In the world of NCAA athletics, you can be an All-America even if you're not American.
Sophomores Karen Goetze and Ian Carswell--natives of France and Canada, respectively--found themselves in this latest NCAA-conjured conundrum March 11 at the RCA Dome in the Indianapolis, Ind.
Goetze and Carswell were both named All-Americas for their performances in the NCAA Track and Field Championships, held deep in the heart of Hoosier Country this weekend.
Carswell clocked in at 8:08.64, placing seventh in the 3000 meter. Goetze--who is quick to point out that the she has dual citizenship in France and the United States--came in at 2:08.99, good enough for eighth in the 800.
Arkansas's Jason Bunston (8:06.81) took first in Carswell's 3000-meter race, while three-time winner Wisconsin's Amy Wickus (2:04.86) crossed the line before everyone else in the 800.
Goetze battled Julie Cote of Wisconsin-Madison for the third and final place in a surprisingly slow preliminary heat.
"The heat went out much slower than I thought it was going to," said Goetze, who is the first Harvard athlete to earn indoor track All-America since 1990. "I assumed it was going to be a fast pace. I knew it was going to be a sprint at the end when I heard the 400 split was 64 seconds."
Goetze edged Cote by only to two-hundredths of a second to make it into the finals.
In fact, the heat was close all around. First-place finisher Wickus crossed the line only 20-hundredths of a second in front of last place finisher Cote.
"I had been second or third position around the 400-meter point," Goetze said. "At some point, I got passed. I knew, however, that there was four of us running and that only the first three would make it. Right at the end, I nipped [Cote].
"The race was so close we couldn't tell who got it in. We had to wait around for a couple of minutes to see who got in," she said.
For Goetze, it was a different--and more disappointing--story in the final.
In a congested ("a lot of pushing and shoving" in Goetze's words) and faster race the sophomore crossed the finish line dead last.
"After I heard the first 400 split, I realized that I was running last," Goetze said. "It was sort of a shock. I didn't hear anyone behind me. I just tried to finish up anyway I could."
Despite the lackluster finish, Goetze remains upbeat about the 1994-95 indoor season.