By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
Qualifying for state track and field in and of itself is a memorable experience for any high school athlete.
But to take gold in every event in which you qualify is simply unforgettable.
Outgoing St. Joseph Christian senior and Nebraska track and field commit Brooklyn Miller did just that, taking home gold medals in high jump, javelin and 300 meter hurdles at the Class 1 state track and field meet in Jefferson City last Saturday.
"It's unbelievable," Miller said. "Because, everything happens so fast. It was just a crazy experience."
Miller's road to state was certainly a memorable experience, as she broke and rebroke school records in multiple events. Once she got to state, Miller started her day with high jump - an event in which she won a state title in 2019.
After an hour-long rain delay, Miller started jumping around 1 p.m. and was left at the top of the leaderboard with East Atchison sophomore Faith Anderson.
After about a three-hour ordeal, Miller and Anderson had to settle a tie with a jump-off. After they both missed 5 feet-7.75 inches, the bar was lowered to 1.70 meters - or 5 feet-7 inches. Miller was able to clear that height a second time, and come away with a first place finish.
"So mentally and physically, I was just exhausted afterward," Miller said. "It was just something I had never experienced."
Miller had little time to reset, as she had to immediately report to the javelin competition, where all of the other competitors had already finished their throws.
Miller stepped up and with one throw, put herself at the top of the charts, and the record books, with a throw of 129 feet-7 inches - a new meet record.
But, she still had three throws left.
"Adrenaline was going," Miller said. "I get up there and I threw the first one and it was a little less than what my best was. Then they said, 'Well, you just broke the meet record and you got first. Do you want to be done?'"
She then turned to her coaches and parents, who encouraged her to keep throwing, seeing as it was her last high school competition.
On her second throw, Miller went further yet, hitting 130 feet-2 inches.
"So, I took the second throw and that's when I got my best one," she said. "I just went down there, not even thinking about it, because I was exhausted, but still really excited. So, that was another crazy event."
Fortunately, getting ready for the 300 hurdles was a little more routine for Miller, but her performance was far from the ordinary. She took first with a time of 48.42 seconds - yet another school record.
Looking to become a heptathlete at Nebraska, Miller added 300 hurdles and shot put to her arsenal this season to better prepare herself.
She qualified for sectionals in all four of her events.
"Adding all of these new events is really what keeps my love for track going," Miller said. "Because, you're doing something new every single day at practices, and you're really challenging yourself. So, that just keeps me hungry and keeps me wanting to go to practice and succeed, because I know I have to pick up all of these skills."
Miller, who signed for Nebraska track and field in December, will study exercise and nutrition sciences while minoring in business.
With practically all recruiting "visits" happening over Zoom last year, Miller was able to schedule an academic visit to Lincoln in November, and went back home with little doubt in her mind.
"They were so welcoming and so nice," Miller said. "It's such a great college town and you just had that feeling, 'This is where I want to be.'"
You can follow Tommy on Twitter @TommyKFEQ and St. Joseph Post @StJosephPost.