Lincoln Graduate Mia Kane at UCLA


Charlie Townes

Alumni Mia Kane competes for UCLA at Dellinger invite in Springfield, Oregon.

Keira Saavedra

For Mia Kane, running is not just about competing, it is about being strong and capable. Running means family, and it means staying physically happy, healthy and fit. 

Kane ran cross country and track & field for Lincoln all through high school, competed in countless state competitions and was part of the historic Lincoln team that competed at Nike Cross Nationals in 2019.

She has since taken her talents and love for the sport to the D1 collegiate level at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), where she has had an extraordinary freshman cross country season. Kane committed to UCLA with an athletic scholarship at the beginning of her senior year in high school. 

“This has definitely been my best cross season of my life, which is really awesome,” Kane said.

She has competed in numerous races this season, most recently at the Pacific-12 conference (Pac-12) Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah. She placed 50th overall and was the second scorer on her team, an admirable accomplishment as a freshman.

“It was so fun to be up there with my teammates and race with all the other Pac-12 schools and all these other crazy athletes, some of which I had raced in high school or I had seen on RunnerSpace [A news media website that shares running news and competitions]. It was just a really awesome race environment,” she said.

In the past couple of months, Kane has been busy with the UCLA intense weekly practice schedule.

“NCAA [National College Athletic Association] requires 20 or less hours, so we practice 20 hours a week. We have practice every morning except Wednesdays, [when we are expected to train] on our own, and Saturdays, which we have off. We have weights in the afternoon twice a week and the training is pretty intense,” Kane said.

When deciding where to go for school, Kane was not thinking she would run in college until coaches began to reach out. It was then that she realized she had the athletic ability to pursue her passion for running in the next stage of her life. 

“As I started to actually think about my life and envision myself at a certain college, [UCLA] was really the only place I could see myself,” Kane said. “It has the academic rigor that I was looking for and it is still so crazy to me that I get to be part of such a historic athletic program.”

Kane also likes the coaching staff at UCLA and is beginning to build stronger relationships with them. 

“They are starting to get to know me more as a runner which is really awesome. Of course, you don’t just show up on the first day and have the same relationship with your coach in college as you did in high school, but as you start to get to know each other and pick up on each other’s quirks, relationships start to form,” she said. “Everything just gets better and better with time.” 

Kane is happy to have great teammates that she has already built strong friendships with, and is excited to continue establishing a life for herself in Los Angeles. 

“I am looking forward to getting better and having some more leadership on the team. I am just starting to learn the ways of everything going on here. I love my teammates, so that makes everything a lot easier,” she said.  “I am excited to get faster, get more experience, take more classes and find more things to be interested in. Everything still feels so new and exciting.