Amanda Mergaert became the second Ute to earn All-American honors in three different sports during the same year.
June 8, 2013
EUGENE, Ore. - Utah Track and Field's Amanda Mergaert became only the second Ute to earn All-American honors in cross country, indoor and outdoor track as she finished third in the 1500 meter final this afternoon at the NCAA Outdoor Championships from Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus.
"I ran to win the race because I wasn't just happy to be here," Mergaert said. "I knew I could cause some damage after the preliminary run on Thursday and I never stopped believing in my abilities. I couldn't ask for more. I've just been so focused on this since the beginning of the season and I'm glad I had the opportunity to represent my school."
Mergaert eclipsed her best time of the season by running 4:14.30 and becoming the seventh Utah outdoor track and field All-American. Two days ago, she ran a 4:14.89 to place fifth in her semifinal heat. Mergaert became the first All-American for Utah in the 1500m since 1982 (Carla Pittelkow).
"I just could not be more proud of her," head coach Kyle Kepler said. "She carries herself with the right amount of confidence and belief. You have to love that type of student athlete. It's just an amazing way to end a super career. She's a five-time All-American and probably one of the best athletes to ever attend Utah."
Mergaert joined Jill Molen as the only Ute to earn All-American honors in cross country, indoor and outdoor track. Molen accomplished the feat in 1981-82 by earning All-American honors in the three-mile (indoor) 5K and 10K (both outdoor).
Mergaert also became the first outdoor All-American for Utah since 2000 (Chantel Goldsberry) and first one in a track event since Amy Tidwell in the 400 meters (1999)
Mergaert was one of five NCAA student-athletes this season to finish in the top 15 during the cross country championships and also earn All-American honors in both indoor and outdoor track. The senior joined Betsy Saina of Iowa State, Abbey D'Agostino of Dartmouth, Jordan Hasay of Oregon and Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton of Wichita State.
Last weekend in Austin at the NCAA Preliminaries, Mergaert ran the fastest time in the trials, winning her heat in 4:19.08. She advanced to the quarterfinals and finished nine-hundredths of a second off her best time of the season placing fourth in her heat and seventh overall with a time of 4:15.19. This was her first time running in the outdoor track finals after bowing out in the semifinals the last two seasons.