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Childs-Walker Named MIAC Outstanding Track Athlete, Ricks Tabbed Coach-of-the-Year

March 7, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Simone Childs-Walker, Women's Track & Field action shot (lo-res)Full MIAC Release

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Last weekend at the MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships, Simone Childs-Walker (Sr./Seattle, Wash./Lakeside) turned in another impressive performance as she won both the 3,000- and 5,000-meter runs… for the fourth time. Coaches around the conference recognized Childs-Walker by selecting her as the 2012 MIAC Indoor Outstanding Women's Track Athlete. While she was pulling off another long-distance double, the rest of the Carleton College squad had its best showing at the MIAC Championships since 1996, helping Donna Ricks to be chosen as the 2012 MIAC Women's Indoor Track and Field Coach-of-the-Year.

Childs-Walker was honored at the MIAC Indoor Championships for the second-straight season after earning Outstanding Performance-of-the-Meet honors in 2011. The Knights' star finished first in the 3,000 by almost two seconds with a winning time of 10:07.14, and was first in the 5,000 by more than five seconds as she finished the race in 17:26.06. The 3,000 time was a new Leonard Center record, and she also ran the anchor leg on Carleton's distance medley relay. The Knights finished second, earning All-MIAC honorable mention. Childs-Walker's performances helped Carleton finish second in the team standings behind only the first-place Tommies.

Childs-Walker is no stranger to success in the long-distance races or to collecting citations from the conference. In addition to her indoor work, she has also won the 5,000- and 10,000-meter runs at the MIAC Outdoor meet in each of her first three seasons. In 2011, Childs-Walker shared honors for Outstanding Performance of the Meet at the conference outdoor championships and was named the Outstanding Women’s Track Athlete.

She will race at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships for the fourth time on Saturday, March 10.

Donna Ricks, women's track and fieldRicks earned her second MIAC coaching honor of the 2011-12 academic year, adding the MIAC Indoor Track and Field Coach-of-the-Year honor to her 2011 MIAC Women's Cross Country Coach-of-the-Year award. Ricks—in her 19th season with the Knights—received her most recent award for guiding Carleton to a second-place finish over the weekend with 114 points.

In addition to Childs-Walker’s two titles, Ellie Wilson (Fy./Roseville, Minn./Roseville) won top honors in the 400-meter dash, and Haley Johnson (Jr./Golden Valley, Minn./Robbinsdale Cooper) captured the crown in the 1,000-meter run. Ricks also coached four second-place finishes and a total of 16 top-six performances. This is Ricks' second career MIAC track and field coaching honor (1995) and her sixth overall with four in cross country.

“This award is deserving of our entire coaching staff,” said Ricks. “It is impossible for one individual to organize, plan and coach all of the events that are a part of track and field, plus we had some pretty incredible athletes to work with.

“I would like to especially thank my assistant coach Cassie Funke-Harris. I feel we have really worked together, just like it was a total team effort to finish second. This award is certainly a coaching team effort, and I would like to say a special ‘thank you’ to Cassie, Bill Huyck, and Leon Lunder.”

As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC selected the sixth annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for Women's Indoor Track & Field. 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. Haley Johnson was Carleton’s representative on the sportsmanship squad.