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Varsity Athletics

Women's Cross Country

Carleton Athletics

Coaching Staff

Head Coach Donna Ricks, Women's Cross Country

Donna Ricks, Women's Track and Field Headshot

Head Coach: Donna Ricks
Phone: (507)222-4485

Record at Carleton:

  • 13 NCAA Championship appearances (1993, 1995, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011,2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
  • 7 MIAC Championships (2004, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015)
  • Six MIAC Championships runner-up finishes (1993, 1995, 2001, 2002, 2006 and 2007)
  • Total of 19 top-three MIAC Championships finishes in 23 seasons

The 2015 season was the 23rd for Donna Ricks, professor of physical education, athletics and recreation, as head women's cross country and track and field coach at Carleton. Ricks is a nine-time MIAC Coach of the Year (1995, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015 in cross country and 2012 indoor track).

Ricks led the Knights to the 2013-2014-2015 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) cross country titles, becoming only the third MIAC coach to lead a team to back-to-back-back conference titles. She has guided the program to seven conference championships, including five of the last seven years.

Under Coach Ricks, the Knights have made 13 NCAA Championships appearances: 1993 (16th), 1995 (16th), 2002 (20th), 2004 (11th), 2005 (13th), 2006 (16th), 2008 (23rd), 2009 (11th), 2011 (T-8th), 2012 (17th), 2013 (18th), 2014 (14th), and 2015 (17th).

The Knights have posted top-three MIAC Championships finishes 19 times in Ricks' 23 seasons, including the seven titles and six runner-up finishes. Carleton has received the All-Academic Team Award every year since the program began in 1993.

Ricks came to Northfield after six years as head cross country and track and field coach at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where she earned a B.S. degree and an M.A. degree in athletic administration. As a student there, Ricks was a cross country and track and field standout and All-American performer. In honor of her accomplishments, Ricks' alma mater inducted her into its Hall of Fame in 1998 and named her the fifth-greatest female athlete to attend the school in the past century.

She is involved in national competition and served as the U.S. National Women's Heptathlon Coach in 1996.

Ricks resides in Northfield with her husband Dave (also the Carleton men's cross country and men's track and field head coach) and their daughter, Karissa.


Laura Roach, Cross Country HeadshotAssistant Coach: Laura (Roach) Albares '10
Phone: 507-222-7150

Laura (Roach) Albares returned to the Knights in August 2012 and serves as assistant coach with both the women’s cross country and track and field programs. She previously spent two years as an assistant coach at Hamline University.

Albares was a captain and four-year letter winner for the Knights in cross country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field. In cross country, she helped the Knights capture the 2009 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) crown and earned a trio of All-MIAC honors. She also ran three times at the NCAA Championships, improving her placement each instance and culminating with an All-American performance in 2009. On the track, she earned all-conference distinction four times and added All-MIAC honorable mention in eight additional events. Albares graduated with a major in biology and earned a Masters in Exercise Physiology from the University of Minnesota.