Jasper's Miller to continue running career at IUPUI

Corey Stolzenbach/The Herald
Jasper's Jackson Miller, center, signed his letter of intent to compete in cross country and track for Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis on Monday morning. Joining him at the table are Jason Hulsman, left, Andrea Hulsman, Autumn Miller and Mike Miller. 

By COREY STOLZENBACH
sports@dcherald.com

JASPER — Jackson Miller wasn't really interested in running while growing up. He came out to run for the Jasper boys cross country his freshman year because he said a friend would pay him if he did not like it.

Miller never got paid. In fact, he went on to lead Jasper to its first state appearance as a team since 1952. Miller finished 25th as an individual at state with a 16:15.5 time, which led his team. That was only part of a running career which laid the foundation for him to sign a letter of intent to run cross country and track for Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis on Monday morning.

"The college recruitment process was really complicated," Miller said. "You get calls every night from different coaches — texts and all sorts of stuff. To finally seal the deal was really nice." 

He said he also was talking to Purdue University, the University of Kentucky and Indiana State University. Miller ended up committing to IUPUI about two weeks ago. He said he talked to Jaguars men's cross country and track coach Chuck Koeppen on the phone. Miller liked what the two discussed. He added that finding the best fit for him factored into his decision.

Jasper cross country and boys track coach Kevin Schipp said Miller ran an average of 60 miles per week.

Miller made sure to get eight hours of sleep, eat healthy, stretch and had recovery tools to help him during the season. He said he'd begin his runs from the school, and go anywhere.

He said his increased interest in running came from the success of Cale Killian, a 2017 Jasper graduate who now runs for Indiana State University. Miller wanted to have that kind of success and attention Killian was getting. Miller likes running because he sees it as a time to get away.

"Whatever you put in is what you're going to get out of it," he said. "It's not like basketball. You can shoot a million shots, but when you get there, you may still not hit the shot. In running, if you put in the miles and you don't get hurt, you're going to come out successful, and that's what's best about it."

IUPUI won the Horizon League championship in men's cross country for the first time ever this year. Miller thinks the Jaguars will be getting consistency, hard work and leadership from him.

He'll be getting an increased workload at the collegiate level, but Miller does not see himself getting burned out. The Jasper senior runner embraced getting an increased workload from high school, and wished he could do it now at the prep level. He intends to be a marketing major.

Miller's running days for the Wildcats aren't over yet. He will try to help Jasper win a fifth consecutive regional championship on the track this spring, and make it back to state. He's hoping to go to state as an individual runner in the mile and 2-mile runs. Miller was part of the 4x800m relay team last year that qualified for state, along with Drew O'Neil, Drew Smith and Reece Milligan. The four of them finished 22nd.

"We just got to get a group of guys, just like we did in cross country, to work hard," Miller said.




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