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Karissa Schweizer wins NCAA DI Cross Country Championship, named USATF Athlete of the Week


INDIANAPOLIS -- Last Saturday, University of Missouri junior Karissa Schweizer (Urbandale, Iowa) stunned the crowd with a burst of speed in the final straightaway to take the women’s 6K individual title at NCAA DI Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana.


Schweizer started the race in a close pack, then fell behind as leaders Anna Rohrer (Mishawaka, Indiana), Katie Rainsberger (Colorado Springs, Colorado) and Erin Finn (West Bloomfield, Michigan) spread out on the course. Despite strong winds and near-freezing temperatures, Schweizer maintained an average 5:16.8 pace throughout. She took off around the final 400m and eventually edged out Finn to finish with a nearly three-second lead in 19:41.6.


Schweizer is the first women’s national champion in Mizzou’s program history and its first overall cross country national champion since 1955.


The University of Oregon won the women’s team NCAA title with 125 points. Click here for full results.


Other notable performances this week:

  • Erin Finn (West Bloomfield, Michigan) ran an impressive 19:44.2 to finish second at NCAA DI Cross Country Championships. Despite her disappointment to not clinch first, the Michigan senior contributed to her team’s 126-point second place overall, just one point ahead of Oregon.

  • Futsum Zienasellassie (Flagstaff, Arizona) was a favorite going into the men’s NCAA DI Cross Country Championships and finished fourth, leading the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks to the team title. This is NAU’s first NCAA DI Cross Country Championship win.

  • Michael Wardian (Arlington, Virginia) set a pending Guinness world record for the fastest marathon while dressed as Elvis Presley. The 42-year-old ran 2:38:04 as a “celebration” for becoming the fastest man to complete the six World Marathon Majors races in a single year.


Now in its 15th year, USATF’s Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.


2016 Winners: January 13, Garrett Heath; January 20, Donavan Brazier; January 27, Keni Harrison; February 3, Jenn Suhr; February 10, Vashti Cunningham; February 17, Galen Rupp; February 24, John Nunn; March 2, Curtis Beach; March 11, Bill Collins; March 16, Da’mira Allen; March 24, Michelle Carter; March 31, Janet Bawcom; April 8, Maria Michta-Coffey; April 14, Keni Harrison; April 22, LaShawn Merritt; April 28, Courtney Okolo; May 6, Ida Keeling; May 12, Willie Gault; May 18, Marquise Goodwin; June 2, Keni Harrison; June 9, Tia Brooks; June 16, Donavan Brazier; June 23, Sydney McLaughlin; June 30, Tia Jones; July 7, Allyson Felix; July 15, Bernard Lagat; July 22, Allen Woodard; July 29, Keni Harrison; August 5, Chantae McMillan; August 11, Myrle Mensey; August 20, Michelle Carter; August 26, Matt Centrowitz; September 1, Megan Roche; September 8, Christian Taylor; September 14, Joe Gray; September 21, Jenny Hoffman; September 30, Jeff Henderson; October 5, Libby James; October 13, Brian Pilcher; October 20, Andy Wacker; October 27, Pete Kostelnick; November 3, Libby James; November 11, Molly Huddle; November 17, Tony Migliozzi; November 23, Karissa Schweizer.


We welcome your nominations!

To nominate an athlete for USATF Athlete of the Week, please send a detailed email about his/her performance to

Ashley Mitchell

Marketing and Communications Manager




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