ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Brandon Miller’s name has been in US track and field record books since he was 9-years-old. Last month, he set a new world record in the 800 meter for the 14-year-old boys age group.
“I know that I have a God-given gift,” Miller says. “And after that I would like to thank my mom, my dad and my family for investing all the time in me and all the money because I know I’m very fortunate.”
Miller’s success didn’t end with just an 800 meter gold at the 2016 AAu Junior Olympic Games in Houston. He also won gold in the 1,500 meter — breaking the US record — and helped his Ultimate Speed Academy team in the 4 x 800, 800 and 4 x 400 relay to finish first and second, respectively.
His time of 1 minute and 51 seconds in the 800 was also faster than the best 15-16 and 17-18-year-old groups that weekend.
It was also better than some runners at the 2016 Rio Olympics. If he ran 1:51 in the preliminary round, he would have finished before five runners.
Miller says running on the world’s biggest stage has been on his mind since the 2012 Olympics.
“I was sitting in the living room with my mom and I told her ‘I want to be in the Olympics one day,’” Miller says. “And ever since then it’s been visualization over and over and over again.”
Miller could, theoretically, represent the US before he reached college at the 2020 Tokyo Games.
The arrival of the freshman was on the minds of the John Burroughs School cross country team and head coach Christine Bugnitz all summer.
“All these guys trained all summer, because they knew he was coming,” Bugnitz says.
Miller says running cross country in the fall season is the perfect way to stay prepared for the spring track season. And Bugnitz knows how lucky she is to coach a talented runner like Miller, but says there is some pressure to make sure she “does right by him.”
“…and just make sure we are giving him the best for his career,” Bugnitz says. “Because it’s going to be a long one, and we’re just a step and for as long as I can have him, I feel lucky.”
Besides Miller’s parents, who coached him up until high school, he has another mentor. Charles ‘CJ’ Jones, an All-American runner at Texas Tech University and St. Louis native.
“He’s like a big brother to me,” Miller says. “Blood couldn’t make us any closer.”
Jones was the 800 meter Big 12 Champion in 2016 and is pushing Miller to follow his path.
“He’s told me to stay focused,” Miller says. “Stay focused, stay humble, stay hungry.”
And Miller’s coach has noticed.
“Everyday he leaves practice and shakes my hand, and says thank you coach. Just a nice, unassuming, humble kid. You know, you would never know this is a world-record holder walking around.”
A collegiate, Olympic and professional career is all ahead of Miller, but he’s even preparing for life after track.
“After track I want to be a sports broadcaster and I’m going to see where that takes me.”
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