament title for the Roadrunners, all of which have come under head coach Carrie Parnaby.

Men’s Golf

Led by 17th-place finishes from junior Stanton Tondre and sophomore Ryan Werre, UTSA concluded its fall campaign with a ninth-place showing at the third annual Lone Star Invitational at Briggs Ranch Golf Club in San Antonio. Tondre, a graduate of Medina Valley High School in Castroville, Texas, and Werre each carded a three-overpar 219 in the 54-hole tournament.

Soccer

UTSA recently concluded its regular season and qualified for its sixth consecutive Southland Conference Tournament. The Roadrunners placed four players on the all-conference teams, led by sophomore defender Anka Grotle, who became the first player in program history to earn first-team honors in back-to-back seasons. Sophomore forward Maria Jose Rojas took home second-team honors for the second time while freshman forward Liv Nyhegn also was a second-team selection. In addition, sophomore goalkeeper Danielle Snyder was an honorable mention pick.

Volleyball

UTSA finished its final campaign in the Southland Conference with a 22–11 overall record and 14–2 mark in league play. The Roadrunners earned the No. 2 seed in the Southland Tournament and advanced to the championship match for the second straight year. At the start of conference play, UTSA swept its first 12 Southland opponents and won 36 consecutive sets, marking the longest such streak in the nation. UTSA continued its dominance in the Convocation Center, pushing its home winning streak to 14 matches. Redshirt junior setter Kelsey Schwirtlich set the program’s record for assists in the 25-point rally scoring era (2008-present) and senior libero Kelsey Jewasko became the all-time digs leader and was named one of 10 finalists for the prestigious Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, which honors NCAA Division I seniors who have notable achievements in four areas of excellence—community, classroom, character and competition. The Roadrunners garnered seven All-Southland honors as Jewasko, Schwirtlich, sophomore Mckenzie Adams and junior Whitney Walls were all named first-team all-conference. Junior Brittney Malloy collected second team honors. In addition, Schwirtlich was tabbed the league’s Setter of the Year and Adams was named the Newcomer of the Year.

UTSA Athletics Communications

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