Today, we salute Jack Miller of Jenkintown.
The Drakes leader closed out a great high school career in the distance events. Miller was the Class A state champion during the XC season, running 16:33 to win the title. He also led Jenkintown to a dominant team title. The Drakes scored just 49 points, 51 ahead of second place. In the state meet merge, Jenkintown was the sixth best team on the day. Miller picked up a number of other notable wins during his junior and senior seasons, and had a 5K PR of 15:35.
On the track, Miller was also impressive, racking up a number of District 1 Class AA titles. He closed out his prep career with PRs of 9:22.58 in the 3200 meters, 4:22.54 in the mile, and 1:59.79 in the 800 meters. He was a close second in the 3200 meters at the PIAA State Championships this past spring.
Miller, a University of Pittsburgh recruit, reflected on his career for PennTrackXC.
What was your most memorable race/competition?
The cross country state championship my senior year is without a doubt. I worked extremely hard towards the goal of a state championship and I was blessed with two in one day. Winning a title with my teammates was an unforgettable experience and it was amazing to have all of our hard work pay off.
Where did you face your biggest competition?
I faced my biggest competition at Foot Locker Cross Country Regionals. The race is filled with dozens of state champions and accomplished runners. It's a meet where you have to bring your absolute best if you want a chance at a national qualifier spot.
Out of all of your high school accomplishments, which stands out the most?
My finishes at cross country states junior and senior year stand out to me the most. Coming from such a small school, succeeding at the state level is a great feeling and to have two top 3 finishes in cross country feels great. These races were both also some of the most fun I have had on the course, so they stand out.
If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your athletic career in high school?
I would focus on recovery and nutrition much more. There are plenty of little things you can do when you are not running that will make you a better runner. I would also set more short term goals for myself. I often focused on large long term goals that at times became overwhelming.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
I was lucky enough to never suffer any major injuries. One of the biggest challenges I faced was a nagging foot injury during indoor track my senior year. I had to cross train and try to stay in shape. Although I ran at states, I missed out on nationals. I worked hard to get back into shape for outdoor season.
What will you miss the most?
I will miss all of the friends that I have made and raced within the running community. I will definitely miss training with a very special group of teammates.
Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
Have fun. Running is a sport that can beat you up both physically and mentally. When it gets tough you have to remember that you are out there to have fun.
How have your coaches influenced your performances and your life goals overall?
My coaches have played a very important role in my high school experience. Not only have they helped develop me into the athlete I am but they have helped make me a better teammate, leader, and person as a whole.
What are your post-high school plans?
I will be attending The University of Pittsburgh to run cross country and track.
I want to give a big shoutout to my parents, who have sacrificed a lot to help me get to this point in my career. I would also like to shoutout all of my family, friends and teammates who have supported me the past four years. Finally, shoutout to my brother. Luke and all the current and future Jenkintown Drakes, can't wait to see what the next few years bring for you.