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Cauley ’06 Voted Chicago’s 2013 Clif Bar Athlete of the Year


When Michael Cauley ’06 competed for the Otterbein football and cross-country teams he was a fairly good athlete. He pushed himself to do well and was satisfied with his performances. But it wasn’t until after his sophomore year, when he gave up football, he began to excel.

“I didn’t want to be that skinny distance runner but eventually I became exactly that,” said Cauley. “By becoming a year-round runner my times started dropping. Running took up more of my time and I began to see different results.”

Cauley saw different results indeed. Those improving performances would eventually lead to him being voted Chicago’s 2013 Clif Bar Athlete of the Year based on his success in several races.

“It was cool when I won,” said Cauley. “At first I thought it was just a popularity contest since the winner is determined by a vote but I became very strategic in my campaigning, using different circles in my life, and it changed my mentality about the whole thing. It’s a pretty rewarding feeling.”

When he’s not competing in races, Cauley, who lives in Westerville but works remotely for Chicago’s Thanx Media, is an e-commerce/search-engine-optimization expert. His competitive juices from running spill over to his job with Thanx, as he works hard to surpass his sales quota each year.

“I’m off to a strong start and set on being the number one sales guy this year,” Cauley says. “Whether it’s running or sales or even pool or checkers, something compels me to want to do better than other people.”

Many people helped shape Cauley’s life perspectives while at Otterbein. In addition to earning his bachelor’s degree in marketing with a public-relations minor, he competed as an athlete every season, served two-years as president of fraternity Eta Phi Mu, participated on the Traffic Council and wrote for the Tan&Cardinal newspaper.

He’s ramping up his miles now to compete in 10-mile and half-marathon races. He feels confident that he will improve upon his best times.

“If there’s one piece of advice I could give to today’s students it’s this: ‘Try to be better today than you were yesterday,’” says Cauley. Based on his results and his Clif Bar recognition, Cauley is heeding his own advice.