Mimi Seeley (Jr., Redmond, Ore.) has been on the run since before she was born.
The Linfield sophomore has always enjoyed sports. She remembers starting organized soccer in sixth grade, playing basketball and dancing – “All kinds of dance. jazz, tap, ballet, you name it,” she recalls.
Seeley began jogging with her mother, Sandy, when she was about eight years old, and found that she enjoyed running more and more as she grew older.
“Well, it helps that I’m pretty good at it,” Mimi says with a laugh. A quick look at Linfield’s record board confirms that she certainly is. She holds top-10 marks for the 5,000- and 10,000-meter runs in Linfield track history, and turned in the eighth-fastest time at the cross country conference championships last fall.
In addition to her level of success, Seeley has other reasons for enjoying running. “I feel more focused, and the rest of my life seems more ordered when I’m running,” she says.
Perhaps that’s because running is in her blood.
Mimi’s mother began running her 20s, and after a few years started to enter races and train for several marathons on the Pacific Coast. Her goal was to run the Boston Marathon. She did, only to find out later that her daughter had already been about two weeks along at the time of the race.
With that sort of introduction, it seemed inevitable that Mimi would go on to do great things as a runner.
She arrived at Linfield with an impressive history. Growing up in Redmond, Ore., and competing for Bend High School, she was a top-flight distance runner for both the track and field and cross country teams. She was team captain, a Coach’s Award recipient and qualified for state competition three years in a row.
The discipline learned through running was mirrored in the classroom, where she maintained high grades while participating in a wide range of activities.
Seeley says she chose to attend Linfield because of the college’s renowned small size and beautiful campus. Most of all, she and the cross country team just “clicked” right away. The feeling is mutual, and the Linfield coaching staff has nothing but praise for her.
“She’s a talented runner,” says associate head cross country and track coach Greg Mitchell. “She came in new as a freshman and immediately rose to the top...she is a strong leader for our women’s team.”
A model Linfield student in terms of her high athletic and academic achievements, there is a certain quality that sets her apart from her peers.
“She’s just a good person,” says her mom.
As the Resident Advisor for a small dorm on campus, several incoming students see firsthand the wisdom, patience and kindness she shows towards those around her.
Mimi is the kind of happy-go-lucky girl who tries not to put too much stock in her pre-race rituals, but has them nonetheless. “I always wear ribbons in my hair,” she says, “and I always change my socks right before I run.”
She loves ladybugs, almost to a fault. “Anything with a ladybug on it, I’ll buy it,” she laughs.
Seeley says that she always tries to live in the present, appreciating what she has and enjoying each day. She says she has learned a lot from her mom, a self-help therapist shares the same perspective.
One of Mimi’s favorite sayings is “Don’t worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will worry about itself.”
Among her teammates, Seeley leads by example.
“Mimi is great to work with,” says Mitchell, who describes her as levelheaded, motivated and coachable. “She’s very receptive to both criticism and praise.”
Seeley’s outlook is as bright as her chipper personality.
A returning letterwinner and Linfield’s only returning all-region and all-conference female competitor, she will undoubtedly continue to set the bar higher and higher as her career progresses.
-- Lexy Chapman '15
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128