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Mizzou's Schweizer made SEC history in 2016

46 days ago
SEC Staff
Photo: SEC Staff

Former University of Missouri standout Karissa Schweizer etched her name in the annals of SEC history in 2016.

As a junior on the Tigers' cross country team, Schweizer became the first SEC student-athlete to win the NCAA women's cross country championship.

At the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., Schweizer ran near the front of the pack for most of the race. As she neared the finish line, Schweizer passed Michigan's Erin Finn to capture the title and cross the finish line in a personal best 19:41.6. The Urbandale, Iowa, native also became the first Mizzou runner to win the women's NCAA crown.

Said Missouri coach Marc Burns following the race: "Karissa ran a masterful race and stayed tucked away early in the race. We knew she could contend, but wow, it is so exciting for everyone involved to have her win the national title."

Earlier that season, Schweizer won the SEC title, becoming Missouri's first individual conference champion since 1997. She also claimed the NCAA Midwest Regional crown and was named both the SEC Women's Runner of the Year and the Midwest Regional Women's Runner of the Year honors.

Schweizer's win at the NCAA Championships capped a remarkable season. In six meets, she finished first in five races, winning at the Commodore Classic, Chile Pepper Festival, SEC Championships, NCAA Midwest Regional and NCAA Championships. She was also named the Honda Sport Award winner for cross country as announced by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA).

Schweizer finished her cross country career with six All-America honors. In her final season in 2017, she was named the USTFCCCA Midwest Regional Women's Runner of the Year and the SEC Women's Runner of the Year, both for the second straight season. Schweizer captured her second consecutive SEC title, finishing a full 30 seconds ahead of the rest of the field at 19:36.3 to become the sixth runner in Missouri history to repeat as cross country conference champion.

She also had a standout career in both indoor track and field and outdoor track and field. Schweizer won two conference titles at the 2018 SEC Indoor Championships, setting the meet record in the 3000m run (9:00.56) and anchoring the distance medley relay with a split of 4:25.56. She became the fifth 3K/5K double champion in NCAA history with national championship performances in the 3000m run and 5000m run at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

Schweizer won her eighth career conference title in the 5000m run at the 2018 SEC Outdoor Championships, while also finishing as the runner-up in the 1500 run. She went on to claim her sixth NCAA title in the 5000m run at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, becoming the sixth woman in NCAA history to win back-to-back outdoor 5000m run titles. She finished her career with six national titles, the most of any student-athlete in Missouri history and 10 All-America honors.