June 10, 2006
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - In the final race of her collegiate career, senior Keira Carlstrom (Oakton, Va./Oakton) finished with a furious kick to take ninth in the NCAA Championships 5000 meters, becoming the school's first female student-athlete to earn four All-American honors.
Utilizing the same patient strategy that got her into the final, Carlstrom settled onto the back of the pack for two-thirds of the race, hitting mile splits of 5:14 and 10:33. When the eventual winner surged, breaking up the pack, Carlstrom stuck to her pace and worked her way through the rest of field, including many stragglers who had spent their energy following the leader's move. On the final lap, Carlstrom went for broke, outsprinting four competitors, including one just five meters from the line to take ninth-place in 16:22.20.
With her four All-American honors, Carlstrom ties former Eagle middle-distance standout Sean O'Brien for the most by an AU athlete in any sport. Her award was the 13th All American honor in head coach Matt Centrowitz's tenure at American. For each of the past five years, at least one Eagle runner has made All American at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Ending her time at American on a high note, Carlstrom leaves the school with an unmatched legacy of excellence in both athletics and the classroom. On the track and in cross country, her dominance in the league was unmatched. In total she was named to 23-All Patriot League teams and was a 21-time PL Champion, including 11 individual titles. As a harrier, Carlstrom's feats are untouched by any school or league competitor. From sophomore year through this past fall, Carlstrom toyed with league, running to three consecutive league cross country championships, each by sizable margins. She went on to capture All-American honors three times in cross country, including this past fall when she became the Patriot League's first three-time All-American in cross country. In addition, her sixth-place finish was the highest individual placing in the history of the league. At American, the record books are overflowing with Carlstrom's performances as eleven school records bear her name. Academically, Carlstrom was a six-time Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year and named to the PL Academic Honor Roll every semester of college. This past month she was named to the CoSIDA District 2 All Academic First Team. Whether in the classroom, on the track or in cross country, Carlstrom has undoubtedly left a resume that will be hard to match by any future Eagles.
The NCAA Championship meet concludes the season for the Eagles' track team.