Pacing The Field With Milena Basile

Aug. 8, 2003

Senior women's cross country runner Milena Basile is one of the most improved performers in the Bronco distance program and has been one of the team's top runners in each of her first three seasons on the Mission campus. A native of Bellevue, Wash., Basile is active in campus and student-athlete affairs, serving as the community outreach committee chair for the Student-Athlete Leadership Council. She was honored with the Team Captain Award at last year's cross country banquet and is was a West Coast Conference All-Academic selection as a junior. Recently, SantaClaraBroncos.com caught up with Milena to talk about the upcoming season.

Q: What have you been doing this summer?
A: "This summer I have been 'coaching' 5-7 year olds soccer at Skyhawk camps. It is definitely an entertaining job. I have also been volunteering at physical therapy clinics to get hours for graduate school. And, of course, I have been running."

Q: What are your goals for this season and what predictions do you make for the team's success?
A: "This season I would like to see our team finish first in conference, which is a very reasonable goal, and to finish top 12 at regionals in Portland. With a solid group of girls returning and an amazing pack of freshmen coming in we should do extremely well this year."

Q: Who would you identify as your biggest inspiration athletically?
A: "I would have to say my old high school cross country coach, Mindy Leffler. She was an All-American at Georgetown and has continued to excel at the sport. Mindy got me started running and ever since day one I have looked up to her as a runner and as a person."

Q: Who is your closest friend on the team and why?
A: "Although our whole team is really close, Robin Bell and Katie Hansen are my closest friends. Two years ago we started training in the off season and ever since then we have been tight. We have the same sense of humor, lifestyle, and goals and they are really great people. And they share my love of Yumi Yogurt."

Q: What do you think of your coach, Tom Service?
A: "Tom is a great coach. Ever since he took over as head coach two years ago our team had been constantly improving. He sets high goals and provides us with the training and support for us to achieve them."

Q: What are your thoughts on the incoming freshman class?
A: "The incoming freshman are by far the most talented class SCU has had. A few of them will have an immediate impact on our team and all of them will add depth."

Q: Describe a typical day for a Bronco women's cross country runner during the season.
A: "Season is a stressful yet exciting time. A typical day starts by going to morning classes. Then we head to afternoon practice -- hopefully not in the heat. We usually drive to Rancho San Antonio, Los Gatos, or Baylands to run on trails. Next we do drills, ice, and go over to Benson for a team dinner. I'm usually in bed by nine o'clock."

Q: How has your experience at Santa Clara University affected you as a person?
A: "Running for SCU has had such a positive impact on my life. It has forced me to be a leader. It was challenged me. It has taught me so much about myself. And it has introduced me to so many great friends."

Q: What are your career plans?
A: "Right now I plan on attending graduate school in the fall of 2004 to begin working towards doctorate in physical therapy."

Q: If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
A: "If I were lucky enough to win the lottery I would donate some of it to charity (Diabetes Association), use some to pay for graduate school, and the rest to buy shirts, sweats, shoes, and practice uniforms for our humble cross country teams."