By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The sophomore has done it again. For the second time this year, Capital University Men's Track & Field thrower Josh Miller has qualified for the NCAA Track & Field Championships in the shot put, this time in the outdoor competition. Miller qualified for the indoor championships in March and placed 14th out of 20 participants.
This year's outdoor championships will be held at SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio and will be hosted by the University of Mount Union and Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. The championships will be contested over three days, Thursday-Saturday, May 23-25 with the shot put scheduled to take place on Friday, May 24 at 11:30 a.m.
The Botkins, Ohio native's best mark of the season came on April 13 at the DIII All-Ohio Outdoor Championships, a personal-record heave of 16.38 meters (53-09) that ranks as the fourth-best outdoor throw in program history and the 14th-best mark in the country. Miller qualified for the indoor championships with a throw of 16.09 meters (52-09 ½) but this outdoor season he eclipsed that mark four times and came within 0.02 meters of doing it a fifth time.
Miller's outdoor season began at the Pioneer Invitational in March with an event-winning throw of 15.35 meters (50-04 ½). A performance of 14.90 meters (48-10 ¾) at the Otterbein April Fools Invitational followed a week later and Miller finished third.
The next week, at the Muskingum Invitational, Miller won the competition for the second time this season with what to that point was a personal-best performance of 16.28 meters (53-05). Miller's best throw of the season and ultimately his championship-qualifying throw came the next week in another event win.
With the best throw of his career behind him, Miller won the shot put at his next two meets, the Otterbein Twilight invitational and the Ohio Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships with throws of 13.62 meters (44-08 ¼) and 16.07 meters (52-08 ¾), respectively. His throw at the OAC Championships earned Miller his first conference championship.
At the Harrison Dillard Twilight on May 10, Miller turned in his second-best throw of the season, a 16.29-meter (53-05 ½) heave. In his final meet before the national championships, Miller's best mark at the Great Lakes Final Qualifying Meet on May 16 traveled 16.13 meters (52-11).
In all, Miller won the shot put five times including four meets in a row from April 6-27. Miller earned a second-place finish, a third-place slot and a fifth-place finish at the meets he did not win.
Miller is just the third member of Capital Men's Track & Field to qualify for the shot put at the outdoor championships, joining Jason Coon and Rick Meindl. Both Coon and Meindl are two-time All-Americans. Miller will be able to add that title to his own list of accomplishments if he is one of the top eight finishers out of the 20-man field on Friday.