BISMARCK, N.D. - The great ones have that often indefinable "it," a little extra that sets them apart from their competitors.
Melissa Agnew had "it," which is why she's the first University of Mary athlete to be inducted into the NCAA Division II Track & Field Hall of Fame.
In 2012 and 2013, Melissa was as successful as any college runner in the United States. Melissa was also very good in cross country but her work on the track is what set her apart.
Dennis Newell, University of Mary head coach, said: "When she stepped out on the track to compete and she was a different person. There are many that can say they are that way but obviously by this Hall of Fame nomination and being an inductee she proved that when she stepped out on the track at any level that she was somebody to be reckoned with. She's a 12 or 13 time All-American, a three-time National Champion and she really put our middle-distance on the map that group with her and Dakota Wolf and Jen Agnew plus a few others that's really what sparked that culture."
Jennifer is Melissa's twin sister and she had an outstanding college career in her own right.
Newell says Mel won a number of those national events when she was not 100-percent.
Newell said: "I don't think a lot of people realize when she won that D-M-R (distance medley relay) and indoor mile she did it on two stress fractures in her leg. We actually only biked that week and then the next 10 weeks preparing for the outdoor 1,500 we never ran more than 15,16,17 miles a week so what she was doing in pretty amazing when you look at that 12 weeks from indoor nationals to outdoor nationals and then for her to go to altitude and win the 15 and get third in the 800 at the national level coming off two stress fractures I still to this day shake my head and I'm like how did she do that."
As a junior and senior, Melissa won seven of her eight conference titles and seven of her nine career All-American honors in track and field.
Melissa was also an academic All-American eight times plus she was a standout in cross country for the Marauders.