VERMILLION, S.D. (KTIV) –
As the Olympics inch closer, a Siouxland coach will represent the United States in London. And, this coach hopes to vault his way to a medal.
He’s been close before.
Derek Miles has had his fair share of heartbreak in the pole vault in the Olympics.Finishing seventh in the 2004 Athens games and just missing bronze in 2008, the University of South Dakota assistant track coach and former Coyote star, is taking a different approach this time around.
Derek Miles, said, “Let’s just take the whole thing in and see what you have and do the best you can.”
The change of heart from the veteran was brought on by a nagging Achilles injury.
“It’s been an interesting year, in terms of training, my base is all there, I’ve been training hard all year it’s just been the last, probably two months I’ve has a little bit of this nagging, Achilles problem and then it gradually got worse, so we’re at a spot two weeks before the trials, I couldn’t even run down the runway.”
Miles has been resting it, going 10 straight days of constant therapy.
“From that perspective, it’s feeling a little bit better, but on the other end, I haven’t been able to train like I’d like too.”
Training, that he hopes to do in Arkansas before he “vaults” across the Atlantic to London.
“Really try and fine-tune whatever there’s technically that I need to work on so that hopefully everything can kinda come together,” he said.
Even with this hiccup for Miles, he’s hoping that the injury plays in his favor, taking some of the pressure off of him.
“The times where I’ve gone in overstressing or putting more expectations on myself to medal, I’ve found I’ve done way worse.”
And with what could be his last chance at an Olympic medal, the soon to-be 40 year old is giving it everything he’s got.
Miles claims, “I guarantee we’re going to go 100 percent down the runway until I can’t go 100 percent or it tears or whatever it’s going to do. So, you know, I understand that even though you have long career, the last meet, is typically the one you remember the most, so I’m going to bank on that. I know for sure when I walk away from that meet it will be everything I got.”
Miles will compete in the qualifying round August 8th. The pole vault finals are August 10th.
by: Daniel Corey