Photo by: UCSD
Maija Hitchings Named Assistant Cross Country Coach
Release: Thursday 08/08/2013 

LA JOLLA, Calif. - The UC San Diego Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has named Maija Hitchings an assistant cross country coach. The announcement was made Thursday by head coach Nate Garcia

Hitchings spent the 2012-13 season as an assistant cross country and track and field coach at Cal State East Bay in Hayward, helping manage all aspects of the NCAA Division II programs. Like UC San Diego, CSUEB is a member of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA).

Prior to her stint at Cal State East Bay, Hitchings was a distance coach with Team Bliss, a cross country and track and field youth program based in Fort Bliss, Texas. She coached and mentored athletes that qualified for the USATF Junior Olympic National Championships, including one that won national titles in the 800- and 1500-meter events in 2010. 

During the 2007-08 academic year, Hitchings was the head women's cross country coach and assistant track and field coach at Cal State Bakersfield.

Hitchings was a cadet at the U.S. Air Force Academy from 2002-04 before transfering to Cal State L.A., where she was an NCAA qualifier in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track. As a senior, she garnered All-America honors in both cross country and track. The Golden Eagles placed fourth at the 2006 NCAA Cross Country Championship.

Academically, Hitchings won a Scholar-Athlete Award and was a Dean's List honoree at CSULA.

She remains an active runner and has placed first in over 50 recreational races ranging from 5k to half-marathons.

Hitchings is currently finishing her research project to earn a master's in kinesiology from the University of Texas at El Paso. She obtained a bachelor's degree in communications from Cal State L.A. in 2007. 

A native of nearby Fallbrook, Hitchings attended Fallbrook Union High School.

UC San Diego gets its 2013 cross country season underway on Friday, Sept. 6, when it hosts the annual UCSD Opener. Racing begins at 4 p.m. on North Campus Course.

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