Two-time NCAA All-American and two-time US Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier Sally Meyerhoff was killed in a cycling accident while training on Tuesday in her native state of Arizona.
According to City of Maricopa spokeswoman LaTricia Woods,the athlete was heading southbound on White and Parker Road, and failed to yield at a two-way stop sign, and collided with a pickup truck heading eastbound on Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. Tragically Sally was reportedly killed instantly.
Meyerhoff will be missed by many in the running community. A two-time state champion in high school, Meyerhoff competed collegiately for Duke where she was a two-time All-American. A teammate of Olympian Shannon Rowbury, Meyerhoff was the ACC cross-country champion as well as All-American in 2004. In 2005, she ran on Duke's third-place NCAA cross-country team. She also earned All-American honors on the track in the 10,000 in 2006.
As a professional, Meyerhoff was a US champion at the 25km distance in 2009. 2009 was her best year as a pro as, in addition to her 25km US title, she also set her 10,000-meter personal best (33:03.19) and she also twice ran 2:35 in the marathon that year, including her 2:35:49 personal best at Twin Cities. In 2010, Meyerhoff was extremely disappointed with her 2:41:00 27th-place showing at the 2011 ING New York City Marathon. After that performance, Meyerhoff questioned whether she even wanted to continue to run, as she realized she wasn't enjoying herself. However, she rediscovered a new love for the sport when she won the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship in Hawaii in December. After that experience, a re-invigorated Meyerhoff took home the title in her hometown marathon - the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon when she ran 2:37:55 on January 16th.
Thirteen days after her dream came true win in Arizona, Meyerhoff ran the US Half Marathon Championships in Houston so she could preview the Olympic Trials course for 2012. Then she switched modes and began triathlon training, as she wanted to try to excel at the Ironman World Championships in October and then run the US Olympic Marathon Trials in January. A swimmer before she was a runner in high school, Meyerhoff had recently pondered if perhaps she might ultimately be one of the world's very best in the triathlon.
(Picture Courtesy Running Times)
photos Janos Schmidt
photos Janos Schmidt