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Mills College Cross Country Team Captures Cal Pac Conference Championship
Cyclones Qualify for NAIA Nationals on November 21, 2009
Oakland, CA–November 11, 2009. The Mills College cross country team has captured the California Pacific Conference (Cal Pac) Championship, qualifying the team to represent Cal Pac at the 30th Annual Women’s National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Championships. The competition will take place on Saturday, November 21, 2009, in Vancouver, Washington.
Last week, Mills’ top five scoring runners were among the top 15 athletes to finish the Cal Pac competition. The top three Mills runners were: Guadalupe Cazares (senior in international relations) first place winner; Angie Sandoval (senior in political, legal, and economic analysis), fourth place; and Kim Chew (junior in psychology), sixth place.
Cazares said, “I have been waiting patiently for our team to go to nationals. Now that we’ve achieved it, I am extremely proud and happy I got to see it happen.”
“The team improved throughout the year, peaked perfectly, and supported each other all the way under the leadership of head coach Laura Davis and assistant coach Katherine Williams,” said Themy Adachi, director of Mills Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation.
The Cal Pac coaches voted Mills head coach Davis “Cross Country Coach of the Year” in honor of the Mills team-winning performance and for their improvement throughout the year.
Adachi said “Davis coached the team to its highest levels—it’s an incredibly cohesive and inspired group of women. She is extremely dedicated to each of her athletes and challenges them to accomplish their best, not only as runners, but in everything they do. Every runner has grown tremendously throughout the season and is deeply committed to the team.”
“I am so proud of everyone; they’ve fought for this all season,” said Davis. “This is my fourth year at Mills, and we’ve taken the team a long way to reach the level we’ve achieved this year. We focused on creating a culture of year-round training that made the team much stronger and faster. We also actively recruited high school and community college student athletes who could help the team get to this level.”
Davis is a graduate of the Mills MFA program in creative writing and coached at Wayzata High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota before coming to Mills. She ran Division 1 cross country and track at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and completed the Boston Marathon in 2001.
During her first year at Mills, Davis initiated a track and field physical education class, laying the groundwork for the introduction of track and field as a seventh intercollegiate sport at the College in 2008.
The Mills cross country program focuses on the holistic development of each individual through the sport of running. Student-athletes benefit from personalized training and a strong team spirit. Mills coaches seek to instill each participant with a balanced focus between academics and athletics and a lifetime commitment to a healthy, active lifestyle.
Mills runners previously qualified for the NCAA and the NAIA National Championships and captured the Cal Pac Conference Championship in 1999 and 2001. The team has traveled to competitions in Hawaii, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and throughout California, supported by its endowed program.
About Mills College
Nestled in the foothills of Oakland, California, Mills College is a nationally renowned, independent liberal arts college offering a dynamic progressive education that fosters leadership, social responsibility, and creativity to approximately 950 undergraduate women and 550 graduate women and men. Since 2000, applications to Mills College have more than doubled. The College is named one of the top colleges in the West by U.S. News & World Report, and ranks as one of the Best 371 Colleges by the Princeton Review. Forbes.com ranked Mills 55th among America's best colleges and named it a "Top Ten: Best of the All-Women's Colleges." Visit us at www.mills.edu.