Karissa Schweizer of the University of Missouri won the NCAA DI Cross Country Championship this morning with a shocking final straightaway sprint over Erin Finn of Michigan and Anna Rohrer of Notre Dame.
Entering the event, Schweizer ranked No. 5 on the FloTrack Saucony Flo50 behind Finn, New Mexico's Alice Wright, Rohrer, and Amy-Eloise Neale of Washington.
Both Finn and Rohrer were top national runners while in high school: Rohrer was a two-time Foot Locker Nationals champion and two-time New Balance Nationals champion in the 5K, while Finn was the New Balance Nationals Indoor 5K champion in 2012, plus notched three runner-up finishes at New Balance Nationals as well as a runner-up finish at Foot Locker Nationals in 2011.
Schweizer, meanwhile, was a consistent all-state runner for Dowling Catholic High School in Iowa and captured one state title in the 3K in 2011, but her only appearance at a national event was a 47th-place finish at Nike Cross Nationals in 2013.
She graduated from high school with PRs of 2:12.25 for 800m, 4:34.83 for 1500m and 9:54.58 for 3K - a top recruit to be sure, but not an athlete projected to make an impact right away. Her breakout moment came at this past June's NCAA DI Outdoor Track & Field Championships, where she was the surprise third place finisher in 16:02.82. Her PR is 15:58.09.
Now - Schweizer is a national champion.