After she laced up her first pair of running shoes, Kathy Mills knew she had found her sport. From that moment on until she hung her sneakers up for good, Mills was a winner.
Mill attended Fayetteville-Manlius and also participated with Al Bonney’s famous Syracuse Chargers indoor and outdoor track programs. In 1975, she placed first in the New York State Intersectional Girls Cross Country Championship held at Elma Meadow. She also ran in the National AAU Junior Women’s Championship held in Belmont, California. Mills was honored as WTVH Channel 5’s Athlete of the Week as well as the Syracuse Newspapers Female Track Athlete of the Year in the mile and two-mile events.
Mills went to Penn State where she received a full athletic scholarship and starred in cross country and indoor and outdoor track. She won numerous conference, national and international awards, including three prestigious Broderick Awards (given to the top colligate female athlete in the country). In 1977, Mills won the AIAW National Collegiate Cross-Country Championship held in Austin, Texas. Just a sophomore, she blitzed the 5,000-meter course in an amazing 16:50.2.
1978 was another big year in Mills’ career as she won the 5,000-meter AIAW National Track & Field Championship. She set a new world record in the outdoor 5,000-meter event at the University of Tennessee.
Despite the wear and tear of this tenuous sport, which resulted in surgeries, Mills continued to compete at a high level. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism.
Mills, who now resides in Oregon, is married to Mark Parker, an executive with Nike, and they have three children.
1975: Placed first in the state Girls Cross Country Championship
1977: Won the AIAW National Collegiate Cross Country Championship
1978: Set a new world record in the outdoor 5000 meters