Even though Cynthia Mejia has left Stanislaus State, she is still representing the Warriors as one of the two CCAA finalists for the NCAA Woman of the Year award.
Established in 1991, the NCAA Woman of the Year award is rooted in Title IX and recognizes graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their NCAA eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.
“I’m completely honored… there were a great number of women who were completely available to be nominated and I’m honored to have been chosen,” Mejia said.
Mejia was a senior cross country and track & field student-athlete for Stanislaus State. She was one of the top distance runners in the country in 2020. After posting the 12th fastest time in the country in the 5,000-meter in 2019, Mejia was back in action in 2020 and earned All-American honors in the 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter races during the indoor track & field season, according to Warrior Athletics.
She qualified for nationals in both events and was one of the favorites heading into the championships before they were cut short due to the pandemic. Her name will forever be remembered at Stan State as she was named the school's Female Athlete of the Year and is the school record holder in both the mile and the 10k.
Mejia hasn’t been running on a competitive level from a young age. Growing up she was dedicated to soccer and her dad motivated her to participate in distance learning as a way to stay busy during the soccer offseason.
“I ended up making the varsity (soccer) team as a freshman and after the season there was nothing to do. I thought it would be good to train as a distance runner so I started doing that. Going into my sophomore year I decided it wasn’t for me, but my dad still made me go to practice every day,” said Mejia. “When I made it to the state meet as a junior, I decided I wanted to run full time and I wanted to pursue running in college.”
Mejia graduated with a 3.46 GPA as a Business Administration major, with a concentration in marketing. She also earned a minor in Communication Studies. She is a four-year member of the Dean's List and a USTFCCCA Scholar-Athlete. Mejia has been named to the CCAA Academic Honor Roll and previously selected as a Presidential Scholar-Athlete. Currently, Mejia is pursuing a Masters of Arts in Sports Management at University of San Francisco. She hopes to use her degree to help develop current athletes.
“I got a degree in marketing but my mindset has changed a little bit. I rather work one-on-one with them and really build a mentorship relationship with them, versus getting in the operations or marketing department,” said Mejia.
Mejia believes it doesn’t matter when someone starts participating in a sport, it’s all about taking that initial first step.
“To all the young kids wanting to make it at the college level, just go for it,” she said. “I didn’t start playing right away, it doesn’t matter when you start.”