Faribault Has a U.S. Olympic Team Connection
The daughter of a Faribault High School graduate qualified for two events at the Summer Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo, Japan July 23 through August 8, 2021.
Karissa Schweizer, 25, of Urbandale, Iowa became the 5th American woman to qualify in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meter races.
The 2018 University of Missouri graduate won six national titles and set six school records when running in Tigers country. She set a collegiate record and was a ten time All-American.
Karissa's mom, Kathy (Kathleen) went to Faribault High School before going to Minnesota State Mankato (Mankato State when she went there) and participated in track and cross country. Kathy is listed among the Mavericks Achievement Award winners for 1990-91.
That's where she met her husband Mike Schweizer, a member of the Mavericks Hall of Fame for his Cross Country and Track and Field prowess. Mike was a three time All-American at what was then called Mankato State. He graduated in 1990.
Mike's Dad, Karissa's Grandfather, is also a member of the Mavericks Hall of Fame. A Cross Country All-American in 1960 who placed 5th at nationals and finished 6th at the NCAA Track and Field meet in the 1500 Meter Run.
Both Frank and Kathy have done some coaching. Frank 40 years with state Cross Country titles in 1974 and 1985 at Dowling High School in Des Moines, Iowa. All three of Frank's sons were runners.
Kathy's parents are Leonard and Pat Petricka of Faribault. Kathy is also the Aunt of Faribault High School graduate and Major League Baseball player Jake Petricka.
Karissa's best times in the races she qualified to run at the Olympics in Tokyo this summer are 14:26.34 in the 5,000 Meter Run and 30:47.99 in the 10,000 Meter Run.
After graduating from the University of Minnesota she became a professional and runs with the Bowerman Track Club. Schweizer is currently ranked 15th in the world in the 5,000. 28th in the world in the 10,000 Meters.
She set a new indoor record in the 3,000 Meters with a time of 8:25.70 last year. Karissa's little brother Ryan and younger sister Kelsey have also had accomplishments in Cross Country and Track and Field.
So now we have a reason to watch the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. We can cheer on our Faribault connection to this Olympics in the 5,000 and 10,000 Meter Runs.
Is Urbandale, Iowa on this list? I lived there for a few months in 1987.
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