Sophomore distance runner Nick Merillana will transfer to Minot (N.D.) State University in fall 2019 to study and compete as a member of the school’s cross country team.
Merillana, a graduate of Everett Alvarez High School in Salinas, plans to major in psychology.
He placed fifth at the 2018 Coast Conference Cross Country Championships with a four-mile time of 22.43.4 and was 12th at the CCCAA State Championships in the 1,500 meters, with a time of 4:31.21. He was fourth in the 1,500m at the NorCal Championships, with a time of 4:06.23, and also competed in the 5,000m and 10,000m.
Merillana pointed to many sources of support when signing a letter of intent on May 30.
“In my family there had not been a lot of people who are able to attend college or that can say that they have competed at the next level,” he said, “but my parents continue to support me on all the journeys that I have. Not many people can say that their parents go to every track meet or every cross country race.”
Head Track and Cross Country Coach Chris Zepeda said he was gratified to see Merillana move on to the next level at Minot, which is in the process of transitioning to NCAA Division II.
“I think Nick often runs to challenge himself, and going to Minot will help him become a leader at their program,” he said. “It's not going to be easy, but I think he's up for the challenge.”