Two school records were broken at the Pioneer Open, Jan. 18 by Joshua Miller, junior field athlete.
Miller had a breakout year as a sophomore last year, qualifying for the indoor and outdoor national championship in the shot put event. He ranked 14th nationally on the indoor circuit and 16th nationally at outdoor nationals.
Miller ended up being the OAC outdoor shot put champion and the OAC runner-up on the indoor circuit last year.
Coming into the season, Miller had a chip on his shoulder, being ranked third on the CU top-10 list in the shot put event.
The shot put record was previously set by Rick Meindl in 1978 with a throw of 16.85 meters. Miller beat the record with a throw of 17.04 meters. He easily won the event at the meet with the second-place throw being 15.82 meters.
Miller’s next record-breaking event was the weight throw when he threw the 25 kilogram weight a distance of 16.62 meters. The previous record was set in 2017 by Colby Owen with a throw of 16.32 meters.
“I think it still hasn’t completely sunk in that I’m the farthest to ever do it at Capital,” Miller said. “I know that I’ve prided myself on really being able to take control of meets and wanting to leave a legacy, but to break two records, the second week of the year, in a fashion with all my teammates surrounding me. I still think it hasn’t completely sunk in. It’s a momentous occasion and it’s definitely a benchmark of my career so far.”
The very next meet, Miller beat his own shot put record by throwing a distance of 17.19 meters. Easily winning the event, he beat the second-place throw by 3.18 meters and took the 10 points for the team and brought the team to get fifth place at the Jessica Starks Open Jan. 25.
Waking up that morning, Miller didn’t feel well and was trying to recuperate and recover throughout the day. His event was toward the end of the all-day meet.
“It was at home and I really wanted to show my home crowd what I could do, especially after starting off so well and then having my family there this past weekend meant a lot to they were able to be there when I first broke the record,” Miller said. “So being at home and being in front of my family was just one of those moments where any sickness or any doubts that I had in my mind just kind of washed away.”
Miller has been named the OAC Male Field Athlete of the Week for the third consecutive week.
“I came in with a mission, I’m not going to hide it anymore. It’s just to dominate my conference. Capital’s been left in the dark in the OAC for a while, and I’m just not going to let that be anymore,” Miller said. “So whether it’s three weeks in a row or five weeks in a row. The goal is just to prove that I’m the best field athlete that there is in this conference and that’s what I’m going to do.”
Miller takes pride in his leadership role on the team, helping with team breakdowns and other activities.
“He likes to take a lot of ownership and those around him, and the idea that he expects them to be successful as well, too,” Hannah Weiss, head coach of the men’s and women’s track and field team, said. “[He is] passionate about not just the sport and personal success but the success of the overall team.”
Miller has an already decorated career so far, and still has this season and next season left to try to break more records and be awarded more honors.