Karissa Schweizer
Karissa Schweizer NCAA West (cropped).jpg
Schweizer at the 2018 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships West preliminary rounds
Personal information
Nationality United States
Born (1996-05-04) May 4, 1996 (age 26)
Height1.63 m (5 ft 4 in)
CountryUnited States
SportTrack, long-distance running
Event(s)1500 m, 3000 m, 5000 m, cross country, 10,000 m
College teamMissouri
ClubBowerman Track Club
Turned pro2018
Coached byJerry Schumacher
Achievements and titles
World finals
  • 2019 Doha
  • 5000 m - 9th
Olympic finals
  • 2020 Tokyo
  • 5000 m - 11th
  • 10,000 m - 12th
Personal best(s)
Medal record
Women's athletics
Representing the  United States

Karissa Schweizer (born May 4, 1996) is an American middle- and long-distance runner. In early 2020, she set the American Record for the indoor 3000-meter run with a time of 8:25.70.[1] Representing the University of Missouri, she won the 2016 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships and holds five other NCAA individual championship titles in track and field. Schweizer is the current American collegiate record-holder for the indoor 3000-meter run with a time of 8:41.60.[2][3] She has been labeled the most decorated female athlete in University of Missouri history.[4]

Early career

Schweizer was raised in Urbandale, Iowa, by Mike and Kathy Schweizer, both of whom had successful collegiate track careers at Mankato State. Karissa is also the granddaughter of Frank Schweizer, an NCAA Division II All-American runner at Mankato State, who coached track at Dowling Catholic High School, for over four decades. Mike, Steve and Doug, the three sons of Frank and Linda Schweizer ran for Dowling. Mike also earned All-American honors at Mankato and there met his future wife, Kathy Petricka, a Mankato runner who also has coached. Their children, the youngest, Kelsey, Ryan and Karissa, ran for Dowling as well. Ryan who now competes for Notre Dame won eight state championships, including a swimming title, while at Dowling, A 3:49.04 1500m PR earned him a 3rd at the 2017 USA Track and Field Junior Championships in June 2017. Steve's children also ran cross country, Alexis and Tyler competing for Dowling and Lily competed in 5th-grade track at Saint Francis.[5][6]

Karissa never won an individual state or national cross country title while at Dowling, never qualified for the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships, and her only track title was for 3000 m at the 2011 IAHSAA championships.[7][8]

Collegiate career (2014-2018)

Recruited to the University of Missouri for track and cross country in 2014, Schweizer's first NCAA championship appearance was at the 2014 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships, where she finished 155th.[9] Two years later, she qualified for and placed third in the 5000 m at the 2016 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships.[10]

The following cross country season, Schweizer was not considered a favorite for the individual NCAA title.[11] Despite this, Schweizer defeated favorites Erin Finn and Anna Rohrer to win the 6 kilometer race in 19:41.6, becoming the first female national champion in any sport in Missouri Tigers history.[11][12]

Schweizer ran the 3000 m and 5000 m at the next 2017 NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships, finishing second and first respectively.[10] At the 2017 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Schweizer ran 15:39.93 in the 5000 m to win her third national collegiate title.[13]

Despite victories at the 2017 NCAA Midwest Region and Southeastern Conference cross country championships, Schweizer did not repeat her win at the 2017 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships, finishing 11th.[10] That following indoor season, she completed her first title defense by winning the 5000 m at the 2018 NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships, in addition to a 3000 m victory.[14]

She won the Honda Sports Award as the nation's top female cross country runner in 2017.[15][16]

It was also at this time that Schweizer began competing at higher-profile invitational meets. At the 2018 Dr. Sander Invitational at the Armory Track & Field Center, Schweizer finished third in an international open mile field, her time of 4:27.54 placing her among the top five collegians all-time indoors.[17] Later that season at the Millrose Games, Schweizer set the American collegiate record in the 3000 m with a time of 8:41.60, her time beating Olympic medalist Jenny Simpson's previous record by one second.[2][18] In the 2018 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Schweizer ran 32:14.94 in the 10000 m to finish third, twelve seconds under the existing meet record, set by Sylvia Mosqueda thirty years earlier.[19] Two days later, after leading most of race, she easily repeated her 2017 5,000 meter win, closing out her remarkable college career with her sixth NCAA outdoor championship and NCAA indoor championship gold, a silver and two bronze medals.[20]

