Senior Mark Merli (Peckville, Pa./Valley View) of The University of Scranton men's track & field team recently closed out an outstanding career both athletically and academically for the Royals. On Tuesday afternoon, he was recognized for his achievements in both arenas by being named to the Google Cloud Academic All-District® Men's Track & Field Team, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Merli was honored for the District 4 region which includes Division III program throughout Pennsylvania. First-team Academic All-District® honorees advance to the Google Cloud Academic All-America® ballot, with first- and second-team Academic All-America® honorees to be announced in June.
Merli becomes the first men's track & field competitor to earn to earn Academic All-District honors from CoSIDA in just the second year of the program's existence. He recently concluded a strong two-year career to help Scranton launch its track & field program.
This past spring, Merli finished fifth in the Landmark Conference Championships in the long jump with school and person record mark of 6.60 meters while taking eighth place in the triple jump with a leap of 12.19 meters. He helped the Royals tie for fifth place in the team competition.
On March 23, Merli won the long jump at the Golden Ram Invitational hosted by West Chester and finished second in the same event at the Monarch Open hosted by King's on April 27.
During the indoor season, Merli posted a pair of top-five results at the Landmark Conference Championships, taking fourth in the triple jump with a mark of 12.37 meters and was fifth in the long jump, checking in at 6.42 meters. His performance helped Scranton to a sixth place team finish.
Merli was the runner-up in the long jump at the DuCharme Invitation hosted by Dickinson on February 10 while also placing third in the 55 meter dash with a time of 6.99 meters
During his junior year, Merli finished fourth in the long jump at the Landmark Conference Outdoor Championships and placed fifth in three events at the Landmark Conference Indoor Championships: long jump, triple jump, and 4x200 meter relay. The Royals finished in sixth place in both championship meets.
Merli competed in six different events during his career at Scranton, posting personal bests of 6.99 seconds in the 55 meter dash, 7.64 seconds in the 60 meter dash, 11.61 seconds in the 100 meter dash, 25.33 seconds in the 200 meter dash, 6.60 in the long jump, and 12.83 in the triple jump.
He holds Scranton's indoor school record for the long jump and the program's outdoor records for both the long jump and the triple jump.
Merli excelled in the classroom as well, holding a 3.90 cumulative grade point average as an exercise science major. He was a four-time Landmark Conference Academic Honor Roll selection and was named to the Landmark Conference Winter All-Sportsmanship Team this past season.
Merli also earned Landmark Conference Field Athlete of the Week honors on February 4, 2019 and was named The University of Scranton Athlete of the Week the following week.
To view a complete list of the 2019 CoSIDA Academic All-District Teams for men's track and field, click here.