Tulane's Van Meter Earns January Athlete Honor park
Merritt Van Meter, a star pole vaulter for Tulane University, has been selected as the Greater New Orleans Amateur Athlete of the Month for January. The monthly award-winners are chosen in voting by the Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Van Meter competed in two January meets, setting a Tulane record with a vault of 14 feet at the New Mexico Cherry and Silver Invitational on January 25th (breaking her own previous mark of 13'10.5" from last season). The 14 feet is also the high mark for Conference USA this season and at the time of the vault, tied her for fourth-best nationwide (currently 13th). She was named the Conference USA Track and Field Co-Athlete of the Week after her effort at the Cherry and Silver meet. The redshirt junior now owns the top four vaults all-time at Tulane. In 2013, she was recognized as a USATFCCCA track and field honorable mention All-American. She was named first team All-Louisiana, after placing 19th nationally in the outdoor competition. She tied for first place at the NCAA East Regionals with a leap of 13'5.75" at last year's outdoor competition.
Van Meter was selected over three other outstanding student-athletes: Cory Dixon, a senior forward for the UNO men's basketball team, who averaged 14 points and nine rebounds in nine Southland Conference games; Loyola women's basketball senior captain Jasmine Brewer, who paced her squad in scoring (15.6) and rebounding (8.6) while starting all eight games played in January; and Malik Crowfield, Riverside Academy's star boys' basketball player, who averaged 18.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in a perfect 11-0 month for the Rebels.
The Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee has been selecting an Amateur Athlete of the Month each month since 1958. The athlete must be a native of the greater New Orleans area or must compete for a team in the metropolitan region in order to be eligible. Each of the monthly award winners will be honored in the summer at the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony, hosted by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.