How Bryce Miller overcame hurdles to race with brothers

Bryce Miller and his younger twin brothers, Maury and Walker, grew up wishing they could compete on the same team just once. This always seemed unlikely, given the five-year age difference.

Little did the Miller brothers know that because of rare circumstances and injuries, their wish would become a reality. In February, the three competed together in the steeplechase for UMKC in an event at the University of Nebraska. Bryce won the race while Walker and Maury finished fourth and fifth.

The brothers grew up playing basketball and running track. In 2014, Bryce committed to running for UMKC’s track and cross country team. Then, in 2018, his two brothers committed to run for UMKC. The brothers all ran the steeplechase, which involves jumping over hurdles and a water trap.

“It’s an opportunity we never thought we would have the pleasure of dealing with,” said Bryce.
Bryce graduated in May of 2018. That was supposed to mark the end of his cross country career at UMKC, just as his brothers were about to enter their freshman year.

Unfortunately for Bryce, his last season did not as planned because he had a broken foot.

“It was devastating because in the previous season, I had competed in the NCAA tournament, won an individual conference tournament and a team title with the Roos,” said Bryce. “I was also in my fifth year of eligibility.”

Bryce had been granted a fifth year of eligibility because he sat out in 2016, when he competed in the Olympic trials. He finished 10th in the steeplechase.

In order to run again, he had to hope for a rare sixth year of eligibility. He knew that even if it was granted, his injury could be a career ender.

He had hope, however, because of Olympic silver medalist in the steeplechase, Evan Jager.

“He had the same injury around the same age I had the injury, and was able to make through 100% of the recovery process,” said Bryce. “That was reassuring to me, and I was able to use all the resources here at UMKC to get back to the same level.”

Bryce is grateful to have one final year. He’s even happier to compete with his brothers.

Maury and Walker are also grateful to compete with Bryce, because he was the one who got them interested in running.

“Walker and I started running in middle school, after seeing Bryce excel,” said Maury. “We decided we wanted to be runners just like him. Now here we are as freshmen, getting to race with him for the first time ever.”

Bryce is currently training and eyeing the 2020 Olympic trials in the steeplechase.

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