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Cyclone Spotlight: eye on the prize

Mills College track and field thrower Perla Cantu, a biology major, has only a few chances left to compete as a Mills Cyclone, but she’s making them count.

Cantu, who has been a top distance runner on the Mills cross country team for four years in a row, took up the javelin her sophomore year when she couldn’t run due to a chronic injury.

Perla Cantu with a javelin. (APER)

A year after she learned to throw, Cantu set a school record of 81 feet, nine inches in 2009. But at the Maurice Compton Invitational at Merritt College April 17, Cantu broke her own school record and set a new record of 97 feet, 4.5 inches.

She was pleased with the accomplishment, which earned her seventh place in the meet, but wasn’t content to stop there.

“Perla’s got her eye on breaking 100 feet,” said Head Track and Field Coach Laura Davis. “When Perla is determined to do something, she makes it happen.”

Cantu has been a captain of both the cross country and the track and field teams for four years and has been the recipient of countless team awards, including the prestigious APER Service Award in 2009 and the Myrtt Wytcomb Award in 2010, both of which are given to only one student-athlete from all Mills teams each year.

“Perla’s teammates have some big shoes to fill,” Davis said. “She hasn’t just set new standards for throwing; she’s set the standard of what it means to be a leader and a model Mills student-athlete.”