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Sally Meyerhoff: 5 Facts About the Running Champion Killed Tuesday

Mar 9, 2011 – 1:04 PM
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Mary Phillips-Sandy Contributor

Sally Meyerhoff, a 27-year-old marathon champion who was preparing for the 2012 Olympic trials, was killed Tuesday when a pickup truck hit her bike, the Arizona Republic reports.

Meyerhoff was struck during a training ride in Maricopa, Ariz. around 1:30 p.m., apparently after failing to yield at an intersection. According to the Arizona Republic, police have said the truck's driver was not impaired.

We have five facts about this remarkable athlete whose career was cut short.

1. She was a star runner in high school
A graduate of Mountain Pointe High in Ahwatukee, a section of Phoenix, Meyerhoff racked up seven track and field championships during her high school years, says

2. She was an All-American in college adds that while attending Duke University, Meyerhoff became the 2004 Atlantic Coast Conference cross-country champion and was named a 2004 NCAA All-American in cross-country. She was also a 2006 All-American in track.

3. She qualified for the Olympic trials after her very first marathon
In 2008 Meyerhoff ran the P.F. Chang's Rock'n'Roll Arizona Marathon, finishing in 2:42:45, a time that qualified her for the U.S Olympic trials. On the eve of that race Meyerhoff, who had never run a marathon before, told sports blogger Joe English: "I guess I learned after running in college for so long and making the mistake of psyching myself out because of other people and other people's level of talent– I learned that you just can't do that. I know there are a lot of people thinking 'why is she up there when she's never run a marathon before,' but I've run a lot of endurance events."

4. She kept competing -- and winning
Meyerhoff qualified for her second Olympic trials in 2010 after running the New York City Marathon, says MileSplit Arizona. She also won the 2011 P.F. Chang's Rock'n'Roll Arizona Marathon in January with a time of 2:37:55, one month after winning the XTERRA Trail Run World Championships, her first time competing in that event.

5. She was starting to attract sponsors
On Sunday Meyerhoff posted exciting news on her blog: She'd signed a sponsorship deal with Jack Black's "performance remedy" sports skin care line, becoming the first woman to represent the men's grooming company. But she had still been working real-world jobs to finance her travels and training; in the same post, Meyerhoff, who had coached at Mountain Pointe High, wrote about her plans to continue substitute teaching and looking for coaching work.

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