Dec. 8, 2004
A second-year distance runner on the UI women’s track and cross country teams from Freeport, Illinois, Ashley Merry has been added to the McLeodUSA StarHawks team.
“I’m very proud of Ashley,” said UI Head Cross Country Coach Layne Anderson.” She has had to redshirt due to injury twice. She sustained an injury in a summer soccer league this summer and came in unprepared this fall. It would have been easy for her to just give up and walk away from the team but she didn’t.”
“I think Ashley has real potential to exceed all of our expectations. I’m really looking forward to watching her progress over the next couple of years.”
UI Women’s Cross Country Coach Layne Anderson
Merry competed in cross country in 2003, placing 92nd at the NCAA Midwest Regional in her collegiate debut. She also competed in both indoor and outdoor track last year, running her indoor collegiate-best mile at the Iowa State Classic, and outdoor collegiate-best 1,500 meters at the Long Beach State Invitational.
“Ashley is patient and persistent,” Anderson said. “She has remained optimistic and that has enabled her to lay the groundwork for our indoor season.
“Her work ethic and mind-set are outstanding. Ashley is always in a good mood, always positive. She wants to see where her talents will take her–what her limitations are–so she’s in this for the long term.
“I think Ashley has real potential to exceed all of our expectations,” Anderson continued. “I’m really looking forward to watching her progress over the next couple of years.”
Merry is a pre-medicine major. She represents her team on the Iowa Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, a group of student-athletes from each of the UI’s varsity sports programs who help to shape departmental policies and procedures and to initiate department-wide outreach programs.
“Ashley is a superb young woman,” said Anderson. “She is very supportive of her teammates, which is just one of the many ways her leadership qualities shine through.”
The StarHawks program is an initiative funded in part by McLeodUSA, a leading telecommunications company with corporate headquarters in Cedar Rapids and a long-time member of the UI’s Partners in Excellence corporate sponsorship program. The StarHawks team is a collection of student-athletes at the University of Iowa who truly represent the very best the intercollegiate athletics program at the UI has to offer. StarHawks typically excel athletically and academically, and also are active in community or leadership activities.