Missouri junior cross country star Karissa Schweizer picked up another big honor Tuesday when she was named the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s women’s national athlete of the year.
Schweizer is the first Tigers runner to receive the award, which has been given annually since 1995.
The accolade comes as no surprise after she swept the Southeastern Conference, Midwest regional and NCAA titles.
“I am so happy for Karissa to be named the USTFCCCA Women’s National Athlete of the Year,” Mizzou cross country coach Marc Burns said in a statement. “This has been a dream season for her and she has worked really hard to make it happen.”
Schweizer, a native of Urbandale, Iowa, broke her personal record at the 6-kilometer distance in each of the season’s final three races, including an impressive finishing kick during the final 400 meters at the NCAA championships Saturday in Terre Haute, Ind.
She is the first women’s cross country national champion in Tigers history and the second overall, joining 1955 men’s champ Keith Bacon.
Schweizer and fellow Mizzou junior Jamie Kempfer, who finished 27th at the NCAA meet, earned All-America honors, marking the first time since 1984 the program had two such honors in the same season.
During six meets this season, Schweizer finished first five times, including the Tigers’ first conference title since 1997 and first regional title since 2003.
Utsey tears ACL
Missouri freshman defensive tackle Markell Utsey is done for the season after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee Saturday at Tennessee.
A spokesman for the Tigers’ football team confirmed the diagnosis Tuesday and indicated that Utsey will have surgery in mid-December.
Utsey — a 6-foot-4, 290-pound interior lineman from Little Rock, Ark. — appeared in seven games this season, recording five tackles.