Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou
©Jim Kirby 2017

Schweizer Earns National Athlete of the Week

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou © Kirby Clarke Onyepunuka-Olear 2017

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou
© Kirby Clarke Onyepunuka-Olear 2017

For her impressive start to the indoor season, Mizzou Track & Field senior Karissa Schweizer (Urbandale, Iowa) was named the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I Women’s National Athlete of the Week, announced Tuesday. The Tiger senior captured an event win in the 5,000m run Saturday at the Boston University Season Opener in Boston, Mass.

Courtesy Mizzou Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou ©Jim Kirby 2017

Schweizer, who finished 11th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships on Nov. 18, bounced back Saturday to finish first in a field which featured the NCAA Cross Country National Champion, Ednah Kurgat (New Mexico) and six of the top-15 finishers at the NCAA Championships. Schweizer earned the event win with a personal-best mark of 15:17.31, resetting her own school-record time of 15:19.14, which she set in a National Championship performance at the 2017 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships (March 10). Schweizer’s time in the BU Season Opener victory is the fifth-fastest indoor 5,000m run time in NCAA history, and is just five seconds behind the top mark of 15:12.22, set by Providence’s Emily Sission in 2015.

“The historical context of Karissa’s time speaks for itself, but it is the magnitude of what was behind her time that is most impressive,” said Mizzou head coach Brett Halter. “Only a select few who have stood in the hottest of fires in competition against the best will truly understand the statement Karissa made Saturday in response to race she had at the NCAA Cross Country Championships just two weeks earlier. Her performance in Boston was one of the greatest responses to disappointment I have seen in my 25 years at Mizzou. Congratulations to both her and Coach Burns.”

This is the third time in the last calendar year Schweizer has been named the top-athlete in the nation, coming just one day short of one year ago when Schweizer received the honor for the first time on Dec. 6, 2016. At last year’s BU Season Opener, Schweizer first set the 5,000m run school record with a time of 15:37.40, clocking the time just two weeks after her 2016 NCAA Cross Country National Championship performance. Schweizer was also named the Women’s National Athlete of the Week on Sept. 18, after she set the course record at Percy Warner Park in the Commodore Classic (Sept. 16), finishing the 5K race more than a full minute ahead of the runner up at 16:25.4.

During the track season, Schweizer will look to build on an already outstanding resume that includes six All-America honors, three national titles and five conference titles. The Urbandale, Iowa, native is the only female in Mizzou history to win multiple NCAA Titles, while her six All-America honors rank tied for third in women’s program history and tied for fifth overall. Her five conference titles are tied for the fourth-most in women’s program history.