Air Force run

Amalie Mills commits to run at the U.S. Air Force Academy

Senior+Amalie+Mills%2C+ecstatic+after+running+a+personal+best%2C+qualifies+for+the+regional+meet+with+a+first+place+finish+at+district.

Jennifer Hamlett

Senior Amalie Mills, ecstatic after running a personal best, qualifies for the regional meet with a first place finish at district.

Dreams and goals cannot be achieved without hard work. 

Positive mentality is the key to success. 

Never give up. 

Those might sound like platitudes to some, but for senior Amalie Mills, that sense of commitment and determination will carry her to the United States Air Force Academy, where she has committed to serve her country as well as compete on its cross country and track teams.

“Being a cadet at the Air Force Academy next year means that I will be working and competing alongside our country’s future leaders every single day,” Mills said. “This school is hard and challenging, but I am excited to take on this opportunity because I thrive in environments where I am pushed beyond my limit.”

Mills officially signs her letter of intent Wednesday during a ceremony before school in the main gym.

Mills is no stranger to being pushed, especially by herself. Her running career did not begin until sophomore year, and since then, she has dominated cross country courses and landed a Division 1 scholarship at a prestigious military academy.

At the district meet at Starcke Park on Oct. 30, Mills finished first overall in the varsity girls division, with a 5K time of 17:30.90. The girls’ team as a whole placed first as well and will move on to regionals

Mills plans to improve for the rest of the cross country season and track season.

“I cannot wait to have a track season since ours got cancelled last year due to coronavirus,” Mills said. “My goals are to run 2:12 in the 800m, 4:50 in the mile, 10:30 in the two mile, and qualify for the state meet.”

At the Air Force Academy, Mills will be pushed to become part of her country’s future. Upon graduation, she will be required to serve as a commissioned officer for eight years, five of activity duty and the other three can be served as inactive reserve.

“I will spend countless hours a night studying, countless afternoons practicing, and countless mornings in the field doing military training, but it will all be worth it when I get to fly fighter airplanes for a living,” Mills said. “Competing on the cross country and track team at the United States Air Force Academy is an absolute dream come true of mine, and I can’t wait to represent this country in everything that I do next year and after.” 

Head cross country coach Trenton Hall admired Mills’ work ethic and accomplishments.

“I am most proud of her character and determination,” Hall said. “She is a great leader and role model for her teammates. Her enthusiasm and care for others makes her teammates better. She is determined in all she does and doesn’t let circumstances throw her off track.”

According to Coach Hall, Mills is not one to stray away from the goals and challenges she sets for herself.

“She told me last year her goal was to run for The Air Force Academy,” Hall said. “She stayed focused on those goals to make sure it happened. She lives to serve others and I’m proud of her decision to join the Air Force and serve her country.”

Amalie’s biggest cheerleaders have been her parents, who supported their daughter through every race.

“The true inspiration Amalie has given me has been living the process of success,” Amalie’s mother, Christy Mills, said. “It’s believing in herself and her dream and following the path at all costs. And it’s doing those things needed to succeed every single day.”

Amalie’s father Darren Mills echoed his wife’s sentiments.

“There is ‘driven,’ and there is ‘focused,’ and then there’s my little girl Amalie,” he said. “It has been an amazing experience watching her rise to the challenge both academically and athletically all these years. My wife and I are so proud of what she’s accomplished and believe her future will be ‘sky high’.”

Alongside her parents, Amalie’s faith has guided her throughout her running journey. 

“I thank and pray to God everyday of my life for being there with me throughout my wild high school running career,” Mills said. “I look to Him and I am empowered by His grace through every step of my journey and I know that He will be there with me throughout the rest of my senior year and in my transition to the United States Air Force Academy.”

 

Pullquote Photo

I thank and pray to God everyday of my life for being there with me throughout my wild high school running career. I look to Him and I am empowered by His grace through every step of my journey and I know that He will be there with me throughout the rest of my senior year and in my transition to the United States Air Force Academy.”

— Senior Amalie Mills

 

Through faith, hard work, and perseverance, Amalie Mills is on track (literally) to becoming an elite athlete as well as a member of the U.S. military.