Stevens & Miller-Koch Headed to Rio Olympics

7/11/2016
 
Results

Stevens_Deajah-16OTThe 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field concluded yesterday with a bang for New York athletes as Deajah Stevens (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. / Univ. of Oregon) and Heather Miller-Koch (Minneapolis, Minn. / Central Park TC - New Balance)  each finished second in their events to secure a birth on the U.S. Olympic team that will compete next month in de Janeiro, Brazil. Stevens made the team in the 200m and Miller-Koch in the Heptathlon.

They join the following New York members, who previously made the team during the 11-day competition that began on June 30, on the squad headed to Rio next month:  
Gwendolyn Berry (Hammer Throw)
Brittany Borman (Javelin)
Michelle Carter (Shot Put)
Natasha Hastings (400m)
Miranda Melville (20 km Race Walk)
Jeffrey Porter (110m Hurdles)

Homegrown Star
Stevens, 21, a 2013 graduate of Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside, N.Y. and now a sophomore at Oregon, ran 22.30 to finish second in the 200m finals.  Tori Bowie won the race in 22.25 and Jenna Prandini finished third in 22:53 finishing .01 seconds ahead of race favorite Allyson Felix.  

​Following the competition Stevens provided these reflective thoughts, “It hasn’t hit me yet. I’m super excited, I’m speechless. I wasn’t expecting this, of course I wanted it but I wasn’t sure. I just went for it.”  

According to the University of Oregon, she is the first Oregon woman to make Team USA while still in college.

While at Benjamin Cardozo Stevens won the indoor 300m New York State title and ran the No. 9 All-time U.S. high school time (37.90).  As a junior, she finished second at the New Balance Indoor Nationals in the 200m and followed that up with a third place finish her senior year.  Her junior and senior year outdoor seasons were hampered by injuries. During her late-teen years she trained with and competed for the Hall's Express Track Club.  

She matriculated to the College of the Sequoias in California where in she won the 200m and 400m at the California Junior College State Championships during her two years there.  In November she transferred to Oregon and quickly became an integral part of their team which won the NCAA Indoor title in March and finished second at the outdoor championships last month.  At the indoor championships she finished fourth in the 200m and ran a leg on the third place 4x400m relay.  Outdoors she finished second in the 200m running a career best time of 22.25 and ran a leg of the third place 4x100m relay.  She was the Pac-12 Conference champion in the 200m.

Making History for a Historical Club
Miller-Koch_Heather_16TrialsIn the two-day seven-event Heptathlon, Miller-Koch, 29, moved into third place following the fourth event (200m) on day one (Saturday).  She began day two with 3822 points and a 9 point advantage on Sharon Day-Monroe in the fight for the last Team USA spot.  Leading was Barbara Nwaba with 3903 points followed by Kendell Williams with 3892 points.  Following the sixth event (Javelin) Miller remained in third place; 25 points head of Day-Monroe for the last team spot.  She cemented her spot on the team by winning the final event (800m).  Her time of 2:09.97 which was good enough to move her ahead of Williams, who ran 2;15.31, and into second place.  Her final score was a career best of 6423 points (previous best was 6274 points).  Nwaba won with 6494 points and Williams finished third with 6402 points.

Miller-Koch won the 2010 NCAA Division II indoor pentathlon title while at St. Cloud State University (Minnesota).  Following graduation that year  she lived and trained in New York City for three years while working as an operating nurse at Special Surgery.  It was during this time she joined and trained with the Central Park TC - New Balance.  In recent years she has lived in Minnesota and California but maintains her affiliation with the club.   She is the first Central Park TC athlete to make the U.S. Olympic team since its inception in 1972.

Following the competition on Sunday, she had a lot to offer to the media; most of which is captured below.


“This year the mentality was just don’t get fourth place. Last year at the championships, I came in fourth place by 18 points, missed going to World Championships. It’s just been a steady climb. I came out of Division II college. My PR in college was only 5230 points. This year it has just been do not get fourth place.”

“First time I competed against [Barbara Nwaba] was the last Olympic Trials, so we’re known each other since then. It’s been great to get to know Kendell. I had never competed against against her, just know she’s a high school phenom, the best college. She’s the next best thing.”

“The depth of the entire field, the scores were huge — the best it’s ever been in a national championship and it would have been even bigger had we had better conditions. It was a little rainy today. We were running into the wind yesterday. Those don’t produce the best heptathlon scores and we still did it. To get to this meet, you had to take 6,000 points essentially to get into this meet almost. That’s  a huge climb from four years ago. It’s just going to keep going up.”

