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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

The 2014 season is the 22nd 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 seven-time MIAC Coach of the Year (1995, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2011, and 2013 in cross country and 2012 indoor track).

Ricks led the Knights to the 2004 and 2005 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) titles, becoming only the third MIAC coach to lead a team to back-to-back conference titles. Her squads were conference runner-ups in 2006 and 2007, the latter of which was the closest three-team finish in MIAC history. The Knights returned to the top spot in 2009 and 2011 and then captured their sixth crown in 2013.

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

The Knights have posted top-three MIAC Championships finishes 16 times in Ricks' 20 seasons, including the five 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, serving 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 '10
Phone: 507-222-7150

Laura Roach 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.

Roach 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. Roach graduated with a major in biology and earned a Masters in Exercise Physiology from the University of Minnesota.