The Mean Green has several new faces in the coaching department, including Stefanie Slekis, the new cross-country coach.
Slekis arrived this summer and inherits two solid teams. The men's team placed second at the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Championships, while the women were runner-ups at the 2011 championship.
The men started off the season fast with a first-place finish at the Bear Twilight Invitational on August 30. The men and women continue the season with a meet at UTA on Saturday, Sept. 14.
North Texas also hosts two meets this season. The annual Ken Garland Invitational is set for Saturday, Sept. 28, and the Mean Green will host the Conference USA Championships on November 2.
Stefanie Slekis is in her second year as the Head North Texas Cross Country Coach and an Assistant Coach for Track and Field.
In just her first year as the Cross Country coach, Slekis led the Mean Green men's team to a second-place finish and the women to a third at the Mean Green's first Conference USA Championship. Eight runners earned All-Conference honors, and Jo Adams went on to earn all-region honors for the second straight year.
At the NCAA South Central Regional Championships, the men and women's teams posted their highest finishes in the last 10 years. It was also their first Top 10 team finish in the past 10 years with the men recording a sixth-place finish and the women in ninth. The Men and Women's Teams were also recognized by USTFCCCA with team All-Academic based on the NCAA South Central Regional finish and team GPAs of 3.06 and 3.14.
Slekis continued her success during the Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field seasons. The distance program set seven school records including: the Men's Indoor Distance Medley Relay, Indoor 5,000m, and Indoor 800m and the Women's Indoor 5,000m, Mile, and Outdoor Women's 3,000m Steeplechase and 10,000m.
The Mean Green distance men recorded six top-eight finishes at the C-USA Indoor Championships, while the women's side grabbed two runner-up finishes and an additional top-six finish. At the C-USA Outdoor Championships three athletes earned All Conference honors placing in the top three in their events while two additional athletes scored team points in their events with top 8 finishes.
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 3,000m Steeplechase. Wilson also recorded the 5th fastest Women's 3,000m Steeplechase run by any female Australian athlete during 2014 with a time of 10:13.10
Kylee Kittrell was named to the C-USA All-Academic Team out of 24 C-USA Track & Field student-athletes chosen. Kittrell was also one of nine who finished with a 4.0 GPA.
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.
Throughout 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.