Meghan Gilmore Named PBA's First NCAA All-American

Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications

Meghan Gilmore (Pictured) Poses with Her NCAA Division II Plaque and Medal for Her All-American Performance at the Division II Championship in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo Courtesy of: Sandra Gilmore. Meghan Gilmore (Pictured) Poses with Her NCAA Division II Plaque and Medal for Her All-American Performance at the Division II Championship in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo Courtesy of: Sandra Gilmore.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- This time last December, Meghan Gilmore was finishing up her third semester as a Georgia Bulldog where she was a member of the UGA women’s soccer team. Fast forward one year and Gilmore has transitioned into the first NCAA Division II All-American in Palm Beach Atlantic University history as she claimed 10th place overall at the NCAA Division II Women’s Cross Country National Championship this past weekend.

Battling wind and snow as part of the women’s 6,000 meter course on the campus of Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky this past Saturday, Gilmore and the rest of the field showed why they are the best of the best as 187 total runners competed in the annual top-race for Division II.

Finishing with a time of 21:35.8, Gilmore finished as the top runner in the South Region after finishing third at the South Regional race two weeks ago. Her next closest competitor came from South Region champion and University of Tampa junior Heather Nicolosi who finished 34th with a time of 22:14.0.

Needing a top-40 finish to claim All-American status, Gilmore was awarded a medal as well as a plaque from the NCAA for being in the top-15 of women’s field.

Gilmore was part of a resurgent PBA women’s cross country program, first under the direction of coach Sonja Friend-Uhl then following the leadership of coach Christy Rife who took over the program after the Friend-Uhl family moved to Nashville, Tennessee.

Perhaps doing her best work in the least ideal conditions with the cold temperatures and not the norm for Gilmore in her native North Carolina or training in South Florida, she proved why she has what it takes to be a champion.

Gilmore claimed victory earlier in the season at the NCCAA National Championships in Cedarville, Ohio as well as an individual title at the Florida Tech Invitational. Competing against all divisions of runners throughout the regular season including many NCAA Division I competitors, Gilmore held her own as she finished in the top-five of all her races entering the NCAA National Championship.

Returning next season could be a host of talented and young runners as Gilmore will most likely anchor an even better Sailfish women’s cross country team for 2011.

Click Here to View the Full List of NCAA Division II All-Americans


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