Mountain Pointe graduate Sally Meyerhoff, who won the PF Chang Rock ‘n' Roll Marathon in January, was killed Tuesday while preparing for her next event.
"(Sally's) family would like to make it known she will be tremendously missed," her coach Adam Zucco coach said by email. "They love her very much and she was the best sister and daughter anyone could ask for."
A press release by Maricopa Public Information Officer LaTricia Woods said a preliminary investigation indicates that Meyerhoff was southbound on White and Parker Road, and failed to yield at the intersection on her bike.
She collided with the pick-up truck, headed eastbound on Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway at 1:30 p.m. and was killed instantly.
There were no indications of impairment of the driver of the pick-up truck.
Meyerhoff, 27, was a two-time state champion in cross country for the Pride after transferring from Marcos de Niza. She went on to have an All-American career at Duke.
Mountain Pointe athletic director Ian Moses was emotional but reflective.
“I have not met anyone as tough physically and emotionally as her,” Mountain Pointe athletic director Ian Moses said. “Having a chance to watch her grow as a student and athlete was a pleasure.
"The thing I will remember about Sally is how she wanted nothing but the best for herself and everyone else she came in contact with.”
Moses pointed out the irony of the fact that Mountain Pointe is competing against Marcos de Niza in track on Wednesday. He said the school will do something to honor Meyerhoff.
Zucco said Meyerhoff, who at one time was the Pride's cross country coach, was great to work with because of her attitude.
"Whenever I think of Sally I think of the love of life she had," said Zucco, who recently started working with her again. "She was super happy and a hard worker."
Around 10:25 p.m. Meyerhoff's Facebook page started being littered with farewell messages from family, friends and fans.
Meyerhoff was training for this weekend's Mountain to Fountain 15K as one of the event’s “elite athletes” in Fountain Hills.
Meyerhoff was considered one of America's top 10 marathon runners and had qualified for the team trials for the 2012 Olympics.
In recent months she rejuvenated her career after a disappointing performance in the New York City Marathon.
On Dec. 5 Meyerhoff, on a whim competed in the Xterra Trail Run World Championships in Oahu. It's a half-marathon run in the tropical jungle of Hawaii. She came away the winner - despite slipping and sliding down the mountainside at one point - with a time of 1 hour and 28.58 minutes.
It stoked the competitive fire and had her mind clear when she entered the P.F. Chang's Rock ‘n' Roll Arizona Marathon. Some 10 days out she wasn't sure that she really wanted to take on another marathon so soon after the other events.
Meyerhoff came away the winner again with a time of 2:37.55. It wasn't her best marathon time, but showed Meyerhoff that all was right again.
"It was incredible," said Meyerhoff a few days after the PF Chang win. "I got to the 26-mile mark and that's a spot where there isn't a lot of fans and it felt like it was forever (to the finish line). Then I turned on to Packard Drive with all of the people cheering. I was sprinting by then, and thinking, I am actually going to win this thing. It was a dream come true."
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