Miles is Olympic alternate

Miles is Olympic alternate University of South Dakota graduate Derek Miles will be an alternate for the U.S. Olympic team in the men's pole vault after tying for third in the event at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials on the campus of Cal-State Sacramento University July 16.

Lawrence Johnson won the event, posting a mark of 19' 1 1/2". Nick Hysong finished second, jumping 18' 9 1/2". Chad Harting, Miles and Pat Manson each cleared 18' 5 1/2" on their final attempt, setting up a three-way jump-off for the final U.S. spot in the event. Harting again cleared 18' 5 1/2" to earn the spot. Miles cleared 17' 11 3/4" in the jump-off to be named the team's alternate.

The mark Miles cleared in the finals was a personal best, breaking his mark of 18' 4 1/2" from the 1997 Drake Relays. The four-time all-American holds the USD indoor and outdoor records in the pole vault. Miles, a Sacramento native, qualified for the finals in the seventh position among 14 vaulters during preliminaries Friday evening, July 14.

A member of the USD track and field coaching staff working with jumpers, sprinters, vaulters and multi-event athletes, competed in the pole vault at the World University Championships in Catania, Italy in 1997. Miles, who also works at the USD Academic Center, earned his master's degree in athletic administration in 1998.

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