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Athletic banquet held to honor Cyclones

Cyclones gather for the Athletic Dinner. (Nicole Vermeer)

Mills College’s annual Athletic Awards Banquet, which recognizes Mills student athletes and the Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation (APER) staff, proved to be a memorable event.

Bon Appetit catered dinner at the April 14 event, held in the Orchard Meadow residence dining hall. Attendees included President Janet Holmgren and Joi Lewis, the Dean of Students and Vice Provost.

Students were given awards in three different categories, the Athletic Excellence Awards, Leadership and Community Service Awards and the Scholarship Awards.

Kurt Loeffler won the APER Service Award for his dedication to Mills athletics. He first was on campus just to swim in the pool but now serves as a full-time staff member. He is also a lifeguarding teacher and the “official” APER photographer, which means
he photographs every sports
team at Mills.

Many of the awards recognized academic achievement in different categories. 56 scholar athletes had a grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or higher last year. The team and the student with the highest GPA were given awards. This year, the swim team had the highest GPA overall.
Perla Cantu, a fourth-year cross country and third-year track and field runner, was given the Myrt Whitcomb Leadership Award for her involvement with the community.

Senior Kirin Khan, a four-year rower, won the Leadership Award for her participation in athletics and her high GPA. She has been a leader on the Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Commitee board where she represents Mills. She started off her thank-you speech by saying “I’m gonna keep this short because I like my speeches how I like my coxswains: short and fierce,” which elicited loud cheers from the crew team.

Athletic Director Themy Adachi summed up the team’s achievements by saying crew was “Smarter than Barbie, stronger than Ken and tougher than Themy.”

Athletes who had been selected for Cal Pac all-conference honors were also recognized at the banquet. Soccer team members Chelsea Satterwhite and Katja Davis were selected for first and second team, respectively, and volleyball player Sally Espinoza was selected for second team all-conference. The cross country team also won first team all conference.

In addition, students were recognized for how many years they committed to their teams.

Tennis coach Jesse Medvene-Collins thanked four-year team members for their commitment by saying, “You have been a true stabilizing force in our department.”

Coaches were also honored with Laura Davis winning coach of the year.