From the Editor
From the Editor
In 1962, Chico State alum Irene Obera, then 28, was featured in Sports Illustrated after breaking 11 seconds in the 100-yard dash. More than 50 years later, at age 80, Obera once again was in SI, this time for “running the 200 meters in 38.10 … unofficially becoming the oldest woman to break 40 seconds.”
Then, this March, Obera broke four records and took three national titles in one weekend at the USA Masters Indoor Track & Field Championships in Boston. She was named USATF Athlete of the Week.
What’s even more notable about Obera’s success is that her professional life has been focused on education, not running. She spent 36 years as an educator for Berkeley Unified School District, including serving as the district’s first female continuation school principal. She says seeing her students graduate has been her life’s “crowning glory.”
Today’s Wildcats also exemplify this dedication to education. This spring, student-athletes Kasey Barnett, Sara Mikesell, and Aja Erskine were named to the 2013–2014 Capital One Academic All-District Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country Team. They were selected for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom, including achieving a 3.30 or better GPA. Barnett is also the CCAA Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
These three accomplished athletes know, just as Obera does, that success in athletics and academics so often go hand in hand. We applaud them and the many Chico State student-athletes who have gone before them—well done, Wildcats!
—Marion Harmon (Master of Public Administration, ’07)