Liz Berkholtz, Nicolle Murphy, Lyndsey Thorpe, Heta Tuuri, and Kaila Urick join Jess Lehman in advancing to the NCAA Championship
Matt Bingle looks at the Gophers' sprints, jumps, hurdles, and multi-events in 2016
Assistant coach Peter Miller previews the throwing events for the Gophers
Four sprinters, six distance runners, three multi-event athletes, one thrower, and one hurdler will join Minnesota
Minnesota is pleased to add 11 more student-athletes to its incoming class
Peter Miller completed his third season with the Golden Gophers in 2015-16 after joining the University of Minnesota women's track & field staff in summer 2013. Miller, a former Gopher student-athlete, serves as an assistant coach for throws and high jump, while assisting with the combined-events training.
In his first three seasons with the Gophers, Miller coached the Minnesota throwers to five All-American awards (Devin Stanford, hammer, Second Team 2014; Nicolle Murphy, javelin, First Team 2015; Lyndsey Thorpe, hammer, First Team 2016; Murphy, javelin, First Team 2016; Agnes Esser, discus, Second Team 2016) and one Big Ten title (Murphy, javelin 2016) along with four Big Ten runner-up finishes (Murphy, javelin 2014 and 2015; Stanford, discus, 2014; Stanford, hammer, 2015). In addition, Miller has helped Gophers multi-event athlete Jess Lehman (Herauf) to four All-American honors: pentathlon (Second Team, 2014; First Team, 2015) and heptathlon (First Team, 2015; First Team 2016) as well as six All-Big Ten awards in the multi-events and four scoring finishes in the B1G javelin competition.
Under Miller’s direction in 2014, Stanford became Minnesota's first hammer thrower to qualify for the national meet since Liz Alabi competed in 2007. Placing 15th in the hammer with a then career-best throw, Stanford then became the first Gopher thrower to place at the national meet since Nikki Tzanakis finished 14th in the discus in 2011. In 2015, Murphy was the first Gopher thrower to earn first team All-American honors since 2008, and she recorded her second-straight first team award in 2016.
Miller’s student-athletes combined to score 38 points en route to Minnesota’s 2016 B1G outdoor title, including Big Ten champions Jess Lehman (heptathlon) and Nicolle Murphy (javelin). The previous year, Miller’s throwers scored 47 points at the 2015 Big Ten Outdoor Championship, including four top-three finishes. In the last three seasons, Miller has coached 10 Gophers to 25 NCAA West Prelim qualifications and had six student-athletes make nine appearances at the NCAA Outdoor Championship. Most recently, Murphy, Thorpe, and Esser collected All-American honors under Miller’s direction in 2016.
Miller’s Gophers rank among the top in program history as he has coached six Minnesota program record-holders in five different events: hammer throw (Stanford, 61.82m; Thorpe, 63.30m), discus (Esser, 57.91m), indoor high jump (Heta Tuuri, 1.80m), pentathlon (Herauf, 4,393 points), and heptathlon (Herauf, 6,014 points). In total, 15 of Miller’s athletes own 28 of Minnesota’s all-time top 10 indoor and outdoor performances highlighted by 16 of the best throwing marks in Gopher history, along with two of the all-time top 10 performances in indoor high jump, one in outdoor high jump, five in the pentathlon, and four in the heptathlon.
Under Miller, the Gopher throwers have had success beyond the NCAA stage as well. Kiley Sabin was named a USATF All-American after placing seventh in the shot put and 11th in the discus at the 2015 USATF Outdoor Junior Championships. In addition, Murphy placed 14th and 17th in the javelin at the 2014 and 2015 USATF Senior Championships, and Esser has competed on the international stage for her native Canada at multiple events, including qualifying for finals at the 2015 World University Games.
Miller returned to his alma mater for the 2013-14 season after two successful seasons as the throws coach for the University of North Dakota men's and women's track & field teams. In 2012, Miller's throwers broke eight school records and won three Great West Conference individual titles. During the 2013 season, UND's throwers were responsible for seven more school records, four NCAA qualifiers, four USA Junior National qualifiers, one USATF Junior All-American, one All-Academic award winner and 35 UND top-10 performances.
Prior to his arrival at UND, Miller coached throws and combined events at Wisconsin-River Falls for three years. He mentored NCAA Division III meet qualifiers, including a third-place finisher, throughout his tenure. One of Miller's student-athletes qualified for the 2011 NCAA Division III outdoor championships in both the high jump and shot put, the only female in any division to compete in that combination of events at the national meet.
During two seasons coordinating the Falcons' strength and conditioning program, Miller's student-athletes broke 27 school records and earned 13 All-America awards. He was also heavily involved in track and field winter camps as both a director and instructor.
Miller captained the Gopher track & field team as a senior. He earned three letters and three Academic All-Big Ten selections, along with five University of Minnesota Scholar Student-Athlete awards. Miller earned his bachelor's degree in kinesiology in 2008 and is pursuing a master's in business administration.
Miller has gained multiple coaching certifications through USA Track & Field, the USTFCCCA and the IAAF. He has completed all requirements to reach the highest levels of certification through both the IAAF (Level 5 Throws), which he received with distinction, and USATF (Level 3 Throws). In addition, Miller has received his USATF Level 2 certification in jumping events. In 2016, Miller became certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the USTFCCCA.
Incoming Gophers Cap Prep Careers
Members of the Gophers' incoming class wrapped up their high school careers with impressive performances this spring.
Gophers Set for Summer Competitions
Several current Gophers and Minnesota alumni are set to compete at national and international meets this summer.
Gopher Trio Garners Academic All-America Honors
Track & field student-athletes Alex Beckman, Jess Lehman, and Luca Wieland have been honored for academics.