Professional career

Josette Norris, Lauren Paquette and Schweizer competing at the US Olympic Trials in 2021
Josette Norris, Lauren Paquette and Schweizer competing at the US Olympic Trials in 2021

Schweizer signed professionally with the Bowerman Track Club in 2018.[21]

Schweizer, running the fastest time 5K in the U.S. during the summer season, recorded a personal best 15:01.63 during a win at the Sunset Tour on July 10, 2019, in Azusa, California.[22]

On February 28, 2020, at Boston University's "Last Chance Invitational" meet, Schweizer set a new indoor American Record in the 3000 m of 8:25.70. Her Bowerman Track Club teammates Shelby Houlihan and Colleen Quigley finished close behind in 8:26.66 and 8:28.71, respectively. Schweizer broke Shalane Flanagan's 2007 indoor AR by over seven seconds. Also, her time was faster than Mary Slaney's outdoor record of 8:25.83, set in 1985.[23]

On July 10, 2020, Schweizer finished second to Shelby Houlihan in a 5000 m race conducted by the Bowerman Track Club with a new personal best of 14:26.34. Houlihan won the race in a new American Record of 14:23.92. Schweizer's time beat Houlihan's former American Record of 14:34.45 and made her the 14th fastest performer of all-time.

On July 23, 2020, Schweizer set a new world leading time in addition to a new personal best in the 1500m, at 4:00.02, which made her the 8th fastest American to ever run the event, finishing in front of Colleen Quigley and Courtney Frerichs in 4:03.98 and 4:07.39, respectively.

On June 21, 2021, in 94-degree heat in Eugene, Oregon, Schweitzer finished .3 seconds behind Bowerman Track Club teammate Elise Cranny in the 5000m, qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team with a 15:28.11. Cranny had run the last 400 meters in 63.72 seconds.[24] Schweitzer had Achilles surgery that fall.[25]

On May 27, 2022, at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Schweitzer and Alicia Monson ran together for the last 5,000 meters which they covered in under 15 minutes. Schweitzer edged her by a step in 30:49.56. It qualified both for the World Athletics Championships United States team to be held in Eugene, Oregon.[25]

Competition record

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Major international competitions
2019 World Cross Country Championships Aarhus, Denmark 56th 10 km 40:04[26]
World Championships Doha, Qatar 9th 5000 m 14:45.18[27]
2021 Olympic Games Tokyo, Japan 12th 10,000 m 31:19.96
2022 World Championships Eugene, United States 11th (h) 5000 m 14:53.69[28]
9th 10,000 m 30:18.05
Domestic competitions
2015 United States Junior Championships Eugene, Oregon 3rd 3000m 9:45.59
2016 Mt. SAC Relays Norwalk, California 12th 5000m 15:58.09
NCAA Women's Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships Eugene, Oregon 3rd 5000m 16:02.82
NCAA Women's Division I Cross Country Championship Terre Haute, Indiana 1st 6 km 19:42
2017 NCAA Women's Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships College Station, Texas 2nd 3000m 9:09.33
1st 5000m 15:19.14
2017 Drake Relays Des Moines, Iowa 8th 1500m 4:18.16
NCAA Women's Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships Eugene, Oregon 1st 5000m 15:38.93
2017 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships Sacramento, California 4th 5000m 15:18.69
NCAA Women's Division I Cross Country Championship Louisville, Kentucky 11th 6 km 19:48
2018 NCAA Women's Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships College Station, Texas 1st 3000m 8:53.36
1st 5000m 15:43.23
Drake Relays Des Moines, Iowa 1st 5000m 15:23.21
NCAA Women's Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships Eugene, Oregon 3rd 10000m 32:14.94
1st 5000m 15:41.58
2018 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships Des Moines, Iowa 3rd 5000m 15:34.31
2019 2019 USA Cross Country Championships Apalachee Regiional Park, Florida 7th 10 km 33:29
2019 Sunset Tour Cougar Athletic Stadium, Azusa, California 1st 5000m 15:01.63
2020 BU Last Chance Invitational Boston, Massachusetts 1st 3000m 8:25.70[29]
2021 2020 United States Olympic Trials Eugene, Oregon 2nd 5000m 15:28.11
2022 2022 World Athletics Championships Trials Eugene, Oregon 1st 10000m 30:49.56[25]


