Four Lumberjacks and three Ladyjacks cracked the top ten at the SLC meet to warrant All-SLC honors
Cody Clark is entering his sixth season as the cross country coach at SFA, also working with the men's and women's distance programs during the track and field season.
The Merit, Texas, native was a standout distance runner in his five-year career with the Lumberjacks and served three years as an assistant coach from 2007-10.
His impact on the program upon his promotion to head cross country coach in 2011 was evident as he guided his athletes to 14 school records and had 11 All-SLC selections. Five times, one of his athletes brought home a league title, including Lauren Smith capturing the league's cross country championship and earning high-point scorer on the women's side at the SLC Indoor and Outdoor Championships in 2012. The women's team brought home the SLC Indoor and Outdoor titles the same year.
In addition, his athletes also picked up a pair of SLC Outstanding Track Performer nods. Adam Saloom made his way to the NCAA First Round qualifying meet after the outdoor season, and Randi Plentl was named the SLC Student-Athlete of the Year on the cross country side, all in Clark's first season at the helm.
In the fall of 2012, Clark led the women's cross country program to a Southland Conference Title. Smith and Xavier Rodriguez notched NCAA National Championship berths during the season, marking the first time a female has qualified since 2005 and a male since 2004. Smith highlighted a large list of decorated runners for SFA by taking home SLC Athlete of the Year honors for the second consecutive year. Clark was recognized for his first SLC Championship as a head coach with Southland Conference Coach of the Year honors.
The women swept cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field to clinch the SLC triple crown in 2012-13.
In 2013, the men's cross country squad ran to a runner-up finish at the conference meet, for the highest team finish since 2008. Clark coached four All-SLC runners on the year - Laurie Byrd, Nick Guerra, Cody Brown and Anthony Gallardo. He guided the young men's team to a fourth place showing in the South Central Region which was the best result since 2003. Guerra won the SLC 10,000 meters last spring while both Gallardo and Jeff Weisheit qualified for the U.S. Junior National Championships in the same event.
The men of the 2014 Cross Country left an unparalleled mark as Clark coached Charles Mathenge to setting a new school record (23:42) when he finished runner-up at SLC Championships. Colby Mehmen placed 8th earning his first All-SLC honor. Charles placed seventh in South Central Region earning All-Region Honors and punching his ticket to the NCAA National Championships for the first time. Cody Brown placed 19th earning All-Region Honors.
The women were led by Courtney High (FR), who placed sixth overall marking her All-SLC honors. She was followed by Samantha Ottman (SO) and Brittany Innis (True FR), finishing seventh and eighth earning All-SLC Honors. The women had another Runner-Up finish.
Coach Clark and his athlete’s hard work paid off when the 2015 men’s track squad clenched the team title with the help of Charles Mathenge 10,000m Outdoor Champ, Colby Mehmen Runner-Up 10,000m, and Charles Mathenge’s runner-up finish that scored 18 points in 5,000m.
The women came from behind in an unprecedented victory marking the win as a “Miracle in Hammond”. True Freshman Brittany Innis placed second in 3,000m Steeple and set a new school record. Brittany went on to US Junior Championships in Eugene, Ore. and placed third narrowly missing a USA uniform to compete at Junior Pan Am Championship in Canada.
The 2015 Men’s Cross Country led to a heartbreaking runner-up finish, losing by one point to Lamar at SLC Championships. All-SLC performances by Charles Mathenge (2nd), Nick Guerra(3rd), Colby Mehmen(4th), & Jeff Weisheit(9th). Cody Brown was (11th) finishing one spot out of All-SLC. SFA went on to place fifth in the South Central Region and placing three guys on All-Region: Nick, Jeff, and Charles. Charles placed eighth overall punching his second straight year to the NCAA Championships, marking first time in school history.
Guided by Coach Clark, the women’s squad placed three runners to the ALL-SLC Team: Courtney High (5th), Shelby Pesek (8th), and Katrina Fite (10th). They finished once again as runner-up for second straight year. South Central Regional meet saw Shelby Pesek and Taylor Anderson earn All-Region honors. The team placed sixth in the Regional meet, which was big improvement from year before…
Athletes under Coach Clark once again broke school records as Men’s Indoor 5,000m runner, Charles Mathenge finished third in the Championships. Men’s DMR placed second, setting another school record with team of Charles Mathenge, Tredrick Hawkins, Sam Wallace, and Quinlin McGregor. Charles would also go on and place fourth in 3,000m marking his third scoring event.
