Olympic Legends of Minnesota: Carrie Tollefson

Carrie Tollefson / Dawson-Boyd High School

17th MN All Time, 3200m 10:30.28

20th MN All Time, 1600m 4:54.04


Carrie was born and raised in Dawson, Minnesota. In high school, Carrie won 13 state championships setting a national record of five consecutive (1990-1994) individual cross-country state championships.  She won eight individual track and field titles in the 1600 and 3200 meters, and she set a state record in the 3,200 meters in 1994 with a time of 10:30.28. Tollefson's 13 individual titles in cross country and track are the most ever in the state's history.

After a stellar high school career Tollefson went on to run cross country and track and field at Villanova. Tollefson enjoyed a stellar Wildcat career that included eight BIG EAST titles, three ECAC outdoor championships, and five NCAA titles. Tollefson won NCAA indoor championships in the 3,000 meters in 1999 and 2000, the outdoor championships in the 3,000 and 5,000 in 1999 and the 1997 cross country championship. She was also member of the 1999 NCAA Cross Country Championships team. Tollefson was a 1998 recipient of the Honda-Broderick Award, which is presented annually to 10 of the top female collegiate athletes. In 1998, Carrie was named NCAA Indoor track athlete of the year and was the first person in NCAA history to win both the 3k and 5k.

Tollefson competed in the 1,500-meter run at the 2004 Olympics. Tollefson qualified for the semifinals with a time of 4:06.46 and entered her semifinal heat with the 14th best overall time from an original field of 44 runners. She was ranked #1 nationally by Track and Field News. In 2006, at the USA Cross Country Championships, she won the 3,000 meter and 4k race.

Now an Olympian and 3-time national champion she lives and trains in her home state of Minnesota where she hopes to encourage and motivate the next generation.