Karissa Schweizer, currently in her final year at the Univeristy of Missouri. This young lady is super-impressive.
Hands up if you thought I was going to say Katelyn Tuohy (16 year-old “phenom”) ?
I’ve been following Karissa Schweizer since she surprised and won the 2016 NCAA Cross Country with a big kick, coming from 20m down in the last 200. She then won the NCAA 5000m both indoors and out in 2017. She had a bad day at the 2017 NCAA XC finishing 11th but bounced back in style 2 weeks later beating the XC winner Ednah Kurgat by 2 seconds in an indoor 5000 in 15:17.
This indoor season, however, she really seems to have pushed on and I’m going to put my neck on the line and say she will have a career at least the equal (or better?) of Molly Huddle & Shalane Flanagan.
At the Millrose Games on Saturday she was 0.4 seconds behind Emma Coburn in the 3000 and set a collegiate record (indoors & out) of 8:41.60, beating Jenny Simpson’s 8:42 record.
Last week at the Armory Invitational she also ran the 4th fastest all-time collegiate mile (an oft-contested distance in US college), just 1.7 seconds behind Jenny Simpson’s collegiate outdoor record. And she’s not even a miler.
She’s an ungainly runner but a lot of fun to watch (partly for that reason – I enjoy watching ungainly runners in full flight!) Especially when she kicks, she seems to have an extraordinarily long stride for someone who can’t be more than 5 foot 4. Remarkably, her coach at Missouri says they had to do a lot of work in her first year to correct her over-striding!
Don’t let her stride deceive you though. She’s got serious finishing speed. She closed that mile last week in sub-63.