Mills Athletics News
November 22, 2009 It’s been a good season for the Mills cross country Cyclones. After winning the California Pacific Conference meet two weeks ago, the Cyclones completed their season at the NAIA National Championships, hosted by Cascade College and Nike in Vancouver, Washington. Seven Mills women represented their team on the challenging, muddy 5k course that included 330 of the best runners in the country.
Senior Co-Captain Angie Sandoval, who placed second for Mills at the conference meet, finished first for the Cyclones with a time of 21:27, followed closely by Junior Kim Chew (21:36), who placed third for Mills at the conference meet. Cal Pac Conference Champion Lupe Cazares (Sr), came in third for Mills at the national meet with 22:17. First-year runners Safi Karmy-Jones (23:10) and Rachel Jensen (24:08), who have both consistently been top Mills runners, completed the Cyclone’s scoring team (the top five runners on each team score). Senior Elena Adler and First-year Dana Webb finished in 24:11 and 24:28 respectively.
Senior Co-Captain Perla Cantu and Sophomore Jillian Harris traveled with the team as alternates. At an awards ceremony at the Nike headquarters on Friday, Cantu was awarded the NAIA Champions of Character individual award, an honor given to one athlete on each qualifying team who models the NAIA Champions of Character qualities of respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership, and sportsmanship. Cantu has been on the cross country team for four years, and has been voted by her teammates as a captain in every season. Cazares and Adler were recognized as Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athletes for maintaining a minimum GPA of 3.5 while competing as student-athletes.
For athletes like Cantu and Cazares, who have both been on the team for four years and have seen its dramatic transformation, simply being at the national meet was a dream realized. Cazares, Adler, and Cantu will graduate during this academic year knowing that they have laid the groundwork for a future legacy. But for the other six Cyclones and their teammates who did not travel to Nationals, this is only the beginning.