Amanda Mergaert has qualified for the NCAA Championships in th 1500 meter for the second consecutive year.
May 26, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas - Junior Amanda Mergaert finished seventh in the 1500 meter semifinals at the NCAA West Preliminary Saturday in Austin, Texas. She now advances to next weekend's NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
"Amanda was impressive today," said Utah head coach Kyle Kepler. "They ran a really fast heat. We expected the race to open fast which it did, and Amanda hung on and then found another gear that no one else had down the stretch. We are very excited for her."
Mergaert placed fourth in her heat and seventh overall with a time of 4:19.23 as she qualified for the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive year. In 2011, she placed 14th at the championship meet. Mergaert will join fellow Ute Brianna LeRoy in Des Moines, after LeRoy advanced through the preliminaries in the high jump on Friday.
"To have Brianna heading to the championships as a senior and Amanda to go back and get another crack at it is exciting," said Kepler. "The experience of last year really helped Amanda in her race today. She never panicked and was able to bide her time. Then her talent and experience level paid off and that's what you hope for from a kid who has been through this before."
Also competing Saturday was Susannah Hurst, who ran a 16:45.63 to place 19th in her heat and 36th overall.
"For a freshman in her first time at this meet, to move up and beat some people is all you can ask for," said Kepler. "It was great experience and next time she is in this meet that experience will help. She handled herself well. It is still hot and humid here so to run that time was fine in this heat. She competed well and beat some people that were ranked ahead of her. She did a good job."