Carleton sweeps 2011 MIAC Women's Cross Country Awards

Carleton sweeps 2011 MIAC Women's Cross Country Awards

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The 2011 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Women's Cross Country Awards were announced Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011, and the celebration continued at Carleton College as the Knights swept the individual honors just days after cruising to the conference championship.

Carleton's star senior, Simone Childs-Walker (Seattle, Wash./Lakeside) was named the 2011 MIAC Women's Cross Country Most Valuable Athlete as a result of her first-place finish and her role in her team's victory at Saturday's MIAC Championships, which were held at Como Park Golf Course in St. Paul, Minn. Donna Ricks, Carleton's head coach, was also honored for the Knights' performance as the 2011 MIAC Women's Cross Country Coach-of-the-Year.

Childs-Walker's Most Valuable Athlete honor is a fitting conclusion to her outstanding cross country career. The Carleton star has finished in the Top 3 at the MIAC Championship in each of her four years, earning four All-MIAC honors, with this year's individual championship serving as the perfect exclamation point. Childs-Walker was named the MIAC Women's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Week three times this fall, giving her six weekly honors in her career. She is also a two-time All-American in cross country, with a good chance for a third-such honor in 2011 to go along with her conference accolades.

Ricks' team came into the MIAC Championships trailing rival and defending champ St. Olaf in the regional and national rankings, but Carleton made its championship intentions known immediately as the first three runners across the finish line were all Knights. The team finished with a score of 33 points, 19 ahead of the Oles, and seven Carleton runners earned All-MIAC or Honorable Mention honors. For Ricks, it was her fourth MIAC Women's Cross Country Championship in her 17-year career with the Knights, and this is also her fourth Cross Country Coach-of-the-Year honor. Her other titles and coaching honors came in 2004, 2005 and 2009.

The top 15 finishers at the MIAC Championships were named to the MIAC All-Conference team. The next 10 finishers (places 16-25) all received Honorable Mention honors. Conference-champion Carleton placed four runners on the MIAC All-Conference squad, and had another two runners receive Honorable Mention. St. Olaf had five All-MIAC runners and two Honorable Mentions as well.

As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC announced the sixth annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for Women's Cross Country. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches and teammates as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition.

2011 MIAC Women's Cross Country Most Valuable Athlete - Simone Childs-Walker, Carleton (Sr. Seattle, Wash./Lakeside)

2011 MIAC Women's Cross Country Coach-of-the-Year - Donna Ricks, Carleton

2011 MIAC All-Conference

Place Time Name School Year Hometown/High School
1 22:06 Simone Childs-Walker Carleton Sr. Seattle, Wash./Lakeside
2 22:15 Alison Smyth Carleton Sr. Billings, Mont./West
3 22:18 Rachael Klehm Carleton Jr. Wellesley, Mass.
4 22:25 Taylor Berg St. Thomas Jr. Eagan, Minn.
5 22:32 Erin Statz St. Thomas So. Lincoln, Neb./Pius X
6 22:35 Maren Westby St. Olaf Sr. Salem, Ore./West Salem
7 22:43 Taylor Ffitch Carleton Sr. Portland, Ore./St. Mary's Academy
8 22:46 Christine Muller St. Olaf Sr Shoreview, Minn./Mounds View
9 22:50 Kate Eggers Gustavus Jr. Montevideo, Minn./Montevideo
10 22:55 Brooke Beskau Gustavus Sr. Hastings, Minn.
11 23:01 Emma Lee St. Olaf Jr St. Paul, Minn./Como Park
12 23:04 Bailey Drewes Saint Benedict Fr. Bemidji, Minn.
13 23:08 Becca Bevans St. Olaf Jr. Waverly, Neb.
14 23:11 Sophie Pietrick St. Olaf Jr. Minnetonka, Minn.
15 23:14 Elizabeth Hauer Gustavus Jr. Little Falls, Minn.

2011 MIAC All-Conference Honorable Mention

Place Time Name School Year Hometown/High School
16 23:19 Larissa Peyton St. Thomas Sr. St. Cloud, Minn./Cathedral
17 23:22 Rachel Dean St. Olaf Jr. Fort Collins, Colo./Poudre
18 23:26 Kaycee Knutson Saint Benedict Sr. Esko, Minn./Esko
19 23:27 Sara Holland Hamline Sr. Dousman, Wis./Kettle-Morain
20 23:28 Becca Herd Carleton Fr. Colo. Springs, Colo./Cheyanne Mountain
21 23:28 Rebecca Hare Gustavus Fr. Albany, Minn./Saint John's Prep
22 23:31 Kasey Petersen Concordia Fr. Grand Rapids, Minn.
23 23:37 Kaitlin Randolph Carleton Sr. Drummond, Wis.
24 23:38 Molly Gillberg Bethel Fr. Coon Rapids, Minn.
25 23:38 Hannah Dennis St. Olaf Sr. Grand Forks, N.D./Red River

2011 All-MIAC Women's Cross Country Sportsmanship Team
Augsburg - Jennifer Pulscher (Colorado Springs, Colo./Liberty)
Bethel - Maggie Noble (Owatonna, Minn.)
Carleton - Taylor Ffitch (Portland, Ore./St. Mary's Academy)
Concordia - Jamie Levine (Inver Grove Heighs, Minn./Rosemount)
Gustavus - Kim Rostvold (Grand Rapids, Minn.) 
Hamline - Hilary Murphy (North St. Paul, Minn.)

Macalester - Jana Wiegand (Madison, Wis./Memorial)
Saint Benedict - Katy Torchia (Rochester, Minn./Lourdes)
St. Catherine - Heidi Sande (Grand Marais, Minn./Cook Country)
Saint Mary's - Lauren Baier (Mount Horeb, Wis./Mount Horeb-Barneveld)
St. Olaf - Hannah Dennis (Grand Forks, N.D./Red River)
St. Thomas - Larissa Peyton (St. Cloud, Minn./ Cathedral)