Men’s 2016 outdoor crew saw Quinlin McGregor place third to earn All-SLC nod. Charles Mathenge won the 10,000m and placed second in 5,000m earning All-SLC in both events. The Lumberjacks went on to win the SLC Outdoor Team Title. Charles Mathenge set his third school record in 10,000m at Stanford Invite early in April, running 29:23.59 and punching a ticket to the NCAA 1st Round Championship. He would end up placing twelfth in race sending him to the 10,000m NCAA Outdoor National Championships where he would finish twenty-first. He is the first male in school history to make it to the 10,000m Final. Colby Mehmen also punched his ticket to NCAA 1st Round Championships running a big personal record of 29:34.95 at Mt. Sac Relays. He would place 27th out of 48 at the NCAA First Round Championships.
The Women’s Outdoor was led by Rana Ryan (SO), who placed third in 1500m marking her All-SLC honor. Shelby Pesek (JR) won 3,000m Steeplechase and teammate Katrina Fite (SR) was runner-up finishing with 1-2 punch. Shelby Pesek went on to run a 10:31.87 nearly missing NCAA first Round berth but was able set school record.
As an assistant, Clark helped guide a youthful SFA men's and women's cross country team to second-place finishes at the 2008 SLC Cross Country Championships. SFA finished the meet with four All-SLC honors, and Mitch Ownbey and Stephanie Ganter were named SLC Male and Female Athletes of the Year. The Ladyjacks followed that up with another second-place finish in 2009.
The SFA distance squads proved their strength during the 2009 track and field seasons. SFA recorded four individual titles, and seven all-conference finishes during the outdoor campaign. All told, the Ladyjack and Lumberjack distance runners recorded five individual titles, 10 all-conference performances, three regional marks, two school records and were key in helping the SFA women bring home both the SLC Indoor and Outdoor titles in 2009.
As an athlete at SFA, Clark won the 2005 SLC Cross Country championship and was named SLC Cross Country Athlete of the Year. He was a three-time All-SLC honoree overall.
In addition to his 2005 victory in cross country, Clark's career highlights include a third-place finish in the 5,000 meters at the 2006 SLC Indoor Championships and a second-place showing in the same event at the 2005 SLC Outdoor Championships.
Clark was a part of three-straight conference titles in cross country and a member of the 2003 team that finished third in regionals - the best finish in SFA school history.
After his three-year stint as an assistant coach at SFA and before taking the reigns in the fall of 2011, he spent the 2010-11 athletic year as head girl's track and field coach and head cross country coach at Waller High School where he led the WHS girls to the District 17-4A title.
Clark earned his bachelor's degree in kinesiology from SFA in May 2007 and a master's in secondary education in August 2009. He is married to Brionne Yosten, who is the Assistant Cross Country and Track Coach. They have a son named Crew who is 15 months old.
Cody Clark Coaching Honors Southland Conference Coach of the Year - 2012 SLC Women's Triple Crown - 2012-13 SLC Team Titles- 12 34 New School Records in five years
Cody Clark SFA Collegiate Career Honors SLC Men's Cross Country Athlete of the Year - 2005 SLC Men's Cross Country Individual Champion - 2005 SLC Team Cross Country Champions - 2003, 2004, 2005
National Qualifiers NCAA Cross Country National Qualifiers: 4 NCAA Outdoor Track Qualifier: 1 - First male in school history in 10,000m U.S. Junior National Qualifiers: 4 Regional (South Central) South Central All-Region Cross Country: 14 NCAA First Round Track Qualifiers: 5
Southland Conference All-SLC Selections: 60 Individual Champions: 13 Student-Athlete of the Year: 4 Athlete of the Year: 4 Outstanding Track Performer: 2 High-Point Athlete: 3 Freshman of the Year: 1 Newcomer of the Year: 2