2009-10 Season Outlook
Karen Criss enters her senior season as one of Nebraska's top backstrokers, as she has the top returning time in the 100-yard backstroke after swimming it in 56.88 last season. Criss was an immediate contributor to the team last season after transferring to NU from Louisville. She will look to make even bigger strides this year and continue to be one of Nebraska's top threats in the backstroke events. Criss has also shown that she can contribute in the individual medley races, as she finished with the third-fastest 200 IM time on the team last season. She is expected to play a major role in the success of the Huskers in the 2009-10 season.
Criss had a fantastic first season with the Nebraska swimming and diving squad after spending her first two collegiate years at the University of Louisville. Criss had seven top-five finishes on the year, all in backstroke events. She finished first in the 25-yard backstroke against Nebraska-Omaha on Jan. 30, and had a third-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke in Nebraska's comeback win over Iowa State on Jan. 31. Criss was also a leading swimmer in the 200-yard IM in 2008-09. Criss had three top-24 finishes at the Big 12 Championships to cap off the season, setting career-best times in all three events (100 back, 200 back, 200 IM). She finished with the team's second-best 100 back (56.88) and 200 back (2:02.49) times, as well as the third-fastest 200 IM time (2:05.63).
Previous (University of Louisville)
Criss elected to attend the University of Louisville out of high school, where she immediately made an impact on the team. She was a part of the school-record 400-yard medley relay team her freshman season in 2006-07, set at the Big East Championships. Criss was a 2007 U.S. Open participant for the Cardinals, and was a regular on the relay teams in both her freshman and sophomore seasons.
Previous (High School)
Criss was a 19-time All-American at Omaha Marian High School, where she helped the Crusaders to four straight state titles. Criss became the first female swimmer in Nebraska state high school history to win eight individual events at the state meet. In 2005, Criss was ranked No. 4 nationally in the 200 IM. She was the 2003 Midwestern Swimming Junior Swimmer of the Year and holds six individual and 18 relay records for Midwestern Swimming. Criss was a part of the 2004 High School 200-medley relay team that ranked No. 8 in the nation.
Karen was born on Sept. 22, 1987, in Omaha, Neb. Her parents are Steve and Sue Criss, and she has one brother, Scott, and two sisters, Michelle, a former Husker swimmer, and twin sister Colleen, a senior swimmer at Nebraska. Karen is majoring in women and gender studies.