COLUMBIA, Mo. - After numerous athletic accomplishments, Mizzou Cross Country junior Karissa Schweizer (Urbandale, Iowa) was recognized for her hard work in the classroom on Thursday, as the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) named her the 2016 Cross Country Scholar Athlete of the Year. In the 11-year history of the award, Schweizer is the first student-athlete from the Southeastern Conference to earn the top-academic distinction.
Schweizer, who has a 3.3 GPA in Health Sciences, captured the first NCAA National Championship in Mizzou women's cross country history in November. In total, four Tigers were named All-Academic Individuals as senior Teylar Adelsberger (O'Fallon, Mo.), junior Jamie Kempfer (Festus, Mo.) and senior Nicole Mello (Columbia, Mo.) joined Schweizer.
To qualify for the All-Academic honor, a student-athlete must have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and finish in the top-25 at the regional meet or as an All-American at the national meet.
The list of awards Schweizer has garnered in 2016-17 continues to grow, as the Tiger junior has been named the SEC Women's Runner of the Year, the USTFCCCA Midwest Regional Women's Athlete of the Year and the USTFCCCA Women's National Athlete of the Year. In addition to the awards directly related to her athletic success, Schweizer was named the Honda Sport Award winner for cross country and the WIN for Columbia Collegiate Sportswomen of the Year.
Schweizer's 2016 banner year in cross country includes an SEC Championship, NCAA Midwest Regional Championship and NCAA Cross Country National Championship. The Tiger junior has started the track season right where she left off, as she currently holds the fastest indoor 5,000m time in the nation (15:37.40) and the fourth-fastest indoor mile time (4:35.61).