ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Saturday was a great day for the women's cross country teams from Northfield, Minn., as Carleton College captured its second Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) championship in three seasons, and St. Olaf College first-year runner Noelle Olson was the first individual across the finish line. Saturday, the Knights and Oles were honored further for their performances with the announcement of the 2013 MIAC Women's Cross Country Awards.
Olson - who claimed the MIAC Women's individual title - added the MIAC Women's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Year honor to her already-impressive first season of collegiate running. Carleton Head Coach Donna Ricks also received accolades for her team's championship performance, as her peers voted her the MIAC Women's Cross Country Coach-of-the-Year.
Olson was outstanding in her first MIAC Championships appearance. The Ole first-year runner was the first to complete the 6k course Saturday at Como Park Golf Course in St. Paul, Minn. Her time of 21:49.5 was nearly 40 seconds faster than the runner-up, her teammate Jorden Johnson. This is just the latest accolade for Olson during a breakout fall, as she was also named the MIAC Women's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Week on Sept. 4 and Sept. 24 and headlined the 2013 All-Conference squad.
Ricks led her team to its second title in a three-year span Saturday, and its fifth since 2004. Overall, it was the Knights' sixth MIAC championship, and now only St. Thomas and St. Olaf have more women's cross country conference titles than Carleton. This is Ricks' sixth MIAC Cross Country Coach-of-the-Year honor, having also won it in 1995, 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2011, and she was also the MIAC Indoor Track and Field Coach-of-the-Year in 2012.
The latest coaching honor for Ricks came courtesy of a tremendous performance by her team Saturday. Though rival St. Olaf had the first two runners across the finish line, Carleton claimed the title with three in the top 10 and five in the top 18 for a total of 51 points to the Oles' 69. Knights runners finished fifth, sixth, seventh, 15th, 18th, 23rd and 28th Saturday to give Ricks four All-MIAC performers and two more Honorable Mention selections.
In addition to the top individual honors, the MIAC Women's Cross Country All-Conference and All-Conference Honorable mention squads were also recognized. The top 15 finishers in Saturday's MIAC Championship race received All-Conference honors, while finishers 16-25 received Honorable Mention.
The champion Knights led the All-Conference honorees with four, while St. Olaf, Macalester and Gustavus each had three finish in the top 15. St. Catherine, Saint Benedict, St. Thomas, Saint Mary's and Hamline all had one All-Conference runner. The Honorable Mention squad included two runners each from Carleton, St. Olaf, Saint Benedict and Hamline, and one apiece from Concordia and Bethel.
As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC announced the eighth 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.
2013 MIAC Women's Cross Country Awards
Athlete-of-the-Year: Noelle Olson, St. Olaf (Fr., Big Lake, Minn.)
Coach-of-the-Year: Donna Ricks, Carleton (21st season)
2013 MIAC Women's Cross Country All-Conference Team
||Noelle Olson||St. Olaf||Fr.||Big Lake, Minn.|
|2.||22:30.3||Jorden Johnson||St. Olaf||Jr.||Blaine, Minn.|
|3.||22:38.2||Ailee Larson||St. Catherine||Jr.||Lutsen, Minn. / Cook County|
|4.||22:53.0||Kimber Meyer||Macalester||Fr.||Naperville, Ill. / North|
|5.||22:55.3||Colette Celichowski||Carleton||Jr.||Shorewood, Minn. / Minnetonka|
|6.||23:01.1||Winona Rachel||Carleton||Fr.||Shakopee, Minn.|
|7.||23:06.6||Ruth Steinke||Carleton||So.||Lima, N.Y. / Honeoye Falls-Lima|
|8.||23:08.4||Manon Gammon-Deering||Saint Benedict||Jr.||Little Falls, Minn.|
|9.||23:10.1||Anna Schmitz||Macalester||Jr.||St. Paul, Minn. / Central|
|10.||23:21.1||Megan Terukina||St. Thomas||So.||Cedar Rapids, Iowa / Kennedy
|11.||23:23.9||Katie Stolz||Saint Mary's||Jr.||Forest Lake, Minn. / Hill-Murray|
|12.||23:24.7||Caitlin Fermoyle||Gustavus||Jr.||Mendota Heights, Minn. / Henry Sibley|
|13.||23:31.4||Rebecca Hare||Gustavus||Sr.||Albany, Minn. / Saint John's Prep|
|14.||23:32.3||Hannah Toedter||Hamline||Sr.||Wadena, Minn. / Wadena-Deer Creek|
|15.||23:32.3||Kazia Mermel||Carleton||Fr.||Sherman Oaks, Calif. / Notre Dame|
2013 MIAC Women's Cross Country All-Conference Honorable Mention
|16.||23:34.0||Michaela Banz||St. Olaf||Jr.||Eagan, Minn.|
|17.||23:34.2||Melissa Uhrich||Concordia||So.||Bismarck, N.D. / Century|
|18.||23:42.2||Shira Kaufman||Carleton||So.||Leverett, Mass. / Amherst Regional Academy|
|19.||23:43.5||Maria Theisen||Hamline||Sr.||Minneapolis, Minn. / Southwest|
|20.||23:44.7||Tera Hereid||Bethel||Sr.||Coon Rapids, Minn. / Blaine High School|
|21.||23:46.1||Allison Trezona||St. Olaf||Fr.||Naperville, Ill.|
|22.||23:46.2||Heather Hollinger||Hamline||Sr.||Las Vegas, Nev.
|23.||23:46.6||Laura Nakasaka||Carleton||Fr.||Chevy Chase, Md. / Bethesda-Chevy Chase|
|24.||23:46.9||Jenna O'Donnell||Saint Benedict||Jr.||Maple Grove, Minn.|
|25.||23:49.8||Kelsie Larson||Saint Benedict||Sr.||Decorah, Iowa|
2013 Women's Cross Country All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team
Augsburg - Anna Peterson (So., Lino Lakes, Minn. / Centennial HS)
Bethel - Emma Blanchard (So., Decorah, Iowa)
Carleton - Colette Celichowski (Jr., Shorewood, Minn. / Minnetonka)
Concordia - Katie Barkley (Sr., Sioux Falls, S.D. / Lincoln)
Gustavus - Nora Christensen (Sr., Plymouth, Minn. / Wayzata)
Hamline - Anne Marie Sketch (Sr., Neotsu, Ore. / Taft)
Macalester - Erin Daly (Sr., Weedsport, N.Y.)
Saint Benedict - Kelsie Larson (Sr., Decorah, Iowa)
St. Catherine - Kristina Poss (Sr., Shoreview, Minn. / Roseville)
Saint Mary's - Shauna Stephens (Sr., Norwood, Minn. / Central)
St. Olaf - Kelsey Mullen (Sr., Excelsior, Minn. / Holy Family)
St. Thomas - Melissa Engrstom (Jr., Coon Rapids, Minn.)