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Lucas Mueller, Dave and Donna Ricks headline MIAC award winners

November 1, 2018 at 9:25 pm
By Oliver Wolyniec '19
(L to R) Lucas Mueller, Donna Ricks, and Dave Ricks
(L to R) Lucas Mueller, Donna Ricks, and Dave Ricks
Photo: Nathan Klok

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Carleton College’s Lucas Mueller (So./St. Paul, Minn./Nova Classical Academy) took home MIAC Men’s Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Year honors, while Dave Ricks and Donna Ricks both repeated as MIAC Cross Country Coaches-of-the-Year to headline the 2018 conference awards.

After earning a third-place finish at last year’s MIAC Championships, Mueller led the 2018 race from start to finish, clocking an outstanding time of 25:10.4. He finished 13 seconds ahead of fellow Knight Tris Dodge (Sr./Oakland, Calif./College Prep), who also landed on the All-MIAC team. It was Mueller’s first victory of the 2018 season, and it could not have come at a better time.

At the 2018 Indoor Track and Field Championships back in February, Mueller earned the MIAC’s Outstanding Indoor Track Athlete award, making this his second major seasonal award.

In his 12th season at the helm, Dave Ricks was honored for the second straight campaign as the MIAC Coach of the Year. This is the fourth in a string of recent impressive achievements for Ricks, as he also received Coach-of-the-Year accolades during both the MIAC Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field seasons earlier in 2018. After Carleton’s victory at the conference cross country championships last weekend, Ricks’ squad moved up to No. 19 in the nation and No. 2 in the Central Region, according to the rankings released this week by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

On the women’s side, Donna Ricks also went back-to-back, earning Coach-of-the-Year honors for the second year in a row after the Knights claimed their fifth MIAC title in the last six seasons. She is the only double-digit recipient of the award in recorded MIAC women’s cross country history, and she has won the award seven times in the last 10 seasons. Carleton is currently tied for 12th in the USTFCCCA’s national rankings, and the Knights own the top spot in the Central Region poll.

At the MIAC Championships, seven Knights on the women’s team and five on the men’s ran their way to spots on the 2018 MIAC Cross Country All-Conference Teams. 

Emma Greenlee (So./Aurora, Minn./Mesabi East) and Amanda Mosborg (So./Edina, Minn.) finished 2-3 to lead Carleton. Samantha Schnirring (Sr./Eden Prairie, Minn.), Marietta Geist (Jr./Crookston, Minn.), Helen Schuda (Jr./Seattle, Wash./Roosevelt), and Sarah Nazarino (Sr./Seattle, Wash./Garfield) also landed on the all-conference squad by finishing in seventh, ninth, 11th, and 12th, respectively. Fiona Casey (So./Chicago, Ill.) earned All-MIAC honorable mention after crossing the finish line in 25th.

Joining Mueller and Dodge on the Men’s All-MIAC Team were Cameron Meikle (Jr./Hamilton, Mont.) and Matt Wilkinson (So./Minnetonka, Minn.), who took third and sixth place, respectively. Adam Nakasaka (Fy./Chevy Chase, Md./Bethesda-Chevy Chase) earned an All-MIAC Honorable Mention nod with a 21st-place showing.

As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC also announced the 13th annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship teams for men’s and women's cross country. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches and teammates as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition.

Mosborg was honored with the award on the women’s side, and Dodge was tabbed as the honoree for the men.

The Knights are tuning up for the NCAA Central Region Championships held on Saturday, Nov. 10 in Waverly, Iowa on the Max Championship Cross Country Course. The women’s race will begin at 11:00 a.m., followed by the men’s race at 12:00 p.m.