“I can’t really describe the feeling right now. The whole goal was for this meet. I had done other heptathlons throughout the year but it was all leading up to this competition. I just put it all out there, training specifically for this meet to make the team because I knew it was going to be so competitive. It was just great that we were able to put up such big scores considering head winds yesterday and rain today. It’s pretty awesome.”
 
“I know that Barbara is a very strong 800 runner, and so is Sharon, who was only a second and a half behind me – she had to beat me by a second and a half – so I knew I had to run. Our plan was for Barb to lead the race and I didn’t want to break stride and I kind of went out a little hot around the corners. I just went with it. I don’t usually like leading. I usually like coming from behind but I knew I just had to trust my training. Coming through the 600 I saw that we were a little slower than what I had been training at so I was just about to finish strong.”

 
East Coast/West Coast Teammates Place Well in 1500m Finals
​In other finals on Sunday, New Jersey New York Track Club teammates John Gregorek (Annandale, N.J.) and Colby Alexander (Lebanon, N.J.) finished sixth and seventh; respectively in the men's 1500m.  Gregorek's time was 3:39.76 with Alexander just .14 seconds back.  They were teammates at the University Oregon in 2015.  Gregorek, a 2014 graduate of Columbia University, completed his athletic eligibility at Oregon while attending graduate school there last year.

Tough Luck for the Ladies
NYAC teammates Mary Saxer (Boston, Mass.) and Nicole Tully (Teaneck, N.J.) also participated on Sunday but both experienced disappointment.  Saxer failed to clear the opening height in the pole vault finals while Tully fell in the 5000m finals and was unable to finish.

Below are the composite results for all New York members that competed at the Trials:

Place

Name

Event

City

Affiliation

Performance

1

Michelle Carter #

Shot Put

Ovilla, TX

Nike / NYAC

19.59m / 64-3¼

2

Deajah Stevens #

200m

SleepyHollow,NY

Oregon

22.30

2

Heather Miller-Koch #

Heptathlon

Saint Paul, MN

CPTC New Balance

6423 pts.

2

Gwendolyn Berry #

Hammer Thro

New York, NY

Nike / NYAC

73.09 / 239-9

2

Kibwe Johnson

Hammer Thro

Kamloops, AL

Nike / NYAC

75.11 / 246-5

2

Miranda Melville #

20km RW

San Diego, CA

Skechers / NYAC

1:34:11.10

2

Trevor Barron

20km RW

Bethel Park, PA

NYAC

1:27:27.10

3

Natasha Hastings #

400m

Locust Grove, GA

Under Armour / NYAC

50.17

3

Jeffrey Porter #

110m Hurdles

Canton, MI

Nike

13.21

4

Brittany Borman #

Javelin Throw 

Fullerton, CA

Nike / NYAC

56.60m / 185-8

4

Amanda Bingson

Hammer 

Bryan, TX

Nike / NYAC

70.30 / 230-8

5

Jillian Camarena-Williams

Shot Put

Tucson, AZ

Nike / NYAC

18.81m / 61-8½

6

John Gregorek

1500m

Annandale, NJ

ASICS / NJNYTC

3:38.76

6

Jeneva Stevens

Hammer 

New York, NY

NYAC

67.86 / 222-8

5

Reese Hoffa

Shot Put

Athens, GA

Nike / NYAC

20.61m / 67-7½

7

Colby Alexander

1500m

Lebanon, NJ

NJNYTC

3:38.90

7

Martin Hehir

10000m

Washingtonville,NY

 

28:56.14

8

Alysia Montano

800m

Berkeley, CA

ASICS / NYAC

3:06.77

8

Jeneva Stevens

Shot Put

New York, NY

NYAC

18.25m / 59-10½

9

Deajah Stevens

100m

SleepyHollow, NY

 

11.04

10

Amanda Smock

Triple Jump

Minneapolis, MN

ASICS / NYAC

13.12m / 43-0½

12

Anima Banks

800m

New York, NY

 

2:02.58

12

Mary Saxer

Pole Vault

Boston, MA

Nike / NYAC

NH 

13

Brycen Spratling

400m

Webster, NY

NYAC

46.37

13

Monique Riddick

Shot Put

Edison, NJ

 

