No. 1 Sports Story of the Year: DSU graduate Ramon Miller’s epic gold medal run in Olympic mile relay finalBefore the Olympics began last summer in London, Ramon Miller made one thing clear. He was the captain of his ship.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Editor’s Note: The Dickinson Press’ Top 10 sports stories of 2012 countdown concludes today.
Before the Olympics began last summer in London, Ramon Miller made one thing clear. He was the captain of his ship.
“This year, I’m doing everything on my own,” Miller said in a July 29 article in The Dickinson Press. “I’m sailing my own ship, so if anything goes wrong, I’m to blame. I’m the captain of everything right now.”
Miller went to London hoping to make an impact and lead his 1,600-meter relay team to the medal stand.
He returned a gold-medal winning national hero.
The Dickinson State graduate’s anchor-leg run that helped the Bahamas’ 1,600-meter relay team win its first gold medal in men’s track and field on Aug. 10 is The Dickinson Press’ No. 1 Sports Story of 2012. Miller is the first person to attend a North Dakota college or university to win an Olympic gold medal.
“This is as big as it gets,” DSU track and field head coach Pete Stanton said in an Aug. 11 article in The Dickinson Press.
“To be able to do that, on a historic day for the Bahamas, to be the one to help that happen, it’s just a day he’ll never forget.”
Miller’s finish to the race was consistently featured as one of the top moments of the Olympics.
He used a big kick and sprinted past Angelo Taylor of the United States in the final 100 meters to give the relay team a national-record time of 2 minutes, 56.72 seconds.
From there, the celebration was on for the “Golden Knights,” the term the Bahamas media coined for Miller, Chris Brown, Demetrius Pinder and Michael Mathieu.
Nationwide celebrations were held in their honor and Miller and his teammates have since had the opportunity to meet several dignitaries, including Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie. Along with his teammates, he was awarded $100,000 and a plot of land from the Bahamas government.
A 12-time event national champion at the NAIA level and a silver medalist in the mile relay as an alternate in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Miller had ups and downs following his final days at DSU in 2009.
He was plagued by back and hamstring issues in 2010 and had only minor success at the international level in 2011.
Coaching himself, Miller began to make a push toward London early this year. He clocked a personal-best, Olympic-qualifying time of 44.87 seconds in the 400 meters at the Bahamas Olympic Trials. He also qualified in the 200, but chose not to run the event in London.
Instead, he focused on the relay and the 400, in which he finished 10th after running a time of 45.11 seconds in the semifinals.
He was the lone member of his 1,600 relay team not to compete in the 400 finals, almost as if his moment in the spotlight was being saved for later.
“The guys had faith in me, to put me on there, and I was ready enough and I was able to go out there and do it,” Miller told The Bahamas Tribune in an Aug. 15 article. “I wasn’t feeling any additional weight on the anchor leg because I am always ready to run any leg. Knowing that the guys had faith in me, I was ready to go and give it all that I had.”
Monke is the Sports Editor of The Dickinson Press. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at monkebusiness.
A look back at the Top 10 stories of 2012
1. Dickinson State graduate Ramon Miller becomes first alumnus to win a gold medal at the Olympic games, anchoring Bahamas 1,600 relay team.
2. Dickinson High School graduate Jamie Kuntz, removed from the North Dakota State College of Science football team for a violation of team rules, says he was kicked off the team because he was gay.
3. The Dickinson Roughriders come into the Central Plains Regional American Legion baseball tournament as the host, with most expecting them to lose out in two games. They reached the final day of the tournament.
4. After the unexpected resignation of Dickinson State volleyball coach Maura Bronte, 22-year-old assistant coach Jennifer Hartman steps in as interim head coach and guides the team for 17 matches.
5. The Hettinger-Scranton boys basketball team’s season was marred by a January bus accident that injured several players and its assistant coach.
6. Killdeer High School graduate Austin Dufault not only helps the Colorado men’s basketball team win the Pac-12 championship and reach the NCAA tournament for the first time in nearly a decade, he moves on to play professionally in the Czech Republic.
7. The Dickinson State football team has a forgettable 2-9 season, the team’s worst finish in 37 seasons under head coach Hank Biesiot. However, Biesiot still sets a record for victories at an NAIA institution with 257.
8. After slugging it out a challenging group of Region 7 teams, the Beulah boys basketball team backs up the area’s basketball clout by defeating three straight undefeated teams, including defending champion North Star, for its first Class B state title.
9. The Beach girls basketball team continues its domination of Region 7, reaching the Class B state tournament and finishing in third place.
10. Dickinson Trinity football coach Randy Gordon steps down after 26 seasons at the school and 36 seasons as a head coach with 241 wins and three state championships on his resume.