Riley Knebes Named NE-10 Women’s Track Athlete of the year

On Tuesday (July 3),  the University of New Haven announced that senior women’s track star Riley Knebes was named NE-10 women’s track Athlete of the Year. Coming off a senior season full of accolades, Knebes topped off a prolific collegiate career that led to this recognition.

“It’s bittersweet, but I wanted to finish what I started,” said Knebes. “From being Rookie of the Year to now Athlete of the Year, it has all been possible thanks to Coach Sharpe. I had the dream, he had the plan.”

Knebes finished the season at the NCAA Division II track and field national championships, where she earned All-America distinction with a fifth-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles. Knebes entered the championships as the No. 5 seed nationally, after her performance at the New England Intercollegiate Amateur Athletic Association (NEICAAA) outdoor track and field championships where she won the event with a personal best-time of 59.25 seconds. She met the provisional mark for the championships with her time of 1:01.99 in the event at the Stockton University Invitational on March 31.

In addition to her All-America honors, Knebes earned numerous awards this season, including being named U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Region in the 400- and 400-meter hurdles. She was an NE-10 Sport Excellence Award winner, and she was the 2018 New Haven women’s track and field MVP. Knebes also holds many school records, including the school record in the outdoor 400-meter hurdles, as well as the indoor 500-meter run. She also  holds the record for the indoor 600-meter run, and is part of the record-holding indoor 4×400 relay team.

In March, Knebes sat down for an interview with the members of “The Charge Up” to talk about the upcoming outdoor season, where she talked about her goals and her expectations for the team and herself.

“The mentality going into outdoor season is that we are not going to settle for being mediocre, and we are not going to settle for having a good indoor season,” said Knebes. “We want to feel confident going into every race, and we are ready to run a (Personal Record) every single time.”

The team followed her lead as the season went on. They had success as a unit and made strides in becoming a force in the NE-10 and in the national rankings.