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Medina+heads+for+his+first+place+finish+in+the+CCAA+Championships.+Photo+credit%3A+Gary+Towne
Medina heads for his first place finish in the CCAA Championships. Photo credit: Gary Towne

Medina heads for his first place finish in the CCAA Championships. Photo credit: Gary Towne

Medina heads for his first place finish in the CCAA Championships. Photo credit: Gary Towne

Terren Pouncy

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Kyle Medina is not your average college student. While the average college student enjoys weekends filled with alcohol and bad decisions, Medina actively enjoys recovering for his upcoming runs, researching different aspects of improving his athletic performance and watching Dragon Ball Z videos.

Medina was born in Portland, Oregon and remained there until the age of eight which led him moving to Ventura, California with his young brother. Medina attended Ventura High School, where he first ran track as a long sprinter his sophomore year with the help of his teacher who was also the head track coach.

From there, he made the transition and joined the cross country team his junior year. Now running 800 and 1,600 meter races, instead of the 400 meter races. Medina also picked up an interest in skateboarding, which was something he did when he wasn’t running.

Medina is currently in his fifth year at Chico State, and he has already been named the California Collegiate Athletic Association runner of the week twice this year. He plans to graduate with a bachelor’s in Kinesiology: Movement Studies. What mainly brought him to Chico State, was his interaction with current head coach Gary Towne and the cross-country team, while on his visit.

“I knew I was making the right decision,” explained Medina.

To him, the family based dynamic, the willingness to train hard, and the success at the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Championships, had him sold.

Post-collegiately, Medina’s first and ultimate goal is to continue to better himself as an athlete and possibly get a professional career going. Although, it’s a “hard market” to get into. However, Medina has a backup plan.

“If the running thing doesn’t work out, then I would turn to coaching. Being an assistant coach for my for high school or possibly Chico State would be amazing. I really enjoy sharing my experiences and knowledge with those who are seeking to improve, and willing to listen,” said Medina.

Medina loves the “small town vibe” of Chico. Originally being from Portland and currently living near Los Angeles, he has an appreciation for Chico’s lack of metropolitan features. Medina thinks the local Chico community is “awesome.”

“There’s a lot I love about Chico, as a city. The first is obviously Bidwell Park,” said Medina, “having such an amazing network of trails.”

He loves how everyone takes pride in being a Chico local and how the businesses in the area is not much different. Medina thinks having well-known companies like Sierra Nevada and Klean Kanteen based in Chico, makes it a place worth being involved with.

“No traffic, no smog, no buildings to distort the natural scenery; it’s all wonderful,” eagerly explained Medina.

Medina has had several people influence him throughout his life, however his high school coach Kory Anderson and Chico State coach Gary Towne influenced him the most. Kory Anderson showed him what it meant to have purpose and drive and kept him on the path towards success. Gary Towne has given him maturity to that purpose and drive, and showing him that he is capable of doing anything.

“For that I am eternally grateful,” said Medina, and know that by doing my best, and helping the next generation I will be doing them proud.”

The Chico State men’s cross country team won their 16th-straight CCAA title on Oct. 22. Medina took the top spot in the race, and hopes to do the same in the NCAA West Regional Championships on Nov. 4.

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