Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Chanel Miller could have chosen any number of Division I track and field programs after graduating from Apple Valley High School, but she chose the University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD).
“I liked the freedom in DII because DI is all ‘I own you, I own you, I own you,'" said Miller. "In DII you can have your life, you can do your school work, and then you run track. Other things come before track.”
It’s hard to believe that Miller’s only a sophomore at UMD. In her second season, she was the Norther Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) indoor track athlete of the year this past winter and was the preseason NSIC outdoor track athlete of the year . As for the hurdles, Miller didn’t even start training with them until she was a junior in high school.
“Learning to do those definitely made a difference for college because it’s the first event in the heptathlon, and not many girls can do the hurdles. If you can’t do the hurdles, you can’t do the heptathlon,” Miller said.
Because of that work ethic, head coach Joanna Warmington says Miller’s success is contagious.
“When you have somebody successful that starts to grow and feed on your program too," said Warmington. Other people see that if you’re running these kind of times, I can run them too.”
But Miller hasn’t done it all on her own. She was adopted when she was just a baby. She says her parents have been supportive of her through it all.
“I think they just enjoy it. They enjoy watching me run and do what I do. They enjoy watching me perform well. And I think it gets them out of the house.”
Just as her parents enjoy watching her compete, it’s the meets that Miller lives for.
“I don’t really enjoy running around the track for practice," said Miller. "I don’t think anyone really does. I guess it’s just the outcomes that keep you going.”
Posted by Sarah Wheeler