DURHAM, N.H. – Former University of New Hampshire women’s cross country and indoor and outdoor track standouts Erica Jesseman and Megan Hovis (Hepp) recently qualified for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, held on January 14 in Houston, Texas.
“The continued success of these women, post-collegiately, is an exciting testament to the program itself,” said women’s head cross country coach Robert Hoppler. “We’re all thrilled for their success and look forward to the race in January.”
Jesseman, a native of Scarborough, Maine who graduated from UNH in the spring of 2011, qualified for the trials after she won the ING Hartford Marathon on Saturday, Oct. 15 with a time of 2:45:00 in her debut marathon race.
Jesseman enjoyed an impressive career at New Hampshire as a member of the cross country and track teams, highlighted by an individual title in the 5K at the 2011 Indoor ECAC Championships as well as New England Championship titles in both the 10K and 5K events. Additionally, Jesseman left her mark in the program’s track record books as she holds school records in the indoor 5K, outdoor 5K and outdoor 10K.
Hovis, who hails from Charlotte, N.C. and graduated from UNH in 2005, qualified for the trials at the Gold Coast Marathon in Australia over the summer, finishing in a time of 2:45:42. This will be the second marathon trial race for Hovis after she previously finished 12th at the 2008 Olympic Trials with a time of 2:37:29.
Hovis was a two-time all-regional cross country runner at New Hampshire, earning the recognition in 2003 and 2004, and also picked up all-region honors on the track in the 3,000m steeplechase. A four-time America East champion, Hovis captured outdoor titles in the 10K and 3,000m steeplechase and indoor titles in the 5K and 3K events.
The qualification of both Jesseman and Hovis in this year’s trials marks the continued success for the UNH women’s cross country program as a Hoppler-coached athlete has now run in every U.S. Olympic Marathon Trial since 1996.
The U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials will take place on January 14, 2012 in Houston, Texas, hosted by the Houston Marathon Committee, and will feature over 150 of the top marathon runners on the country. The top three finishers in Houston will be awarded a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team.