Many sports fans think of summer as a “dead time” in sports. In professional sports, summertime is dominated by baseball’s prolonged season. This especially holds true for collegiate sports, as no teams play in the summer. Each Cal Poly sports team spends its summer welcoming new recruits, planning a roster for the upcoming season, and learning new plays, among other things.
But this summer, two Cal Poly athletes were the exception to this unwritten rule. Sharon Day-Monroe, a Cal Poly 2008 alumna, and Nick Meyer, Cal Poly baseball’s starting catcher, both competed on one of the highest stages in their respective sports. Day-Monroe represented Team USA in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships while Meyer participated in USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team.
Day-Monroe dashes onto the word stage
Day-Monroe, who competes in the heptathlon, finished in third place with 6,421 points at the USA Track and Field Championships in Sacramento on June 24-25. Day-Monroe joined Kendell Williams and Erica Bougard as Team USA brings its top three qualifiers. Heading into the IAAF World Championship in London on Aug. 5 and 6, Day-Monroe ranked 10th in the world based on the qualifying cutoff time of 6,200 points.
In London, Day-Monroe ran a season-best 800-meter time in Day 2 in London to finish the IAAF World Championship heptathlon in 20th place overall with 6,006 points. In the long jump, Day-Monroe posted a mark of 18 feet, 5 inches, good enough for a 27th place finish. In the javelin, Day-Monroe finished in 21st place, throwing for a park of 133 feet, 8 inches on her third attempt. Day-Monroe finished in sixth place in the 800-meter race with a time of 2:12.64.
Here is a video of Day-Monroe after her first day in London:
This was Day-Monroe’s fifth career IAAF World Championship appearance following two Olympiads.
Meyer makes his mark on Team USA
Meyer got his first taste of international play after joining America’s best college baseball players and played for Team USA in late June. Meyer made himself known to Team USA head coach (and UCLA head coach) John Savage and the rest of his teammates when Meyer hit a two-run single in his first at bat.
Meyer’s single knocked in the second and third runs in a four-run second inning in Team USA’s first game, a 10-0 route over the Catawaba Valley Stars. In Team USA’s 22-1 victory against Catawaba Valley, Meyer grounded out in his only at bat and caught the final three innings.
Here is a video of Nick Meyer taking batting practice with other members of Team USA:
The next time Meyer got on base, he drew a walk against the Peninsula Pilots and scored in the sixth inning. He also caught four innings and grounded out in that game. When Team USA joined international play against the Chinese Tapei, Meyer caught the first seven innings, flew out to right field, and was hit by a pitch in a 6-3 win.
In Team USA’s series against Cuba, Meyer doubled with one out in the sixth inning and was left stranded in a 7-2 Cuba victory. Meyer did not play in Team USA’s final series against Japan. Team USA finished its summer season with a 15-5 record.
Meyer’s time behind the dish and production at the plate were both limited due to a lower back injury that plagued him throughout the summer, finishing his stint abroad batting 3-15 over 14 games. Despite the injury, he threw out three out of five runners trying to steal and did not commit an error for Team USA.
Meyer was the third Mustang in the last five years to accept an invitation to join the Collegiate National Team, joining infielder Mark Mathias and pitcher Matt Imhof. Meyer was not the only Cal Poly member to don red, white and blue; Cal Poly baseball head coach Larry Lee is coaching first base for Team USA.
“It was a great experience for him, got him in front of a lot of high-level scouts,” Lee said of Meyer. “Unfortunately, a day or two after he got there he hurt his lower back and it bothered him throughout the summer. Defensively he’s as good as any catcher in the country. He will take these experiences and grow from them.”
Though multiple Mustangs have played for Team USA, it was Lee’s first time coaching the team.
“I’ve been asked a couple different times to coach the team, but this was the right situation,” Lee said. “I had relationships with all of the coaches and was happy to accept. It was neat playing against the different countries and to see the different talent from other parts of the world.”