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Carlson Named EIU Female Athlete Of The Year


Lindsey Carlson has been named the Eastern Illinois Female Athlete of the Year for the 2021-22 academic year.  The award comes on the heels of the Panthers distance runner being named the Ohio Valley Conference Female Athlete of the Year.


Carlson was one five candidates for the award this year joining Hannah Cravens (softball), Lariah Washington (basketball), Akiya Kollore (track & field) and Danielle Allen (volleyball).  The Athlete of the Year Award is presented to the top overall athlete based on athletic success during the most recent year of competition.  Starting in 2020-21 the award was to the top Female and top Male athlete regardless of academic year (prior to 2020-21, the award was presented to the top male and female senior athlete).


Carlson started her career as an All-OVC soccer player for the Panthers but took advantage of her extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19 to run cross country for the first time at the collegiate level. She earned OVC Runner of the Week honors four times during the year on her way to OVC Athlete of hte Year and Athlete of the Championship honors. She won the OVC crown by 28 seconds with a 5K time of 17:47.9. She would go on to earn All-Midwest honors by placing 20th at the Regional with a 6K time of 21:14.24.  Carlson set the EIU records in both the 5K and 6K during the season.

Carlson was injured during a large portion of the indoor track season but did return to score points in both the 3,000 meter and 5,000 meter events at the OVC Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Returning healthy for the Outdoor Track & Field season, Carlson swept both distance events at the OVC Outdoor Championship, scoring 20 points as the Panthers placed fourth as a team. She had a 32-second win in the 10,000 meter run on the opening night of the championship (37:06.16) and returned two days later to win the 5,000 meters by 10 seconds (17:17.83). During the outdoor season Carlson set the school record in both the 5K (16:27.08, becoming the first EIU runner with a sub-17 minutes time) and the 10k (34:13.13, the first sub-35 minute time in school history). Carlson will run at the NCAA West Regional in the 10,000 meter run as she currently ranks 39th in the event.

Carlson was the third different Eastern Illinois student-athlete to be named OVC Female Athlete of the Year, joining volleyball player Erica Gerth (2004-05) and track and field athlete Kandace Arnold (2009-10).


EIU did not recognize athletic award winners for the 2019-20 athletic year due to COVID-19 canceling the spring sports season.  The EIU Male Athlete of the Year Award will be announced on Tuesday.


Complete List of Previous EIU Award Winners

2021-22 Award Winners

Male Athletic Director’s Award – Jaime Marcos, Cross Country / Track & Field

Female Athletic Director’s Award – Megan Burton, Softball

Male Athlete of the Year – TBA

Female Athlete of the Year – Lindsey Carlson, Cross Country / Track & Field

Male Newcomer of the Year – Chris Worcester, Baseball

Female Newcomer of the Year – Jaylen Prichard, Softball

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