This column appeared in the Arizona Daily Sun on Dec. 3, 2005.
Note: Johanna Nilsson was one of the most supremely talented athletes I’ve ever seen. She passed away at age 30 in June 2013 in an apparent suicide.
Nilsson’s run-away cross country championship was no small feat
By Ed Odeven
Winning should be enjoyable for any athlete. Sometimes, though, it’s even more enjoyable for a coach.
Such was the case for NAU cross country coach John Hayes on Nov. 21 at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind.
While at nationals, Hayes witnessed history being made in the women’s 6-kilometer race. Lumberjacks standout Johanna Nilsson took first in a field of 253 runners, setting a course-record of 19 minutes, 34 seconds in the process. Nilsson shared or held the lead for the entire race.
“As a coach, you may or may not ever have another NCAA cross-country…
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