South Dakota�s Derek Miles will start the 2011 track and field season as the top American in the world rankings, Track and Field News Magazine announced. Ranked fourth overall, this is the third consecutive year Miles has been ranked first in the U.S. and in the top five in the world.
A two-time Olympian, Miles completed another solid campaign last season. After placing second at the U.S. Indoor Championships, he finished fourth at the World Indoor Championships as the only American to qualify for the finals. He also finished second at the U.S. Outdoor Championships. Miles competed in the prestigious Diamond League Series over the summer, including placing second at the competition in Paris, France. Miles posted a jump of 19-1, the highest U.S. mark during the season, and finished third at the 2010 Continental Cup as the only American competing.
During his 11-year professional career he has ranked in the top 10 in the world seven times and has ranked in the top 10 U.S. pole vaulters every year. He has been the top-ranked American pole vaulter four times.
A five-time Coyote All-American, Miles graduated from USD in 1996 and currently serves as an assistant coach for the Coyote track and field squads.