Karissa Schweizer breaks NCAA record at Millrose Games in New York City

Schweizer’s 3,000-meter time bested her personal record by a full 25 seconds.
Courtesy of Mizzou Athletics

Seven days after setting a Missouri program record and running the fourth-fastest indoor mile in NCAA history, senior Karissa Schweizer returned to the Armory in New York City for the second straight weekend and delivered what might be the greatest achievement yet in her storied Mizzou career.

Competing in the 3,000-meter run at the Millrose Games, one of the world’s top indoor track competitions, Schweizer broke the all-time collegiate record in 8:41.60. She surpassed Colorado’s Jenny Barringer (now Jenny Simpson), who set the record in 2009 with a time of 8:42.03.

"It was an awesome atmosphere and race," Schweizer said in a press release. "I am extremely grateful for everyone that's helped me get to this point. Breaking Jenny Simpson's record means a lot to me, as she is someone I've looked up to throughout my running career.

Schweizer’s effort resulted in a fourth-place finish in a 14-women race that, apart from Schweizer, consisted entirely of professional runners. The three women who finished ahead of Schweizer were all former Olympic distance runners, including the USA’s Emma Coburn, who won the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

"Karissa was on a mission to compete with some of the best runners in the world tonight," Mizzou assistant coach Marc Burns, who specializes in mid-distance and distance running, said in the press release. "She was dialed in early, and covered every move during the race."

After winning the Southeastern Conference championship and finishing second at the NCAA championship in the indoor 3,000 last year, Schweizer surpassed her previous personal best by exactly 25 seconds. In the current indoor season, she has now accumulated top-five all-time NCAA finishes in the mile, 5,000 meters and 3,000 meters.

Schweizer was already one of the most decorated athletes in Mizzou running history, holding national championships in cross-country and indoor and outdoor track, but Saturday’s accomplishment marked her first collegiate record broken in any race. According to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, she is the only Tiger currently in possession of an NCAA running record.

The Mizzou indoor track team will return to team-wide competition Feb. 9-10, when the Tigers will travel to both the Music City Challenge in Nashville, Tennessee, and the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Edited by Joe Noser | jnoser@themaneater.com

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