Former track and cross country All-American Maija Rohde-Hitchings will join the Pioneer track and cross country coaching staff for the 2012-13 season. (Photo: Ralph Jones)
Cal State East Bay cross country and track and Head Coach Ralph Jones announced the hiring of Maija Rohde-Hitchings as the program’s new assistant coach. A former NCAA qualifier in cross country and both indoor and outdoor track at Cal State L.A., Rohde-Hitchings brings both college and youth coaching experience to CSUEB.
“I’m real excited to be a part of the cross country and track programs at Cal State East Bay,” Rohde-Hitchings said. “I have a tremendous passion to see people succeed. I think my training philosophy will benefit both programs as we go forward and Coach Jones is a great motivator, has a lot of energy and is doing good things here.”
Rohde-Hitchings joins the Cal State East Bay staff following a stint as a volunteer coach for Team Bliss, a youth track and field team based in El Paso, Texas. As a member of the Team Bliss coaching staff, Rohde-Hitchings helped mentor over 80 athletes who competed at meets across Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas. Alongside Head Coach Crispen Hanson, Rohde-Hitchings also helped guide several athletes to USA Track and Field Junior Olympics appearances, including the 2010 USATF Junior Olympics Bantam Girls 800- and 1500-meter champion. Prior to joining the staff at Team Bliss, Rohde-Hitchings also spent time as an assistant coach at CSU Bakersfield.
As a student-athlete at Cal State L.A., Rohde-Hitchings competed in cross country and both indoor and outdoor track and field for three seasons. Rohde-Hitchings helped the Golden Eagles make three straight team appearances at the NCAA Championships and collected All-America honors in the 5000 as a senior. In addition, she was an NCAA qualifier in cross country, indoor and outdoor track in each of her final two seasons at Cal State L.A. As a junior she was a part of the Golden Eagles’ cross country squad that finished fourth at NCAA Division II Championships, earning an All-American certificate for her efforts.
Hailing from a family of track and field athletes in Fallbrook, Calif., Rohde-Hitchings was a four-year letterwinner in track and cross country at Fallbrook Union High School. A three-time captain for the cross country team, she was also a part of a CIF Southern Section championship team as a senior.
Still an active athlete, Rohde-Hitchings has taken the women’s title in over 50 recreational races in distances ranging from 5k to half marathon since ending her collegiate career. Among her post-collegiate performances are two first place finishes at the Mt. Baldy Run to the Top in Southern California which starts at an elevation of 6,000 feet and gains 4,000 feet over the course of eight miles.
Rohde-Hitchings holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Cal State L.A. During her time in El Paso, she began her Master of Science in kinesiology at the University of Texas at El Paso and is currently in the process of completing her final project to earn her degree.