West Virginia 2013 Cross Country Preview: Abraham Merinar

Abraham Merinar - Photo by Lance McDaniel

This is the fifth in a series of previews on West Virginia High School boys’ and girls’ cross country for the 2013 season.


Athlete: Abraham “Abe” Merinar

Year: Senior

School: Bridgeport Senior High School (Class of 2014)

Location: Bridgeport, WV

Class: AA Boys

Pre-Season Rank: West Virginia #8 / Class AA/A #3

Coach: Jon Griffith


Personal Bests:

400 Meter Dash - 55.24

800 Meter Run - 2:01.74

1,600 Meter Run - 4:23.36

3,200 Meter Run - 9:29.18

5,000 Meter Run - 16:30.70


Athletic Honors:

2013 WV Track & Field All-State First Team – 800M (2:02) 5th place; 1600M (4:23) State Champion; 3200M (9:53) 5th place

2012 WV Cross Country All-State First Team – 5000M (16:30) 9th place


Abraham Merinar, a senior at Bridgeport Senior High School, is the pre-season WV#8 ranked cross country runner for all classes and is currently ranked #3 for AA/A boys. He was All-State First Team in both cross country and track in 2012-13.

Cross Country: In October, Abe ran a PR of 16:30.70 at the West Virginia State XC Championships to finish ninth. In November, Abe ran an 18:36.00 at the Battle of the Potomac, placing 53rd.

Indoor Track: In January, Abe ran a new season best time of 2:04.55 in the 800 at the Kent State HS Open #1 to place ninth. In February, Abe ran a new season best time of 9:48.55 in the 3,200 at the Akron Rubber City Meet OPEN HS for fourth.

Outdoor Track: In April, Abe ran a PR of 2:01.74 to win the 800 at the Harry Green State-Wide Invitational and ran a PR of 9:29.18 for second in the 3,200 at Charleston Gazette/Friends of Coal Relays. In May, Abe ran a 2:02.66 in the 800, a PR of 4:23.36 for first in the 1,600 and a 9:53.87 in the 3,200 Meter Run  for fifth at the West Virginia State Track & Field Championships.



As a youngster, Abe Merinar participated in track, cross country, wrestling, basketball, soccer and baseball. He started running in sixth grade at Bridgeport Middle School in Bridgeport, WV. The one race that Merinar is most proud of was at this year’s West Virginia State Track & Field Championship, when he won the AA boys 1600 in a new personal record time. His goals for the remainder of his high school career are to win five more individual state championships and for his team to win the cross country team championship. After the regular XC season is over, Abe will probably run Foot Locker but might do Nike Cross instead, depending a lot on how he does at the WV state meet and the Great American Cross Country Festival at Cary, NC. Merinar plans to run in college but is still undecided. When asked who the most influential person was in his running career, Merinar replied, “Scott Jurek.”


Merinar’s 2013 Cross Country Schedule:

Aug 24th - Autumn Classic - St. Marys HS - 9:00 am 

Aug 31st - Geico Classic - Cabell Midland - 12:30pm

Sept 7th - Ben Queen Photography / Indian Run Invitational - Bridgeport - 9:00am

Sept 14th - Colt Stampede Invitational - Philip Barbour HS - 9:00am  

Sept 21st - Bearcat Invitational - West Taylor Elem. - 9:00am

Oct 5th - Ritchie County Invitational - North Bend Park - 11:00am

Oct 8th - Harrison County Championships - Robert C. Byrd HS - 4:00pm

Oct 19th - BIG 10 Championships - Preston HS - 10:00am

Oct 24th - Region II – AA Championship - West Taylor Elem. - 2:00pm

Nov 2nd - WV State Meet - Cabell Midland - 1:00pm  


A Final Thought:

Abe Merinar would like to become the first runner from Bridgeport Senior High School to win an individual boys cross country state championship. Much of Merinar’s success is going to depend upon his consistency. He has proven that he has the athletic ability to win a title, but he must develop a winning attitude. When he toes the line against the competition, he should expect to win. You have to believe in yourself and your abilities. After watching him at this year’s West Virginia State Track & Field Championship, I see his maturity growing. For this senior, now is the time to show he came to compete week after week.

Merinar attended the Smoky Mountain Running Camp in Asheville, NC, over the summer. The camp may be responsible for the progress he makes as an athlete. I look for Abe to have excellent cross country and track seasons.

Can Abe Merinar climb to the top in the 2013 West Virginia AA/A Boys Individual Cross Country Rankings? Will the challenge to be better help him become the first runner from Bridgeport Senior High School to win an individual boys cross country state championship?