Lindsay’s McKaylie Caesar signs to CSU-Fullerton
“The greatest Cardinal that we know.”
Joe Dixon’s words about his star athlete, McKaylie Caesar, were followed by applause from Caesar’s friends and family at the senior’s signing ceremony at Lindsay High School Wednesday.
In front of friends and family, put ink to paper and signed a National Letter of Intent to join the Titans of California State University, Fullerton’s NCAA Division I cross country and track and field programs in the fall on a full-ride scholarship. The Titans are also part of the Big West Conference.
A two-time CIF Central Section Division IV individual champion and three-time state qualifier in cross country; Caesar time of 18 minutes, 24.9 seconds for 10th place in Div. IV — the highest finish by a Cardinal ever — at the 2018 CIF State meet propelled her through Lindsay’s record books and strengthened head coach Dixon’s statement that she is the “greatest Cardinal”.
“McKaylie is the most accomplished runner ever to come out of Lindsay High School cross country or track and field in its 48 years of existence,” Dixon said. “Almost 50 years of track and field and cross country, and the most accomplished runner is sitting right before you today.”
Caesar’s time was good enough to make her state champion in 35 states, according to Dixon, and it earned her a second-straight Orange Belt Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year selection from The Recorder.
In track, Caesar won East Sequoia League titles in the 800-meter, 1,600-meter, 3,200-meter and 4x400 relay races. Last season after winning the Div. II title and taking third at the Central Section Masters meet in the 1,600, Caesar went to the state meet for the first time in her two-year track career.
On the best part of competing for Lindsay, Caesar said, “I think [it’s] just being a part of the team and just being able to represent Lindsay. Just being a part of the culture of the Lindsay team.”
All that Caesar has accomplished, has not all been done for individual accolades. In track she competed on several relay teams and her individual titles in cross country helped lead the Cardinals to back-to-back trips to the state meet after taking third in the Valley.
“She’s a great runner but she’s better at other things [too],” Dixon said in his speech. “McKaylie I think is a real Titan and I think Cal State Fullerton is very luck to get her. ... She’s a first class leader. She’s an excellent person. She works real hard. No one can top her work ethic. She is a great person ... I’ve never in my time run across a person in 31 years of education that’s more respectful than this person right here. Awesome person.”
Fullerton’s cross country and track and field head coach, John Elders, also made a special video for Caesar’s ceremony that welcomed her to the Titans family and thanked everyone who showed up to support her.
Caesar was being recruited by the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Southern California, Arizona and several other Div. I programs but she said it was the coaching staff at Fullerton that convinced her to become a Titan.
“I think just like the team and the coaches,” she said. “Just the coaches were really focused on me and they knew what I could do and what they had to do to get me to be the best and that was really impressive. And also the team was just very, they’re very welcoming and it made me feel like another place at home.”
Throughout her time at Lindsay, Caesar has been involved in several clubs, earned a 3.85 GPA, and was recently named the Lindsay Chamber of Commerce’s “Female Youth of the Year”. She has one more season of track left before her high school career comes to a close but she’s already set her sights on doing big things as a Titan.
“One of my big goals that I’ve been thinking about, is hopefully becoming Freshman of the Year for the Big West Conference,” she said.