Head Coach Donna Ricks
Office: Recreation Center 232
The 2015-16 season is 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 was named MIAC Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year in 2012 after guiding Carleton to a second-place conference finish, and is an eight-time MIAC Coach of the Year in cross country where she has led the Knights to the seven conference titles, including first-place finishes in 2013-2014-2015.
Ricks’ coaching talents are reflected in the fact that she can maximize individuals’ talents across a number of event specialties. She has coached 46 track and field All-Americans in her time at Carleton, including 6 national champions. Those NCAA titles came in a half-dozen different competitions: 100m dash, 400m hurdles, javelin, discus, pentathlon, and heptathlon.
While Aminah Ricks ’94 and Sandra Helquist ’00 won national titles on the track, the Knights recent success on the national stage has come in the field events. Amelia Campbell ’16 became just the second Division III student-athlete to win the NCAA pentathlon and heptathlon in the same year, doing so in record-breaking fashion for both events in 2014. That same year, Kao Sutton ’14 added a national title in the discus. Kelly Lovett ’11 earned three All-America awards in the javelin, including the NCAA crown in 2011.
Ricks is also involved in national competition-she served as the U.S. National Women’s Heptathlon Coach in 1996.
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.
Assistant Coach Laura (Roach) Albares '10
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.
Assistant Coach Bill Huyck