T&F Distance Program Carries Momentum Into C-USA Championship
Best Season In School History, Concludes At Conference USA Outdoor Championship
May 13, 2014
DENTON, Texas - In her first year at North Texas, assistant track and field coach Stefanie Slekis led the Mean Green distance runners to several school-records and personal-best times. In one of the best seasons in school history, which concludes at the Conference USA Outdoor Championship, starting May 15, in Houston, Texas.
“We are sitting pretty well right now with our athletes ranked in the top ten in C-USA,” Slekis said. “That is normally where you need to be when in striking distance to score at a championship meet.”
Charlotte Wilson is ranked No. 1 in C-USA in the women’s 3000m steeplechase and sits fourth on the North Texas all-time performers list with a time of 4:33.82. Wilson set the school-record by nearly 59 seconds in 10,000m at Texas Relays, in Austin, earlier this season.
“At the indoor championships, Charlotte did not claim a spot on the podium, but where she stands going into outdoor it is likely she will be in the top three,” Slekis said. “Compared to our indoor performance, we have more athletes with a chance to be top-three.
Troy Taylor is tied for third in the conference rankings for the 1500m. Taylor qualified for the NCAA Western Preliminary Regional list with his time of 3:44.82 at the Longhorn Invitational, the second-fastest performance in school history. Taylor also has a chance to perform well in the 5K this week.
“Several athletes who weren’t ranked in the top-10 during the indoor championships are seeded in the top-10 for outdoor,” Slekis said. “I think that we are in a great position to hold our current rankings and move up in the conference meet.”
“I couldn’t have asked for a better meet at the Longhorn Invitational last weekend,” Slekis said. “That was the best distance track meet we’ve had all year. Two weeks out from the conference meet, not one distance runner ran poorly.”
The Mean Green distance runners collectively had nine personal records, including the 1500m from Shauna Pali (4:44.87), Kylee Kittrell (4:48.57), Leesa Morales (4:48.62) and Yvette Hernandez (5:01.65).
“We’ve had great successes so far this year,” Slekis said. “With our eight additions to the distance program, performing at high levels at the state and regional meets, it’s an exciting time for the future of our team.”