By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A season of training, hard work and dedication has paid off for sophomore thrower Josh Miller of Capital University Men's Track & Field. The NCAA announced that Miller is one of the 20 athletes that has qualified to compete in the shot put at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships hosted by the University of Massachusetts Boston this upcoming weekend, March 8-9. The shot put competition is scheduled to begin at 3:15 p.m. on Saturday.
After all of the regular season events concluded this past weekend, Miller ranked 18th in the country in the event and qualified for the national meet with a season-best throw of 16.09 meters (52-9 ½). He qualified by 0.05 meters. This is the first time that Miller has qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships.
After missing the first two meets of the season, the Botkins, Ohio native debuted at Capital's Jessica Starks Open on Jam. 26 and placed second in the shot put with a mark of 15.59 meters. Miller competed in six meets during the indoor season and finished in the top-three in the event in all six.
Miller's first win of the year came just a week later at the Joe Banks Invitational hosted by Ohio Northern University when he set a new personal record with his qualifying throw of 16.09 meters. The mark is the third-best throw in program history by 0.29 meters.
At the All-Ohio Indoor Championships the next week he recorded a throw of 15.65 meters for a third-place finish. Miller's second win of the season came on Feb. 15 at the Rick Meindl Last Call where he achieved a mark of 15.88 meters.
The next week at the Ohio Athletic Conference Indoor Championships, Miller earned All-OAC status by placing second in the event with a throw of 15.98 meters, his second-best performance of the season. In the final meet of the regular season, the Polar Bear Final Qualifier on March 1, Miller tied his throw of 15.98 meters.
Now, Miller will have to compete with 19 of the best throwers in the country as he attempts to become an All-American by finishing in the top seven. This is the second consecutive year that Capital has had an indoor national qualifier in the shot put after Jason Coon qualified in 2018 and placed seventh to earn All-American status.
Miller is the fourth Capital athlete to qualify for nationals in the shot put and third to qualify for the indoor championships. Rick Meindl qualified twice for the outdoor championships in 1976 and 1978. Three decades later, Emily Goerig qualified for the outdoor championships in 2010 and then qualified for the indoor and outdoor championships in 2011. Coon reached the outdoor championships in 2015 and competed in both the indoor and outdoor championships last year. Both Meindl and Coon finished third in one of their competitions, the highest a Capital athlete has placed at a national meet.