17.29m / 56-8¾

14

Travis Mahoney

3000m Steeple

Old Bridge, NJ

HokaOneOne/NJNYTC

8:49.01

16

Nicole Tully

5000m

Teaneck, NJ

HokaOneOne / NYAC

NT

18

Nicol Traynor

3000m Steeple

Whitehouse, NJ

HokaOneOne/NJNYTC

9:56.17

19

Erin Donohue

800m

HaddonHghts, NJ

 

2:02.93

19

Stephanie Schappert

1500m

Clinton, NJ

HokaOneOne

4:14.48

19

Justin Gaymon

400m Hurdles

Brooklyn, NY

NYAC

51.35

21

Erin Donohue

1500m

HaddonHghts, NJ

 

4:15.59

21

Jasmine Simmons

Long Jump

Elmsford, NY

CPTC New Balance

5.92m / 19-5¼

22

Reed Connor

5000m

Clinton, NJ

NJNYTC

13:53.72

22

Michael Jordan

3000m Steeple

Clinton, NJ

NJNYTC

9:08.61

23

Kerri Gallagher

1500m

Arlington, VA

Nike

4:22.47

26

Michael Rutt

800m

Yardley, PA

HokaOneOne/NJNYTC

1:49.25

26

Heather Wilson

1500m

Clinton, NJ

NJNYTC

4:25.07

27

Melissa Salerno

1500m

Huntington, NY

ASICS

4:35.42

27

Ford Palmer

1500m

Marmora, NJ

HokaOneOne/NJNYTC

3:51.31

28

LaTavia Thomas

800m

Philadelphia, PA

 

2:05.10

29

Jack Bolas

1500m

Clinton, NJ

NJNYTC

3:51.91

32

Emily Ritter

3000m Steeple

Millsboro, DE

NJNYTC

10:19.44

-

Brad Walker

Pole Vault

Chandler, AZ

NYAC

NM

Gia Lewis-Smallwood

Discus Throw

Alexis, IL

Nike / NYAC

DNS

Q

Deajah Stevens

100m (1st rd.)

Sleepy Hollow, NY

Oregon

11.18

Q

Deajah Stevens

200m (semi)

SleepyHollow, NY

Oregon

22.45

Q

Deajah Stevens

200m (1st rd.)

Sleepy Hollow, NY

Oregon

22.91 

Q

Brycen Spratling

400m (1st rd.)

Webster, NY

NYAC

46.01

Q

Natasha Hastings

400m (1st rd.)

LocustGrove, GA

Under Armour / NYAC

51.17

Q

Natasha Hastings

400m (semi)

LocustGrove, GA

Under Armour / NYAC

51.21

Q

Alysia Montano

800m (semi)

Berkeley, CA

 

2:00.20

Q

Alysia Montano

800m (1st rd.)

Berkeley, CA

 

2:00.56

Q

Anima Banks

800m (1st rd.)

New York, NY

 

2:02.39

Q

Erin Donohue

1500m (1st rd.)

HaddonHghts, NJ

 

4:14.37

Q

Kerri Gallagher

1500m (1st rd.)

Arlington, VA

Nike

4:23.60

Q

StephanieSchappert

1500m (1st rd.)

Clinton, NJ

HokaOneOne

4:23.68

Q

Colby Alexander

1500m (1st rd.)

Lebanon, NJ

NJNYTC

3:50.01

Q

Colby Alexander

1500m (semi)

Lebanon, NJ

NJNYTC

3:47.77

Q

John Gregorek

1500m (1st rd.)

Annandale, NJ

ASICS / NJNYTC

3:43.04

Q

John Gregorek

1500m (semi)

Annandale, NJ

ASICS / NJNYTC

3:45.59

Q

Nicole Tully

5000m (1st rd.)

Teaneck, NJ

HokaOneOne / NYAC

15:40.27

Q

Jeffrey Porter

110mH (semi)

Canton, MI

Nike

13.72

Q

Jeffrey Porter

110mH (semi)

Canton, MI

Nike

13.49

Q

Travis Mahoney

3000mSC (1st rd)

Old Bridge, NJ

HokaOneOne/NJNYTC

8:35.17

Q

Amanda Smock

TJ (1st rd.)

Minneapolis, MN

ASICS / NYAC

13.44m / 44-1¼

Q

Mary Saxer

PV (1st rd.)

Boston, MA

Nike / NYAC

4.40m

Q

Brittany Borman

Javelin (1st rd.)

Fullerton, CA

Nike / NYAC

58.06m / 190-6

Q = Qualified for Next Rd.        # = Qualified for Olympic Team


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