Highlands Alum First in NKU History to Qualify for Event
|Highlands alum and NKU athlete, John Michael Griffth via NKUNorse.com|
EUGENE, Ore. – Northern Kentucky University track and field athlete John Michael Griffith competed at the prestigious U.S.A. Track and Field Junior Outdoor Championships on Saturday.
Griffith placed 11th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, crossing the finish line in a time of 9:57.38. This marked the first time in the program's history that NKU was represented at the elite-level event.
Griffith qualified for the U.S.A. Junior Outdoor Championships with a time of 9:25.97 in his second-place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Oliver Nikoloff Invitational in March. The trip to Eugene, Oregon, caps off a strong freshman campaign that saw the Fort Thomas, Kentucky, native earn a bronze-medal in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2015 Atlantic Sun Conference Outdoor Championship.
The freshman is the first athlete in the program's history to every qualify for the meet.
Griffith talked about the chance to run before the meet.
"I am super excited and could not be more thankful for the opportunity to compete," Griffith said. "The race is going to be hard and I'm prepared for that. I'm going to sit back, bide my time, and when the time comes, I'm going to trust my kick and run as well as possible."
"It's a big, big deal and we're all very excited for John Michael," head track and field coach Steve Kruse said. "Even for a freshman, John Michael has run so many races on an oval that once he gets on the track he'll feel comfortable. Hayward Field has a truly special feel to it, but you have to put that all aside and remember that it is a race and you have another 15 guys you're going against. "