Mecke named Southland Outdoor Athlete of the Year
|Redshirt junior Dana Mecke became the third Roadrunner to be named Southland Athlete of the Year on Wednesday.
Mecke, a Smithson Valley High product, swept the middle distance races at the Southland Outdoor Championships last weekend to help lead the Roadrunners to a fourth-place finish. She cruised to a 4:30.57 clocking to take top honors in the 1,500 meters and came back less than an hour later to win the 800m in 2:08.36, a personal best that ranks her as the No. 4 performer on UTSA’s all-time list.
It marked the second middle distance sweep of the year for Mecke, as she won the 800m and mile at the Southland Indoor in February, becoming the first conference athlete to sweep those two events in back-to-back seasons. She now joins Therese Ahlepil of UT Arlington (1997) as the only Southland runner to win both middle distance races at the indoor and outdoor meets in the same year. Her outdoor sweep was the first in the league since UT Arlington’s Kajsa Haglund in 2003.
Mecke, a three-time Southland Conference Student-Athlete of the Year, also won the 800m at the Trinity Alumni Classic on April 10 with a then-personal best 2:09.42 clocking. The 2009 Southland Indoor Outstanding Track Performer raced to a PR 4:25.38 to finish as the top collegian in the 1,500m at the prestigious Mt. SAC Relays one week later. That time shattered the previous UTSA record of 4:27.61 set by Paula Wiese in 1987 and earned Mecke Southland Athlete of the Week accolades.
Mecke is the third different Roadrunner to earn the league’s top outdoor honor, joining two-time winners Ryanne Dupree (2005, ’07) and Tameka Roberts (1996, ’97). It also marks the second athlete of the year award for Mecke, as she was named 2008 Southland Cross Country Athlete of the Year after racing to gold.