USD’s Derek Miles qualifies for Olympics

USD's Derek Miles qualifies for Olympics Derek Miles, an assistant coach with The University of South Dakota track and field team, won the menâ�?�?s pole vault at the U.S. Olympic Trials at Eugene, OR, on Sunday. As a result, Miles has made the U.S. Olympic Team for the second straight time (2004, 2008). Miles, competing for Nike, vaulted 19-0.25 in the finals to win the competition. He is joined on the U.S. Olympic pole vault squad by Brad Walker and Jeff Hartwig. Hartwig, who made the U.S. Olympic Team in 1996, finished second at 18-08.25. Walker, a native of Aberdeen, finished third with a vault of 18-6.50. Miles, Hartwig and Walker will compete at The Games of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing, China, on Aug. 8-24. â�?�?This is a very important accomplishment for me,â�? said Miles. â�?�?I am very proud that I will be able to wear the U.S.A. uniform in Beijing. This is a huge comeback for me after an injury-filled season last year. It is special because winning the trials came at historic Heyward Field.â�? â�?�?We are very excited about Derekâ�?�?s performance today,â�? said his coach Lucky Huber, who is the head womenâ�?�?s track and field coach at USD. â�?�?He overcame some very tough conditions (wind) and stepped up,â�? said Huber. â�?�?We prepared for the wind by vaulting outdoors at Yankton High School so we want to give them a big thank you.â�? All three members of the U.S. Olympic menâ�?�?s pole vault team competed this winter at the Derek Miles and Friends Competition at the DakotaDome. Originally of Sacramento, CA, Miles was a member of the 2004 Olympic Team and finished seventh in the pole vault at the Athens Olympics. Miles made the team in 2004 by finishing third at the trials with a vault of 19â�?�?0.25. Earlier in 2008, Miles won the Reno Pole Vault Summit (19â�?�?0.25) and the Drake Relays (18â�?�?09). He finished second at the Millrose Games (18â�?�?04). In 2006 Miles was inducted into the Henry Heider Memorial Coyote Sports Hall of Fame. He earned a bachelorâ�?�?s degree in history in 1996 and a masterâ�?�?s degree in athletic administration in 1998 from USD. A Division II All-American, Miles was ranked fifth in the world at the end of the 2005 season. He was ranked #2 in the U.S. by Track and Field News in 2005. Miles owns a personal best of 19-2.50 that he set at the DakotaDome in 2005, which was the seventh-best vault in the world that year. In 2003, he was the USA Indoor champion and was fifth at the World Outdoor competition. Here is the U.S. Olympic Trials pole vault results link http://www.usatf.org/events/2008/OlympicTrials-TF/results/P25.asp.

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