Tusculum University distance runner Nicole McMillen has been named the Applebee's Female Student-Athlete of the Month for February.
McMillen collected two gold medals at the South Atlantic Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships on Feb. 29, and set school records in both the mile and the 5,000 meters during February competition for the Pioneers.
The Pickering, Ontario native was second in the 5,000 meters and broke her own school and conference records at the Camel City Invitational on Feb. 7. McMillen ran 16:53.86 to beat her previous school record by 7 1/2 seconds and finish runner-up by 4 1/2 seconds to a meet-record performance from Lindsay Billings of Duke.
On Feb. 22, McMillen competed in the mile at the USC Open and set her third school and conference record of the season with a time of 4:53.57. McMillen finished fourth behind runners from Clemson, North Florida and South Carolina, but took more than four seconds off her own school record and broke the SAC record by nearly 2 1/2 seconds.
At the SAC Championship meet on Saturday, McMillen won the 5,000 meters with a winning time of 17:36.92, finishing 11 1/2 seconds over the runner-up while setting a personal SAC Championships record in the event. She also ran the anchor leg of the distance medley relay that gave Tusculum its first-ever relay gold at a SAC Championship, with a time of 12:43.08 that broke the school record by 43 seconds and the meet record by 13 1/2 seconds.
McMillen will compete in both the 3,000 meters and the 5,000 meters at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships March 13-14 in Birmingham, Alabama. She will complete the career trifecta of NCAA championship competition, having run twice at the Division II Cross Country championships and at last year's Division II Outdoor Track & Field championship, where she earned All-America honors with a sixth-place finish in the steeplechase
The Tusculum Student-Athlete of the Month Award is sponsored by Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar of Greeneville. The Applebee's Student-Athlete of the Month Award honors one male and one female student-athlete each month from an in-season sport during the 2019-2020 academic year, recognizing their hard work, effort and performance.