CHS alum Shaffer joins ex-Hornet Miller as D2 track, field provisional national qualifier
PITTSBURG, Kan. - Three former Chillicothe High School track-and-field standouts – two of them multiple state champs for the Hornets – competed for the University of Central Missouri and placed well in the 2021 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) Outdoors Track-and-Field Championships hosted by Pittsburg State University last weekend.
Both UCM’s Mules and Jennies had top-three team finishes, the Jennies finishing second and the Mules, for whom the Chillicothe trio competed, third.
For one of the ex-Hornets, 2018 alumnus Brett Shaffer, the competition saw him post a time which both qualified him for NCAA Division II Academic All-America status and be a provisional qualifying time for the approaching D2 outdoors national meet.
Shaffer had a personal-best and provisional-qualifier time of 14.48 seconds in the 110-meters high hurdles during his preliminary heat. He followed that with a seventh-place finish in the finals in 14.82.
He also competed in the 400-meters intermediate hurdles and finished in under 54 seconds for the first time in his career, taking sixth place in 53.97 seconds.
His provisional qualifier in the high hurdles let him join 2017 Chillicothe graduate and UCM teammate Jesse Miller in that distinction, who already owned provisional-qualifier performances from earlier in the season in the high jump and the long jump.
At conference, Miller took third in the long jump at 24’5-3/4”, fourth in the high jump at 6’8”, and fifth in the triple jump at 49’1”.
2020 Chillicothe High graduate Izaak Rasche was part of a medal-winning Mules relay, helping UCM’s 400-meters relay group take seventh place in 42.71. He also competed in the “open” (individual) 400-meters dash and had a 51.65 to finish 21st.
The NCAA Division II National Championships meet is scheduled for May 27-29 in Allendale, Mich. While Miller and Shaffer have posted times/distances which meet the minimum standards to potentially advance, it won’t be known with certainty until some time next week whether those rank high enough among all provisional qualifiers to get them a spot in the national meet.
Miller went to the outdoors national meet and medaled in the high jump as a freshman.