Press "Enter" to skip to content

Cyclone Spotlight: Mills meets NCAA Regionals

All photos by Kurt Loeffler

Cindy Nguyen-Pham

Year: Sophomore

Major: English Creative  Writing

Being a part of the Cross Country Team this semester has definitely been one of the most challenging and rewarding things I’ve ever done. Cross Country is not only just about the physical demands, but also about the strong mentality required to keep going. I am fortunate to have a group of such amazing teammates to support and encourae me the whole way through.

Despite the cold, Regionals went very well for me. I was able to put aside my discomfort with the weather to concentrate on running my best and managed to end the season with a personal record.

Between the race the Cross Country Team participated in on Nov. 3 and the Regionals on Nov. 10, Nguyen-Pham was able to beat her time, creating a new personal record.


November 3 Race

What: Doc Adams Invitational

Where: Davis, California

When: 10:45 a.m.

Improvement: from 37:00 to 31:23


November 10 Race

What: NCAA West Regionals

Where: Salem, Oregon

When: 12 p.m.

Improvement: from 31:23 to 29:48

Katherine Allen (Co-Captain)

Year: Junior

Major: Math and Literature double major

This season was sort of a stereotypical “underdog” story. Most of the girls on the team were new to Cross Country and, aside from Maya and I, none of us previously knew each other. We all started out as strangers, but after weeks of waking up at 5 a.m., running in rain and getting lost in the Oakland Hills together, we all become close friends. Although none of us made it to nationals this year, I really feel like this team is still at the beginning of its journey and fully expect to have a very strong team next year. I love all the athletes on our team and feel honored to have had the opportunity to run with such inspiring and strong women.

Regionals went beautifully. It was such a fantastic experience to run in such a huge race and to have so many spectators cheering every runner on. However, my favorite part of Regionals was after the meet was over and we all just chilled, took crazy pictures and watched movies – all the things we don’t get to do together during the season.

Sheila Bauzon

Year: Freshman

Major: Nursing

This is my first year of ever running Cross Country. I used to play basketball and softball, but those sports aren’t offered at Mills. There have been countless times during the season when I just wanted to give up, but those times really showed me how great the mental aspect of running is and once I’m able to get over the mental wall of exhaustion, I can perform at my best. It also helps that we have an amazing coach that understands everything from sport related injuries to how busy we all are outside of Cross Country. It’s really motivating to know that someone is there to positively encourage and push you to in order to meet your goals. I definitely feel stronger both mentally and physically after this experience.

As for the NCAA Regionals, I had an amazing time with my team! I started strong and ended strong, so I’m proud of myself. It was a great bonding experience that I feel will prepare us for competitions next year.

Maya Lama (Co-Captain)

Year: Senior

Major: Economics Major, Public Policy Minor

I am passionate about running. My team experience was so amazing it brings me to tears writing about it. This was the best senior gift I could have received as a Mills student athlete. Coach Cindy is not only our coach but our mentor. She has provided me with words of wisdom to guide me through my athletic, academic and personal life. I am taking five full classes, while working part-time and running Cross Country. Without the support of my teammates and my coach, I don’t think I would have made it this far. Cross Country has brought us all together in so many ways. We are sisters for life, no matter where our lives take us after we graduate. It’s my last year on the team, so all I want to do is cry…it’s a very bittersweet experience.

NCAA Regionals were competitive! The race was nerve racking, amazing, fun and exhilarating. If it were up to me, I would do this every year of my life until I die. I am very competitive. The morning of Regionals, all I could think about was to run the best race of my life. The chilly, cold weather in Salem (it was under 40 degrees) was the last thing on my mind. I was proud to represent the Cyclones and Mills College with my teammates. I personally ran my best race and had a new personal record for the season. When our legs were tired we ran with our hearts as a team. And as a team co-captain I can attest that we gave our best and we left all we had on the field for the championship.  I loved it every bit of it. I love Cross Country!

Carolina Sanchez

Year: Freshman

Major: Economics

My experience with Cross Country has been such a journey. During the beginning of the season, I was shy and afraid to talk to my teammates. As the season progressed, that all started changing. My teammates helped me push myself and try my hardest. Coach Olavarri is an amazing coach and she also helped me push myself. I feel so close to each and every one of them and if I need advice or help with something, I know can call one of them and they will be there for me.

The NCAA Regionals went great! I tried my best and that’s all that I feel matters. I had an amazing time with my teammates and I had such an awesome time bonding with them. I can’t wait for next year!