St Peter's School student triumphs in steeplechase and middle distance running

Charli Miller is not a household name - yet.

But keep her name in mind because the talented St Peter's School student has her eyes firmly set on gold.

The steeplechaser and middle distance runner can boast a string of titles and records at just 15 years old.

Winning started when Charli competed in her first school cross country in Year 4. Since then, she has established new records in her favoured 2000-metre steeplechase event.

Last year, she experienced international competition at the Oceania Athletic Championships in Fiji in August, where she won the steeplechase and 1500 metre races.

"I really wasn't confident going into both races at the time, but winning both and establishing a new Oceania record for the steeplechase lifted my confidence," she says.

Continued success followed with three gold medals at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Track and Field Road Race Championships in December.

Charli Miller competing in the 2000m steeplechase

Charli puts her success down to being grounded about her natural talent, her inspirational coach and family.

She described coach Ang Russeck as a "bright and bubbly personality" which "makes training fun".

"I am aware my sport is costly and coming from a large family, I am aware of what they all sacrifice to help me achieve my dream. I don't want to let them down," she says.

Mum Tanja said the family focuses on making sure Charli enjoys a normal life.

"We recognise her talent but we try to balance this with her need to be a normal teenager," Tanja says. "Charli has provided plenty of inspiration within the family, with both my husband and I taking up running."

With goals set for the year ahead, Charli is looking to improving her times in steeplechase and middle-distance running. Her goal is to become a double-gold medallist in the steeplechase and the 1500 metres.

Story by Mike Bain, reprinted from stuff.co.nz

Wednesday, January 17, 2018