Rice 2009-2010: Conference USA Commissioner's Academic Medalist; C-USA Academic Honor Roll; C-USA Swimming All-Academic Team; Earned Rice's Kathryn Scholl True Blue Spirit Award as the Owls' swimmer with the best enthusiasm and positive attitude at meets and during daily practice; Rice University Honor Athlete; Won Rice's first C-USA individual championship in two years with a dramatic come-from-behind victory in the 500-yard freestyle... Swam a career-best 4:52.13 to win the C-USA crown and provisionally qualify for the NCAA Championships... Reached the championship finals of the C-USA's 200-free, finishing eighth after a career-best 1:52.09 in the prelims... Came back and won the bronze medal as part of a 1-2-3 Rice finish in the league's 1,650-free with a season-best 16:58.97... Swam a 10:11.99 in the first 1,000 yards in the conference mile, her best mark of the season for that distance.
2008-09: Conference USA Academic Honor Roll; Came up big with two top five finishes in the distance events at the C-USA Championships held across town at the University of Houston... Started the meet with a career-best 4:53.96 to take fifth in the 500-freestyle... Came back with a fourth place in the C-USA's 1,650-free, recording a career-best time of 16:51.99... Swam a 10:08.89 in the first 1,000 yards of the C-USA mile, the team's second-best time at that distance for the entire season... Notched a career-best 1:54.31 in the prelims of the 200-free.
2007-08: Conference USA Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll; Helped give the Owls a scoring punch in the distance events in her inaugural season of college swimming... Finished fourth in the mile at the C-USA Championships and was tenth in the 500... Placed 11th in the 200-free... Posted the team's third-fastest time of the year in the 500 (5:03.59) at the NIKE Invitational in Irvine, Calif.
High School A 2007 graduate of Cedar Park High School in Cedar Park, Texas... Earned all-America and all-state honors in the 500-freestyle... Named the female senior athlete of the year training under coach John Baltzel... Four-time team MVP... Won the District 15-5A championship in the 500 as a senior in 2007... Served as Timberwolves' team captain... Was in the Top 11 of her class... National merit finalist... Honored as an AP Scholar with Distinction... Served as the newspaper's editor & chief.
Club Competed for Texas Gold Swimming... Coached by Aubrey Knapper and Sharon Churchin.
Personal Full Name: Karen Raquel Gerken. Born: July 14, 1989 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Parents: Chris and Kay (Snell) Gerken of Austin (two brothers). A Rice legacy athlete as both her parents and two aunts (Carol and Barbara Snell) were varsity swimmers for the Owls in the 1980s. Her mother is the only four-time recipient of the program's prestigious Catherine Hannah Award as the outstanding Rice female swimmer. All three Snell sisters earned all-America honors for the Owls. College: Hanszen.
|200 Freestyle||1:52.09||2010 C-USA Championships|
|500 Freestyle||4:52.13||2010 C-USA Championships|
|1,000 Freestyle||10:08.89||2009 C-USA Championships|
|1,650 Freestyle||16:51.99||2009 C-USA Championships|