PARKERSBURG - Landon Miller has experienced the lowest of lows and highest of highs as a track and field athlete.
The senior from Parkersburg High School, who contributed vital points to the Big Reds' championship season this past spring despite false-starting in one of his individual events, made it official on Tuesday that he will attend the University of Charleston in the fall and compete for the Golden Eagles' track program.
"I never envisioned this at all," said Miller, who signed his letter of intent at Stadium Field with an entourage that included his father (Damon Miller), mother (Sherri Krampe) and stepfather (Bill Krampe), along with his brother (Liam) and sister (Anesah).
Photo by Kerry Patrick
Parkersburg High School senior Landon Miller signed a letter of intent to run track for the University of Charleston.
"My freshman coach didn't do much with us and I was just going to run for fun," Miller said. "Maybe I would get a scholarship, but never did I think it would amount to this."
At UC, Miller is projected to be the fastest hurdler on the team. It's that same event which Miller excelled through his senior year. In fact, he lost only two races during the season until the ill-fated Friday at the high school state meet when he was disqualified in the prelims of the 110 high hurdles for what officials determined a flinch.
After winning the 110 high hurdles the previous week at regionals, Miller was considered a favorite to repeat at the state meet.
"I was in shock - I couldn't believe it was me," Miller said. "I thought it was the guy in lane seven. I refused to believe it and they walked in my lane. I started tearing up.
"I had a long time to get my mind right. I wanted the self-pity for a while, but I did want to get right back out and show people I could do it."
Later that evening, Miller joined teammates Erik Musgrave, Noah Mancuso and Evan Rhodes on the shuttle hurdles which placed runner-up. Saturday was an even more enjoyable experience as Miller placed runner-up in the 300 hurdles behind Rhodes then joined Chandler Hamilton, Dan Fox and Logan Wooddell on the victorious 4 by 200 relay.
"After false starting in the 110 hurdles, I knew I had to do something," Miller said. "I wasn't even ranked in the 300 hurdles. At the finish line, Evan saw me and gave me the greatest hug. It felt great.
"In the 4 by 200, Chandler got us out in front and we were ahead the whole race. At the finish line, there was another great hug. Nothing better than being a state champ."
As far as his college education, UC didn't enter the picture until the Mountain State Athletic Conference Meet. Marietta College was the front-runner until Miller met the UC coach.
"It will be a cool feeling to go back where we won the state championship," Miller said. He plans to major in athletic training because it's a field he knows all about with his previous injuries.
"I've been hurt a lot," Miller said. "The room I'll be studying in is an actual physical therapy setting with tables, tape and machines."