Missouri’s Karissa Schweizer didn’t leave any doubt in her quest for a third national title in the women’s 5,000 meters at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships.
By Dave Matter, Courtesy St. Louis Post Dispatch, click here! Feature photo: Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou ©Darren Miller/hawkeyesports.com)
Schweizer, already the NCAA cross and country individual champion last fall and the 5,000 winner at the indoor track championships, Schweizer captured No. 3 Saturday night in Eugene, Ore., finishing first in the 5,000 in 15 minutes, 38.93 seconds. Alsu Bogdanova from Eastern Michigan finished second, more than five seconds behind Schweizer’s pace.
Schweizer became the fourth runner to win the triple crown of distance races in one collegiate season, the cross country championship and the indoor and outdoor 5,000, following Villanova’s Jennifer Rhines (1994-95), Arizona’s Amy Skieresz (1996-97) and Texas Tech’s Sally Kipyego (2007-08).
With four laps to go Schweizer pulled away from the rest of the pack and cruised to victory without being challenged. She gives the Tigers four All-Americans in Eugene, joining men’s javelin thrower Alex Pascal (fourth place), Jamie Kempfer in the women’s 10,000 meters (ninth place) and Gabi Jacobs in the women’s discus (fifth place).
Schweizer finished third in the 5,000 as a sophomore last year.
“I really had to trust my coach (Marc Burns),” she told ESPN after the race. “He told me I should do that and trust my fitness. But what was going through my mind was this chase pack is coming for me. I felt like I was a scared animal running away from them.”
Mizzou’s women’s team finished 17th overall, the program’s highest finish in team history at the NCAA meet.