From Case Western Reserve University Athletics
Case Western Reserve University junior Sam Merriman (Middlesex, Vt. / U-32) was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America Division III Track & Field/ Cross Country First Team, based on his athletic and academic achievements.
Merriman becomes the 97th student-athlete in CWRU history to be named a CoSIDA Academic All-American, and the 43rd to receive first team recognition. He became the fourth CWRU athlete this season to be named an Academic All-American, joining Brendan Lynch (football first team), Nick Kwon (football second team) and Andrew Henning (swimming and diving second team).
It is the eighth time that a CWRU men's cross country/ track and field team member has claimed the honor, with Merriman joining former Spartan Stephen Hrinda (2006 and 2007) as the program's only other first team selection.
Merriman emerged as one of the top cross country competitors in Division III during the fall of 2016, qualifying as an individual for the NCAA Division III Championships for the second-straight season, and earning the first All-America honor of his career with a 21st-place finish in a career-best time of 24:43.5 at the meet. He claimed all-region honors for the second-straight season with a seventh-place finish at the Great Lakes Regionals, and finished third at the 2016 University Athletic Association Championship to earn a spot on the all-conference first team, the first All-UAA honor of his career. Merriman also won the All-Ohio Championship, finishing first among Division III competitors and 12th among all runners at the meet.
During the indoor track season, Merriman added an All-Region honor in the 3,000-meter run and claimed an All-UAA honor with a third-place finish in the 5,000-meter run. He went on to earn an All-Region honor in the 5,000-meter run during the outdoor season, breaking the school-record in the event with a time of 14:29.93, and winning the 5,000-meter title at the 2017 UAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Academically, Merriman entered the spring semester with a perfect 4.00 cumulative grade point average as an Engineering Physics major. He received the Elite 90 Award at the 2016 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships for having the highest grade point average among competitors at the event, becoming the first men's cross country runner in UAA history to claim the honor, and just the second Spartan (any sport) ever. He is also a six-time UAA All-Academic honoree, and is slated to be named to the Presidents Council Scholar-Athlete Team later this year. In addition, Merriman was named CWRU's Bill Sudeck Outstanding Student-Athlete Award recipient for the 2016-17 academic year.
This was the first CoSIDA Academic All-America honor of Merriman's career. The junior became eligible for selection for the award after being named to the Academic All-District Team earlier in the year, based on a vote of CoSIDA members. To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.