Amanda Mergaet heads to the NCAA Championships to compete in the mile.
March 5, 2013
SALT LAKE CITY- Utah senior Amanda Mergaert gets ready for her final collegiate indoor meet at the NCAA Championships on Friday. Mergaert will represent the Utes in the mile beginning at 5 p.m. CT on Randal Tyson Track in Fayetteville, Ark.
“This is Amanda’s first appearance at the indoor NCAA Championships meet,” said Utah head coach Kyle Kepler. “For all the things she has accomplished, this was the one thing she hadn’t yet. She is tremendously excited and feels like she will be in the mix. She needs to just survive the qualifying round. The semifinals tend to toughest thing at these meets.”
Making her seventh appearance at an NCAA Championships meet, but her first at the Indoor Championships, Mergaert earned an automatic NCAA qualifying bid with her performance at the Husky Invitational on Feb. 8. Mergaert clocked a school-record 4:35.35, which is the 12th fastest time in the country. In the 800m, Mergaert posted a season-best time of 2:06.34, recording the second-fastest time in program history and the26th-best performance in the nation this season. Mergaert has previously qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships three times to go with three NCAA Cross Country competitions.
“The facility we are running at has hosted a number of NCAA Championship meets,” Kepler said. “It is a fast facility and holds 5,000 spectators, so it should be an exciting atmosphere. Amanda has been in these situations before and I don’t expect it to affect her. I think she will enjoy it and know that it will provide her an opportunity to run really fast.”
At the NCAA Championships, Mergaert will compete in semifinal round of the mile on Friday. Qualifiers for the finals will race again on Saturday at 6 p.m. CT.