After receiving more votes than any of the other semifinalists in the contest, Case Western Reserve University junior Sam Merriman advanced to the final round of the NCAA Elite 90 Fan Favorite Contest. Finals voting will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 19th, and continue through 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 20th.
Fans can vote for Merriman at athletics.case.edu/voteforsam or at on.ncaa.com/Elite90.
Of the over 9,000 votes cast in the semifinals, Merriman received 1,161, 76 more than the next closest competitor, Maryann Gong of MIT. The top-10 vote-getters from the semifinals advance to the finals, with vote totals resetting.
Merriman won the NCAA's Elite 90 Award during the cross country season, after entering the NCAA Division III Championships with the highest grade point average among competitors at the event. The junior and Engineering Physics major entered the meet a perfect 4.0 grade point average, and went on to place 21st and earn All-America honors. Merriman, who was also named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team later in the year, claimed All-UAA First Team and All-Region honors during the 2016 cross country campaign as well, and was the top Division III finisher at the All-Ohio Championships.
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.