Utah's Amanda Mergaert finishes 45th at NCAA Championships.
Nov. 22, 2010
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - University of Utah sophomore Amanda Mergaert finished 45th out of 255 runners at the NCAA Cross Country Championships with a six-kilometer time of 20:56.
"This was by far her best race of the year," Utah head coach Kyle Kepler said. "Amanda handled the pressure being here for the first time and ran a near- perfect race."
In the first mile of the race, Mergaert was among the top 90 runners, but finished strong the final 1,000-meters by passing nine athletes to finish 45th place. Her finish was five places shy of earning NCAA All-American honors. She was the ninth athlete from the Mountain Region to cross the finish line.
Mergaert became the first Utah athlete to qualify for the NCAA Championships since Alyssa Abbott in 2008. This weekend, the coaches had Abbott stay with Mergaert to explain the pace and challenges of the course.
"Amanda was not happy just to be here," said Kepler. "She saw this as an opportunity to race against the best cross country runners in the country and perform well on the biggest stage. That is the attitude you must possess if you're going to do well here. We are all proud of her efforts today and all season."