In class, grasping a concept could be the difference between an A and a C. In track and field, grasping a concept could be the difference between placing in an event and failing to qualify. Junior high jumper Brad Miller’s ability to make these connections has resulted in improved performances.

“We were able to bridge the technical aspect of the high jump to his physical capabilities,” assistant coach David Kaiser says.

Because Miller did not have any major faults in his form, he and Kaiser had to look elsewhere for progress.

“It was just a matter of connecting his training with something that works for him,” Kaiser says.

Miller has finished second in the high jump six times this year with a personal best height of 6-11 at the Meyo Invitational in South Bend on Feb. 5. At the Sykes-Sabok Challenge Cup on Feb. 12, coach Ron Warhurst said that Miller had a great attempt at a 7-0 bar.

“(My improvement) was a matter of hard work and learning from other people,” Miller said.

Miller looks to improve upon his personal best this weekend at the Big Ten Track and Field Championships at Lambert Fieldhouse in West Lafayette, Ind. The Big Ten Championship is a team-scoring event, which means that teams earn points based upon individual performances. To earn points for Michigan, Miller must finish in the top eight.

“At the beginning of year I just wanted to score,” Miller said. “This year, the competition is not as high as it has been in previous years. Right now, my expectation is to finish in the top five.”

Miller must apply his new confidence to succeed this weekend.

“If it’s going to happen, I have to do it,” Miller said.

Kaiser thinks the key to Miller’s performance this weekend is clearing the lower bars in fewer attempts.

“He can’t be wasting a lot of jumps on low bars,” Kaiser said. “If he can get to 7-0 after his third or fourth jump, he should have a great shot at it.”

Michigan’s high jumpers have modified their training this week to prepare for the Big Ten meet.

“We have tapered (Miller’s) training this week to where his legs will be a little more rested than at previous meets,” Kaiser said.

As a team, the Wolverines have high hopes to win Michigan’s first indoor conference championship since 1982.

“If everybody does what they can do, we have a shot to win this meet,” Miller said. “We expect to win this meet.”

 

 

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