Many students learn early in their Tulane University education that life – like Mardi Gras – is a marathon, not a sprint. Ask senior Lilla McMillan, however, and she’ll have a different take on it.
In her four years at Tulane, the sociology major has competed in both indoor and outdoor events with Tulane’s track and field squad, running sprints from 60 to 400 meters. She has also scratched her name in the record book on multiple occasions, and currently holds the school record in the indoor 200-meter sprint (23.55) and both indoor (52.34) and outdoor (51.86) 400-meter races.
“One of the coolest things has been getting the school records because I’ve been able to leave my mark on Tulane,” says McMillan. “Tulane’s a big enough school to give you the sense of feeling anonymous, so I think it’s really cool to say that I left an impression on my team.”
“You can’t control a lot of things, but you can control your head, work ethic and attitude.”
With exams behind her and the May 14 commencement ceremony quickly approaching, McMillan isn’t quite done, as NCAA Regionals and NCAA Championships are on the horizon. She has also qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials. But no matter what happens on the track, McMillan is happy with all she’s done in her time here at Tulane.
“I’ll probably miss training with my team and having the opportunity to come out to the track and forget everything that’s going on,” McMillan said. “It brings you some relaxation and peace of mind for a couple of hours just having that daily, allotted time with people you know who care about you.”
And for all the friends and teammates she’s leaving behind, she has a few words of advice, both in athletics and in life.
“Trust your training,” says McMillan. “There’s no reason not to give it everything you have. You’ve worked so hard to be where you are. You can’t control a lot of things, but you can control your head, work ethic and attitude.”
The 2016 Commencement ceremony will be streamed live online. Follow us on social media at #tulane16.
Kaitlin Maheu, a senior studying French and linguistics at Tulane University, also works for Tulane Athletic Communications.