DSU graduate Ramon Miller’s epic gold medal run in Olympic mile relay final is The Press’ No. 1 sports story of 2012

Bahamas’ Ramon Miller, left, beats Angelo Taylor of the United States as he crosses the finish line to win gold in the men’s 4×400-meter relay final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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.

Continue reading “DSU graduate Ramon Miller’s epic gold medal run in Olympic mile relay final is The Press’ No. 1 sports story of 2012”

Atkins sprints to the future: Former DSU sprinter already has his sights set on 2016 Olympics

Dickinson State graduate Derrick Atkins races for his home country of the Bahamas in a men’s 100-meter heat during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London on Aug. 4.
AP Photo

Derrick Atkins envisions himself, a little less than four years from now, bursting out of the starting blocks at João Havelange Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

It’s a specific picture to paint. But there is nowhere else Atkins wants to be in August 2016 than The Marvelous City on Brazil’s eastern coast. The Dickinson State graduate’s sights are set on representing his native Bahamas in his third consecutive Summer Olympics.

The road there, however, won’t be easy.

At the 2012 Olympics in London last summer, Atkins was one of the few elite track and field athletes competing on the world stage without corporate sponsorship.

The 100-meters sprinter learned the difficulties of trying to navigate the ultra-competitive sport without the help of sponsors after Adidas, a worldwide athletic apparel company, dropped their sponsorship of him in 2010. He had all but disappeared from the international track scene in mid-2010 because of knee injuries and didn’t compete in 2011.

“If you don’t really have a major shoe company or a major sponsor, it’s kind of difficult to maintain the level of performance you need to because of upkeep,” Atkins said. “That’s where most of the expenses go.”

Despite being his own coach and sponsor, the 28-year-old Atkins said his isn’t considering his career on the downslide.

Continue reading “Atkins sprints to the future: Former DSU sprinter already has his sights set on 2016 Olympics”

Gold-medal winning DSU alumnus Ramon Miller awarded cash, land from Bahamas government

Ramon Miller and the rest of the Bahamas 1,600-meter relay team dubbed “The Golden Knights” in their home country of the Bahamas, were expected to give awarded land gifts by the Bahamas government on Monday.

Miller, a Dickinson State University graduate, ran the anchor leg of the gold-medal winning relay team at the London Olympics earlier this month.

He and teammates, Chris Brown, Demetrius Pinder and Michael Mathieu have been on a tour of the Bahamas since returning to their home country.

On Sunday, The Tribune in Nassau, Bahamas, reported that the government has already presented the quartet with more than $100,000 in cash and quoted Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie saying each were expected to receive a plot of land in Nassau, the capital city.

Bahamas media big on DSU’s Olympic trio

The track and field events get under way Friday at the Summer Olympics and Bahamas media outlets have published numerous reports that show the country is looking to three former Dickinson State athletes to help earn medals for a country that had none through Thursday.

The Nassau Guardian, Bahamas Tribune and Freeport News — three of the nation’s leading media outlets — have sent reporters to the London Games and each has filed numerous reports either about or referencing DSU alumni Derrick Atkins, Trevor Barry and Ramon Miller.

While Atkins is a longshot in the 100 meters — one of the Olympics’ toughest events — Barry and Miller are expected to contend for the medal stand in the high jump and 1,600-meter relay, respectively.

A Thursday article by Sheldon Longley of the Nassau Guardian called the men’s 1,600-meter relay, which Miller is a part of, the country’s best chance for a medal.

Miller, who won a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Games as an alternate in the 1,600 relay, will also compete in the 400 meters alongside countrymen Demetrius Pinder and Chris Brown. In a Bahamas Tribune article published Wednesday, Bahamas coach David Charlton said the three “could all end up in the final.”

An article by the Guardian focused on Atkins, who he wrote “appears to have his swagger back,” as he tries to make a finals run in the extremely difficult 100 meters, an event he was all but dominant in five years ago.  A Guardian column by Fred Sturrup called this “moment of truth” for Atkins.

The Guardian and Tribune each penned articles about the chances of the Bahamas producing a pair of high jump medalists in Barry and his countryman, former high jump Donald Thomas.

On Wednesday, Sturrup called Barry a “dark horse among the Olympic high jump group,” and praised the former Blue Hawks’ late-blooming skills. Barry’s best event at DSU was the long jump, where he won four NAIA titles, as opposed to only two in the high jump.

Kind words aside, Barry knows he has a difficult task ahead of him.

Though Barry was a bronze medalist at the 2011 World Championships, when personal-best jumps are taken into account at the Olympics, his best jump of 2.32 meters would barely put him into the final round.

Then again, the competition doesn’t happen on paper and Barry has long acknowledged that anything is possible at the Olympics.

“You can’t afford to rest on your laurels in this sport because you would be passed,” Barry told The Nassau Guardian in an article published July 30.

Keep up with the how the DSU trio fares at the Olympics at www.thedickinsonpress.com or on my Twitter page or watch them live on NBCOlympics.com if you subscribe to DirecTV or Dish Network. Below are their schedules.

Derrick Atkins
Saturday, Aug. 4
100 meters preliminaries, 3 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time / 10 a.m. British Standard Time
100 meters first round, 5:30 a.m. MDT / 12:30 p.m. BST
Sunday, Aug. 5
100 meters semifinals, 12:45 p.m. MDT / 7:45 p.m. BST
100 meters finals, 2:50 p.m. MDT / 9:50 p.m. BST

Trevor Barry
Sunday, Aug. 5
High jump qualification, 2:05 p.m. MDT / 9:05 p.m. BST
Tuesday, Aug. 7
High jump finals, 2 p.m. MDT / 9 p.m. BST

Ramon Miller
Saturday, Aug. 4
400 meters first round, 3:35 a.m. MDT / 10:35 a.m. BST
Sunday, Aug. 5
400 meters semifinals, 1:40 p.m. MDT / 8:40 p.m. BST
Monday, Aug. 6
400 meters finals, 2:30 p.m. MDT / 9:30 p.m. BST
Thursday, Aug. 9
1,600-meter relay first round, 4:35 a.m. MDT / 11:35 a.m. BST
Friday, Aug. 10
1,600-meter relay finals, 2:20 p.m. MDT / 9:20 p.m. BST