Exceptional Student-Athletes

Wildcat Cameron Santos is one of the top hitters in the nation on one of the top teams in the nation. He led the 8th-ranked Wildcats in batting average, runs batted in, triples, and stolen bases—earning distinction as the 2017 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Player of Year. Off the field, the business administration major is a member of Chico State’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and takes part in giving back to the community with canned food drives, community cleanups, elementary school fundraisers, and more, while also hoping to show other young people with type 1 diabetes that they can always excel at the things they love. 

Kym Crosby stands in her Team USA uniform with a bronze medal around her neck.

Track and field athlete Kym Crosby ran to a bronze-medal finish in the 100-meters at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janiero. The kinesiology major finished the dash in 12.63 seconds and continues to compete internationally as a member of Team USA.

Basketball player and biology major Whitney Branham finished the 2016–17 season as the CCAA’s fourth-leading scorer (14.5 points per game), tied for third in 3-pointers made per game (2.3), and led the conference in free throw percentage (89.4 percent)—all while earning a 4.0 GPA.

Whitney Branham prepares to take a shot during a basketball game
A poster image featuring cross country runner Haley Kroll's image and quote, "I don't say 'Man up' because it insinuates women can't be courageous."

The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee’s “We Don’t Say” campaign, funded by a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) diversity grant, made national headlines for its powerful messaging to reject language that mocks or marginalizes individuals based on race, gender, ability, or sexual orientation.

Tradition of Conference Title Streaks

Continued in 2016–17:

• Men’s cross country—15th straight

• Women’s cross country—9th straight

• Women’s track & field—8th straight

• Men’s track & field—13 of last 14 titles

Exercise physiology major Phill Bailey was the nation’s top Division II decathlete in 2017, and currently holds spots in Chico State’s all-time top 10 in the 100 meters, 400 meters, 110-meter hurdles, 4x100 relay, 4x400 relay, and long jump. In 2017, his team won the Webb Cup for the second time, recognizing the Wildcats as the No. 1 collegiate decathlon program in the nation.

Phil Bailey sprints carrying a baton during a track race.

CCAA Coaches of the Year

• Gary Towne—men’s and women’s cross country

• Cody Hein—volleyball

• Oliver Hanf—men’s track and field

• Dave Taylor—baseball

Soccer player Lindsey Dias proved to be not only a star on the pitch—earning First Team All-West Region honors after leading the Wildcats into the postseason— but also in and out of the classroom, using Chico State’s Technology and Learning Program to teleconference into her nursing classes when traveling with the team. She was one of 26 Chico State athletes to win national academic awards.