Case Western Reserve University senior Sam Merriman finished 11th at the 2017 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships, hosted by Principia College in Elsah, Illinois on Saturday to earn All-America honors for the second-straight season.
Competing in the final race of his collegiate cross country career, Merriman crossed the finish line of the 8,000-meter race with a time 24:37.00, the best time of his career at the distance. With the 11th-place finish, a 10-spot improvement over his finish at last year's NCAA Championships, he became just the fourth repeat cross country All-American in program history, along with Steve Cullen, Peter Kummant and Greg Bowser.
Merriman's time was the best ever 8,000-meter time by a CWRU runner at the NCAA Division III Championships, as was second all-time at an NCAA Championship to Kummant, who notched a mark of 24:28 in 1975, when the race distance was five miles. In addition, Merriman's finish ranks only behind Bowser (sixth in 1974), Kummant (3rd in 1975, 7th in 1976) and Aaron Johnston-Peck (7th in 2004) in program history at the meet. Kummant also finished 11th in 1977.
Wisconsin-Eau Claire's Darin Lau won the individual championship on Saturday with a time of 24:03.59, while North Central won the team title.
The race concludes the 2017 cross country season for Case Western Reserve.