Chillicothean Miller again among UCM national track meet qualifiers

Paul Sturm
Chillicothe News
Jesse Miller of Chillicothe and the University of Central Missouri prepares to touch down for his last two steps and final leap toward the landing pit in the triple jump event at a mid-January indoors track-and-field meet at Washburn University. Miller, already owner of two 2019 NCAA Division II national-meet medals, will be involved in both the triple and high jumps at this week's 2021 Division II indoors national championships at Birmingham, Ala.

WARRENSBURG — The University of Central Missouri–  and Chillicothe – once again will be represented in this week’s 2021 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships with a CHS alumni among UCM’s 15 athletes competing in 20 events. 

Jesse Miller of Chillicothe will compete in two jumps events.

A veteran of national meets, the former CHS state champion now has qualified for five NCAA D-II national competitions. He owns two All-American awards for earning national-meet medals as a freshman.

Miller will compete alongside Mules teammate Chris Goodwin in the triple jump. The Chillicothean’s high mark thus far this season, 48’6.75”, is 10th in the nation.

He also will be in the high jump, in which he ranks 11th in 2021 with a best height of 6’9.75”. 

The number of qualifiers for this year’s D-II indoors meet are down across the board this season with the NCAA accepting fewer entries in each event.

All totaled there are 368 accepted entries expected to compete plus 10 relay teams for both the men's and women's 4x400m relay and distance medley relay.

The structure of this year’s Division II meet has also been altered.

Typically a two-day meet, it will now take place across three days – this Thursday through Saturday at Birmingham, Ala. — to allow for fewer athletes to be in the same place at the same time. 

Miller is one of three Chillicothe High graduates currently part of the UCM men’s track-and-field program.

Brett Shaffer, also a former Hornets state champion, runs hurdles and other sprints. Isaak Rasche, who lost out on his senior season last spring, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, nevertheless was recruited and signed by Central Missouri and participates in sprints and relays.

A fourth area product, Dillon Seckington of Meadville, also is a Mule track athlete, running middle- and long-distance races.