  1. ^ Taylor Dutch (February 28, 2020). "Karissa Schweizer Shatters the 3,000-Meter American Record in Boston". Runner's World. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "As collegiate career ends, Karissa Schweizer reigns as most decorated Missouri athlete in school history".
  3. ^ "Women's track and field: Missouri's Karissa Schweizer sets 3,000m collegiate record at Millrose Games".
  4. ^ "Q&A: National champion Karissa Schweizer continues to impress".
  5. ^ Doug’s daughter Jenna ran cross country at Bettendorf high school. Iowa's Schweizer family: Three generations of cross country at Dowling and running strong, Des Moines Register, John Naughton, September 22, 2017. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  6. ^ "Ryan Schweizer at Notre Dame". Track & Field Results Reporting System (TFRRS). Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  7. ^ "The Progression of Surprise NCAA Champion Karissa Schweizer".
  8. ^ "Karissa Schweizer - 2018 Track & Field Roster - University of Missouri".
  9. ^ "2014 NCAA Division I Cross Country - 11/22/2014" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-05-08.
  10. ^ a b c Karissa Schweizer profile at TFRRS
  11. ^ a b "8 Things to Know About the Surprise Women's College Cross-Country Champion".
  12. ^ "Mizzou's Karissa Schweizer wins NCAA cross country championship".
  13. ^ "Mizzou's Karissa Schweizer dominates NCAA 5K for third national title".
  14. ^ "Favorites Justyn Knight and Karissa Schweizer Win 2018 NCAA Indoor 5000 Crowns".
  15. ^ "Schweizer named Honda Sport Award winner". www.secsports.com. Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  16. ^ "Schweizer of the University of Missouri Named the Honda Sport Award Winner for Cross Country". CWSA. 2016-12-07. Retrieved 2020-03-31.
  17. ^ "Q&A with NCAA Champion Karissa Schweizer on the 5,000m, Injuries and Career Outlook".
  18. ^ "Schweizer Sets Collegiate Record in 3000m Run at Millrose Games".
  19. ^ Iowan Karissa Schweizer places third in 10,000-meter race at NCAA Championships, Des Moines Register, June 7, 2018. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  20. ^ Mizzou's Schweizer goes out on top, captures sixth national title, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Dave Matter, June 9, 2018. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  21. ^ "Schweizer Inks Professional Contract with Nike/Bowerman Track Club". University of Missouri Athletics. Retrieved 2020-03-08.
  22. ^ Former Dowling Catholic star Karissa Schweizer adjusting to life as a professional runner, Des Moines Register, Tommy Birch, July 24, 2019. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  23. ^ AR Tops Incredible Distance Times Track and Field News, February 2020. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  24. ^ Elise Cranny Makes Her First Olympic Team, Wins 5,000 Meters, Runners World, Sarah Lorge Butler, June 22, 2021. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  25. ^ a b c Karissa Schweizer wins women’s 10,000 at Prefontaine Classic; Natosha Rogers nabs final spot on national team, The Oregonian, James Crepea, May 28, 2022. Retrieved June 2, 2022.
  27. ^ Karissa Schweizer at Tilastopaja (registration required)
  28. ^ Did not finish in the final
  29. ^ Karissa Schweizer Shatters the 3,000-Meter American Record in Boston, Runners World, Taylor Dutch, February 28, 2020. Retrieved June 26, 2021.