http://www.rgj.com/article/20090505/PRE ... 018/SPORTS
Track And Field: Miller soars above the rest
BY REBECCA BABICZ • RBABICZ@RGJ.COM • MAY 5, 2009
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Logan Miller is going back to basics so she can move forward.
The senior from Bishop Manogue has vaulted 12 feet, which is head and shoulders above the rest of her competition in Nevada. It's also high enough to make her a nationally ranked pole vaulter.
This season, Miller is undefeated but still not satisfied because her biggest motivation isn't to be the best -- it's to be better than herself.
"I've been frustrated this whole season," Miller said. "I haven't (gotten a personal record) this season. My 12-5 jump was from last year at (the Big George Invitational). I have it, I do it in practice. I can do big jumps but it hasn't translated into a meet yet which is kind of frustrating."
As an ex-gymnast, pole vaulting came easy to Miller. Gymnastics helped her air awareness and she had no problem being upside down in the air.
"Honestly, it all came naturally," Miller said. "Until this year everything came so easily but now I'm having to go back and re-learn the basics to get my height higher. But I didn't really have to work that hard my first year."
In her first season, as a sophomore, Miller was jumping 10 feet just three meets in. She won the Northern 4A regional meet her first season. Last year, as a junior, she was the 4A state champion.
This season she is tied with 10 other pole vaulters who have cleared 12 feet, at No. 32 in the national rankings.
"She's well disciplined in everything she does," Bishop Manogue pole vault coach Leo Sambrano said. "She's a great visual aid (for the rest of the team). They do admire her and there is no doubt she is a definite leader."
Miller, who has accepted a scholarship to compete for the University of Washington next year, will have to start jumping with longer poles in meets to get higher and improve her technique to be ready for college next year. The longer the pole, the higher the potential clearance for each jump.
"I want to go into college as strong as I can to compete with the college girls," she said. "I want to break the state record which is 12-7. I would love to be pushing 13 (feet) this season."
Miller has her heart set on the 12-year-old state record, set in 1997 by Reed's Ashley Feinberg, who vaulted 12 feet, 7 inches.
Miller said she chose Washington over the UCLA and others because she connected with the coach, liked the team and the city of Seattle.
Pole vaulting can be a dangerous sport and soaring 12 feet in the air can have its consequences. Earlier this season Miller missed the pads and kneed herself in the sternum.
She also had a crash her sophomore year which affected her mental approach to jumping.
"You don't really realize you are that high," Miller said. "You always practice at that height so it's not like it's anything new."
Even though Miller initially was not a fan of pole vaulting, she said she's been hooked ever since she realized, halfway through her sophomore season, that she could be a success.
"I didn't like it at first," Miller said. "After I started becoming better at it I liked it. It's just frustrating when you're doing the lower heights and you can't get better. Since mid-way through sophomore year I was hooked."
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