Looking to Break School Records and Set Personal Bests, the Mean Green Heads to California
Stefanie Slekis is in her third year as the North Texas cross country coach and the assistant coach for track and field in 2015.
In just her first three years as the cross country coach, Slekis has led the Mean Green cross-country programs to a conference championship, three third-place finishes and a runner-up finish in 2013.
A combined 22 North Texas runners received all-conference individual honors and six were named all-region in the last three years under Slekis. Slekis was named the 2014 C-USA Coach of the Year after the men’s team won its first Conference USA Championship.
The men’s cross country team received votes in the top 25 national rankings for the first time in school history in 2015. The men’s team finished third at the C-USA championships and finished the season ranked seventh in the NCAA South Central region. Bryce McAndrew finished 17th to earn all-region status at the 2015 NCAA South Central Regional Championships.
At the 2014 NCAA South Central Regional Championships, the men and women’s teams continued to surpass their previous rankings, placing within the top 10 for the second year in a row, with the men’s team finishing fourth and the women’s team placing eighth. Troy Taylor placed eighth in the men’s 10K race, allowing him to compete in the NCAA Cross-Country National Championships.
The Mean Green distance men recorded a win, four podium finishes and seven top-eight finalists at the 2015 C-USA indoor track championships, while the women’s team grabbed a win, three podium finishes and two top-eight finalists.
At the 2015 C-USA outdoor track championships, Troy Taylor earned all-conference honors placing third at the 1500 meter run, while 10 additional athletes scored team points in their events with top eight finishes.
In the 2014 indoor and outdoor track and field seasons, Slekis led the distance program to seven school records, including the men’s indoor distance medley relay, indoor 5000m, and indoor 800m and the women’s indoor 5000m, mile, and outdoor women’s 3000m Steeplechase and 10,000m.
The Mean Green distance men recorded six top-eight finishes at the 2014 C-USA Indoor Championships, while the women’s side grabbed two runner-up finishes and an additional top-six finish. At the 2014 C-USA Outdoor Championships three athletes earned all-conference honors, placing in the top three in their events.
Troy Taylor and Charlotte Wilson went on to represent Mean Green distance at the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field West Preliminary Round of the National Championship. Taylor competed in the men’s 1500m while Wilson competed in the women’s 3000m steeplechase. Wilson also recorded the fifth fastest women’s 3000m steeplechase run by any female Australian athlete during 2014 with a time of 10:13.10.
Slekis spent the 2012-13 season as a volunteer assistant coach for Florida State’s women’s cross country and distance track program. During 2011-12, she served as a graduate assistant coach for the distance group at McNeese State, while completing her master’s degree at Arizona State.
In her undergraduate career, she competed for Syracuse University cross-country and track & field teams and she was a three-time Big East all-academic student-athlete, earning the Athletic Director’s honor-roll award all eight semesters.
During her collegiate career, Slekis earned All-Big East honors twice as a senior, finishing eighth in the 3000-meters during the indoor season and fourth in the 3000-meter steeplechase in the outdoor season. Stefanie stood eighth in the NCAA East Region in steeplechase (10:20.68) and was a regional qualifier in the 10,000M (34:52.12.)
Her successful career started at Forest Park High School, where she earned 15 all-state honors in cross-country and track.