ST. PAUL, Minn. – Carleton College junior Simone Childs-Walker (Seattle, Wash./Lakeside) prevailed in the 3,000-meter run on Saturday to pick up her third victory of the 2011 MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships. That triumph permitted her to complete an unprecedented trifecta by becoming the first MIAC woman known to win the three longest races contested at the same conference indoor meet. On Friday, the seven-time All-American posted victories in both the 5,000-meter run—in meet-record and NCAA provisional qualifying time—and the mile run within a 45-minute span.
As a team, the Knights totaled with 54.0 points, finishing sixth out of 12 squads at the championships.
Just two weeks ago Childs-Walker approached the coaching staff about trying to pull off this feat, which is especially impressive in that she not only had to be the best long-distance runner at the MIAC Championships, but she was also required to beat the top middle-distance racers in the mile.
Saturday’s win in the 3K was Childs-Walker’s 11th all-time victory at the MIAC indoor and outdoor championship meets. In addition to her first title in the mile, she is now a three-time champion in both the 3,000- and 5,000-meter runs at the indoor meet. Additionally, Childs-Walker prevailed in the 5K and 10K at her first two MIAC Outdoor Championships in 2009 and 2010, a streak that will be put to the test this coming May.
Childs-Walker’s 11 MIAC titles are easily the most by a distance runner in the conference’s recorded history since 1982. (Some results from the late 1980s and early 1990s are not currently available in the conference archives, but it seems extremely unlikely anyone could match Childs-Walker’s win total.). Next on the list is Carleton’s Laura Bloedorn, who won eight distance races at the indoor and outdoor conference meet from 2001-2003.
NOTE: Childs-Walker is the first woman known to pull off the triple with victories in the three-longest races at the MIAC Indoor’s. Two other runners have recorded the feat at the MIAC outdoor championship. Carleton’s Laura Bloedorn (1989) and Macalester’s Julia Kirtland (1984) were first to the line in the 3K, 5K and 10K. The conference no longer races the 3K distance at the outdoor championship.
While Childs-Walker was getting all the attention for her accomplishment, Alison Smyth (Jr./Billings, Mont./West) turned in another solid performance in the long distances. One day after earning all-conference honors in the 5,000-meter run, Smyth picked up All-MIAC Honorable Mention in the 3K, taking fifth place with a time of 10:33.94.
Megan Erlandson (Jr./Minneapolis, Minn./Minnehaha Academy) also earned All-MIAC Honorable Mention as she placed fifth in the pole vault by clearing 3.15 meters (10 feet, 4 inches).
Two other Knights also scored points toward the team competition. Haley Johnson (So./Golden Valley, Minn.) and Clare Franco (Jr./Brunswick, Maine) finished seventh and eighth respectively in the 1,000-meter run.
The Knights will now wait to see if Childs-Walker advances to the NCAA Championships next weekend in Columbus, Ohio.