SEGUIN, Texas -- Texas Lutheran's Kylee Garcia, a senior runner on the women's cross country team, has been selected the SCAC Character & Community Female Student-Athlete of the Week for the week beginning Oct. 28.
The SCAC Character & Community award honors the efforts of student-athletes who excel in the field of athletics and also serve their campus and community.
Garcia is native of Wichita Falls, Texas and a graduate of Rider High School.
Garcia, a four-year letter-winner for the Bulldogs in women's cross country and women's track & field, is a four-time SCAC Academic Honor Roll member. She has been TLU's top women's cross country runner this season. She has posted top-30 finishes at NCAA Division I meets hosted by the University of the Incarnate Word and the University of Texas, and she has placed 12th overall at the Our Lady of the Lake 2019 Saints Invite and 12th at the Concordia Cross Country Classic.
Garcia also collected a top-20 finish at the Disney World Cross Country Classic, where she raced among 154 other competitors, and she placed in the top third among runners at the largely DI and DII meet hosted by the University of California-Riverside.
"Last season I was injured and that motivated me a lot for this semester to do really good," said Garcia. "I spent my summer at altitude, training in New Mexico, with the goal of winning conference and qualifying for nationals. It was the transition of me tired of being mediocre and wanting to improve and see what I could accomplish."
Garcia, a kinesiology major, will graduate this December. She plans to teach and coach, and she would like to pursue a graduate degree in the near future.
Garcia currently balances her cross country training with her student teaching at Seguin High School in the Seguin Independent School District. She also has worked with students in the Navarro Independent School District.
"I enjoyed my time at Navarro, and I learned a lot," said Garcia. "I just started my experience at Seguin High School, and I will be there until I graduate. So I am balancing that with my cross country training right now."
Garcia has been a volunteer with her grandfather at Meals on Wheels, delivering meals to the elderly and disabled. She also has delivered Christmas cards to nursing homes. Garcia has been a frequent volunteer with TLU's day of community service, Day of the Dogs.
"My experience (at TLU) as been awesome," said Garcia. "I wouldn't change anything since being here. I am going to miss my team. They are like family to me. I'd do anything for them."
"I'm going to miss my coaches, especially Coach (Darlene) Holland. She has helped me to grow a lot this past year. Really just the team aspect and the friends I have made over the years is what I am going to miss the most."
Garcia will race in her final SCAC Cross Country Championship this Saturday. The race will be held at Widick Field in Colorado Springs, Colo. The championship is hosted by Colorado College.
"I'm ecstatic," said Garcia on racing at the conference championship. "This is it. It's do or die, basically. I'm really wanting to go out there and see what I can do. Do my best, win."
"It will be at altitude, so that will be tough. But I am going to put it all out there and run with no regrets."