From Case Western Reserve University Athletics
Case Western Reserve University junior Sam Merriman (Middlesex, Vt. / U-32)was named the recipient of the Elite 90 award for the 2016 NCAA Division III Men's Cross Country Championship.
Merriman, majoring in Engineering Physics, currently carries a perfect 4.0 grade point average. He was presented with the award during the NCAA Cross Country Championship Banquet on Friday evening in Louisville, Kentucky.
Merriman will be competing in the NCAA Championships on Saturday, qualifying for the event as an individual after finishing seventh at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championship in Holland, Michigan last weekend and earning All-Region honors for the second-straight year. Earlier in the season, he finished third at the University Athletic Association Championships to claim an All-Conference First Team honor, and won the All-Ohio Division III Championship.
Merriman becomes just the second Spartan all-time to win an Elite 90 Award, joining former Spartan Derek Reinbold, who claimed the honor at the 2014 NCAA Division III Men's Tennis Championships. He is the first Men's Cross Country runner in the history of the University Athletic Association to win the award, and one of just 15 award winners in the history of the conference.
The Elite 90, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 90 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's championships.
Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school. They must be an active member of the team, traveling and a designated member of the squad size at the championship. All ties are broken by the number of credits completed.
For more information on the Elite 90 award winners, log on to NCAA.com/elite-90.