North Texas Cross Country Runs Regionals
Taylor and the Men's Team Hope to Qualify for Nationals
DENTON - North Texas cross-country teams will compete this Friday at the South Central Regional Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
“The minimal goal for both of our teams is to at least hold our current ranking,” said North Texas head cross-country coach Stefanie Slekis. “Both those rankings would place us the highest in regional history for the program in at least the past 10 years.”
The men’s team will be fighting for a top-three finish, facing strict competition from Arkansas, the host school, who is ranked first in the South Central Region, as well as Texas and Lamar, who are ranked second and third. The women will be striving to beat their 8th place ranking, and will have to outrun competitors like Texas, Texas A&M. SMU, and UT Arlington, the current Sun Belt Conference Champions.
The men’s team plans to end their season on a high note, and hopefully make it to Nationals in Terre Haute, Indiana. Junior captain Troy Taylor, who has had an exceptional season, plans to qualify for nationals.
“Troy has an excellent chance to qualify for the National meet,” said North Texas head cross-country coach Stefanie Slekis. “If he does that, the goal will be to try and run in the top 50 at the national meet and give himself the chance to earn his first All-American honors.”
Slekis has high hopes for her team and some of her runners. The men’s team is coming off of a Conference Championship win, their first Conference Championship since 1994.
“Both Troy, Charlotte, and even Alejandro, based on how they ran on this course in October, have an opportunity to qualify individually,” Slekis said. “The Men's team has an opportunity as well if they can run the 10k races I know they're capable of.”
As far as next season goes, Slekis has a lot of lofty goals for the team. Since most of the men’s team has another year of eligibility left, they plan on winning the conference championships again, and hope to be at the national championships as well. The women’s team is “determined to take a women's championship, so that's a huge goal for this program moving forward,” said Slekis.
As far as junior Troy Taylor is concerned, there is no doubt that he has big things ahead of him. Finishing off this cross-country season strong and heading into track season, Slekis expects he will do great things.
“Becoming an All-American is one of the main goals for Troy this year. After making the first round of nationals this past outdoor season, we immediately talked about working towards being at all 3 of the National meets this year,” said Slekis. “He's put himself in a great place for cross-country, taking 40 seconds off his 8k time on the same course this year.”
Going into the indoor track season, “a huge goal is to break 4 minutes in the mile, which would put him in position to qualify for the indoor national meet,” said Slekis. “Troy's not the type to over think things. He trusts the training we're doing and will put himself to contend in any race he is in, he knows his big goals will take care of themselves.”
The Mean Green cross-country team runs at the South Central Regional Championships this Friday Nov. 14 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.