Meryl grew up in Huntington Beach in Orange County California. After playing basketball and track and field at Mater Dei High School, she then competed in track and field her freshman year at Syracuse University. Due to a chance meeting on the bus, Meryl decided to walk on to the women’s rowing team her sophomore year. She was immediately drawn to the feeling of the boat gliding on the water and fell in love with the sport, earning a scholarship her second year rowing. Meryl rowed in the Varsity 4+ and Second Varsity 8+ throughout her four years of rowing at Syracuse, recording two third place finishes and one second place finish at the Big East Championships. She stroked the Varsity 4+ in 2013 to wins against Penn, Boston University and Dartmouth among others. In 2012 and 2013, Syracuse University ranked in the top 20 teams in the end of season coaches’ poll.
During the summers, Meryl rowed at Long Beach Rowing Association and SoCal Scullers Club. After she graduated with a BFA in Sculpture from Syracuse University, she attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she rowed and coached the Nebraska Crew club team. She worked to maintain a steady training plan, up participation and introduce sculling and more technical training to the club. She also coached the junior learn to row program at SoCal Scullers the summer of 2015. She graduated with her MFA in Studio Art-Printmaking May 2016.