Mizzou Track & Field junior Karissa Schweizer (Urbandale, Iowa) was named the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Midwest Region Women’s Track Athlete of the Year, announced by the organization on Sunday. The award is Schweizer’s third USTFCCCA regional award this season after being named the Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year in November and the Women’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Year in March.
Courtesy Mizzou Athletics, click here! Feature Photo:Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou ©Mizzou Athletics
Schweizer will conclude her outstanding 2016-17 athletic season this week at the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon, where she seeks her third national title when she runs in the 5000m run on Saturday. The Tiger junior captured the NCAA Cross Country national title in November, then became the first-ever two-time female NCAA champion in Mizzou history after winning the indoor 5000m national title in March. She also finished second in the 3000m run at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships to earn the third All-America honor of the her season and the fourth of her career.
Schweizer kicked off her 2017 outdoor campaign by setting the 5000m school record at the Stanford Invitational (March 31), finishing second with a time of 15:39.75. She then transitioned to the 1500m run at the Crimson Tide Invite (April 8), where she posted the second-fastest time in school history at 4:15.77.
Returning to her home state of Iowa, Schweizer was elevated to the 1500m “Rio Rematch” heat at the Drake Relays (April 28), a race which featured 11 professionals runners and six Olympians. The Urbandale, Iowa, native held her own against some of the world’s best mid-distance runners, finishing eighth in rainy conditions with a time of 4:18.16.
At the SEC Championships (May 12-13), Schweizer won her fourth conference title of the year by finishing first in the 5000m run with a time of 15:51.76. She also finished runner-up in the 1500m run with a time of 4:18.42 to accumulate 18 points at the meet, the second-highest point total among female competitors. Schweizer clinched her spot in the NCAA Championships at the NCAA West Preliminary (May 27) when she finished with the fastest 5000m run time at 16:24.07.