2008-09 Athletic Success
North Texas boasts a history of stellar athletes and teams that includes national champions, Olympic medalists and Hall of Famers.
North Texas greats such as Abner Haynes, Don January, "Mean" Joe Greene, Hayden Fry, and Elmer and Delmer Brown charted a course that has been navigated over recent years by standouts Marilyn Marin, Chris Davis, Patrick Cobbs, Jalie Mitchell, Jamario Thomas, Casey Fitzgerald and many others.
Since 2001, Mean Green teams have been a part of four bowl games and have participated in NCAA postseason soccer and golf championships, as well as the NCAA basketball tournament for the second time in school history.
The 2008-09 Season
The track and field teams have had several athletes compete in the NCAA national indoor and outdoor meets and had its first junior national champion in the spring of 2009. Both tennis and swimming programs have gained tremendous respect, garnering regional and national rankings while fielding some of the youngest teams in the country.
Men's basketball teams have won at least 20 games for three consecutive years, and the soccer team posted its 14th straight winning season in 2008. And, over the last six years, five North Texas student-athletes have led the nation in a statistical category of their respective sports, with Brooke Engel topping the women's volleyball service ace charts for two consecutive years.
A member of the Sun Belt Conference, North Texas has captured 12 conference championships since 2001. Individually, 68 Mean Green student-athletes were named All-Sun Belt Conference during the 2008-09 school year. During the 2008-09 school year, the Mean Green came up with three third-place team finishes.
The future looks bright at North Texas. Two newcomers were named conference freshman of the year. Sara Dietz received the honors in cross-country, while Keyth Talley was named freshman of the year in both indoor and outdoor track.
Cross-Country And Track Have Good Seasons
The cross country and track & field teams continued their success in 2008-09. The squads posted one third-place finish and three fourths in team competition. They advanced 15 athletes to NCAA Regionals and five went on to the NCAA Outdoor Championship. For the second straight year, the track program sent multiple athletes to the NCAA championship. Jordan Wehr advanced in the pole vault and Keyth Talley, Ryan Varner, Byron Washington and C.J. Fowler competed in the 4x100 relay. The track & field team has sent an athlete to the NCAA championships for the fifth straight year.
Talley became the first athlete in school history to take home gold at the Junior USA Championships with a first-place finish in the 200-meter dash in June at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field. He advanced to the 2009 Pan American Junior Athletic Championships, which were held at Hasley Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Talley joined former North Texas long jumper Dionte Campbell as the only athletes in school history to make the Pan American team. Campbell did so in 1999 when she advanced in the triple jump.
Patrick Strong repeated his strong performance on the distance side. He finished third overall in the cross-country conference championship in 2008, picking up all-conference honors for the second straight year. The men finished third as a team, while the women were fourth. Sara Dietz led the women with a 10th-place finish.
Swimming & Diving Finishes Third At Conference Championships
The swimming & diving team finished the 2008-09 season with a No. 14 final ranking in the CSCAA/CollegeSwimming.com Mid-Major poll. The Mean Green finished third at the Sun Belt Conference Championships, marking its highest conference finish and point total in school history. This wrapped up a season in which the Mean Green set school records in 14 of 19 swimming events and tallied another NCAA 'B' Consideration Cut.
The women's soccer team won 15 games for the fifth straight season in 2008. In its 14 years of existence, NT has never had a losing season. Kendall Juett was named first-team All-Sun Belt for the third straight year.
Men's basketball posted its third straight 20-win season. Josh White was named to the Sun Belt All-Tournament team and finished the year with a 90.6 free throw percentage, which ranked third in the nation and set a new school record. In his first year playing with the Mean Green, Eric Tramiel was named third-team All-Sun Belt.
Tennis received its highest-ever final ranking at No. 8 in the ITA Southwest Region. Irina Paraschiv and Madura Ranganathan also earned singles and doubles rankings. Head coach Sujay Lama was honored by the Greater Denton Sports Commission as the University of North Texas Coach of the Year and was named a finalist for the prestigious Giant Steps Award.
The squad reached its highest win total (17) since 1984-85 and recorded the second-best all-time winning percentage for a season (.739). The team rode a 10-match win streak into the conference semifinals before falling to No.1 seeded Denver in a near five-hour match.
Softball recorded its winningest season in 2009. On the way, North Texas won both of its home tournaments: the Sleep Inn Classic and the Quality Inn & Suites Invitational. The Mean Green picked up wins during the season against Iowa State, Wichita State, Kansas, Baylor and Texas Tech. Mallory Cantler received first-team All-Sun Belt honors for the second straight year, and Mariza Martinez became the first North Texas softball student-athlete to be named to the first-team all-region squad.