All-News4JAX boys track and field: Good luck catching Creekside’s Christian Miller

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Christian Miller knows that opponents are coming for him.

Good luck catching the Creekside sprinting star.

A reigning state champion, Miller aimed to elevate his track prowess during his junior season. He not only did that, repeating his state championship in the 200, Miller added a gold in the 100 and then racked up a pair of national titles after that.

The target that was on Miller, the All-News4JAX boys track and field athlete of the year, was big before the season began. Now, it’s going to be even larger in 2024. He somehow managed to upstage even a double-medal performance with a blistering summer showing that has put Miller on the fast track to stardom.

Not that he minds.

Miller relishes the competition aspect and knows that the faster he goes, the faster the opponents will come after him. He doesn’t plan on letting anyone get too close though.

“Knowing that people are coming out and trying to improve and trying to catch me since I was at the top last year [is a challenge]. Just knowing I have to continue to come out and execute and just not let up,” Miller said. “And even though I was the first last year I still had to come out and compete even harder if I wanted to be first again.”

Miller’s rise in the sport has happened quickly. He ran with the St. Johns Striders during his middle school years, then tried to do a football-track double as a freshman at Creekside. But Miller suffered a significant injury (a torn patella tendon in his right knee) and missed just about his entire first year competing in high school. That injury also steeled Miller’s resolve.

“I’d say when it first happened, I was frustrated and I was mad. Like, ‘Why is this happening to me? Why can I just get through my freshman season?’ But then as it went on, I saw it as just an obstacle that I needed to work harder and get through,” Miller said. “So, I just kept going through rehab and going through training, getting my right leg stronger, back to where it was on my left leg, and just coming back stronger than ever.”

Miller said that his first inclination that he was back and healthy and poised for something special came in his first race of his sophomore season. He expected to turn in a time in the 11s in the 100, but he clocked a 10.8. That set in motion a state championship season that he only enhanced in 2023.

Miller was a beast in the 200, his signature event. He won all five high school races in his junior season. His improvement in the 100 was even greater. Miller finished fourth in the state meet last year with a 10.69. He went 10.31 to win the 100 in the 4A state championship last May.

But Miller’s best work has come this summer, where he’s added titles at the prestigious New Balance Nationals and the USATF U20 Championships.

Not that Miller wasn’t a well-known athlete before the summer. Three titles in a state that has produced some superb sprinters tends to do that. But Miller’s performances in Eugene, Oregon this month pushed him to another level.

His time of 10.06 didn’t just win Miller the U20 event, it ranks as the fifth-fastest wind-legal time ever by a high school athlete. Only Trentavis Friday (10.0), Jeffery Demps (10.01) and Edorian McCullough and Jelani Watkins (both 10.02) have posted faster times as high schoolers than Miller.

All-News4JAX boys track and field first team

Event, Athlete, School, Class

100: Christian Miller, Creekside, Jr.

Ran season-low of 10.22 at the Florida Relays. Class 3A state champ after finishing fourth last year.

200: Christian Miller, Creekside, Jr.

Back-to-back state champ after clocking a 20.57 in the Class 3A state meet. Won every 200 he entered this year.

400: Brian Johnson, Jackson, Sr.

Season-low of 47.15 came at the Booker Hill Relays. Finished sixth at Class 2A state meet.

800: Gavin Nelson, Mandarin, Sr.

Turned in season-low time of 1:53.39 at FSU Relays. District champ and fourth in Class 4A state meet.

1600: Tanner Simonds, Creekside, Jr.

Class 4A state runner-up with a season-low time of 4:12.71.

3200: Graham Myers, Fleming Island, Jr.

Turned in his season-best time (9:03.45) at the FSU Relays. District champ, region runner-up and Class 4A state runner-up.

110 hurdles: Caden Vann, Bartram Trail, Sr.

District champ in season-best of 14.55. Took third at region and 10th in Class 4A state meet.

400 hurdles: Isaiah Joseph, Flagler Palm Coast, Sr.

Turned in a low of 54.85 at the 5-Star Championship. District runner-up, fourth at region and 14th in 4A state meet.

High jump: T’Vario Willis, Ridgeview, Jr.

Had his best jump of 6-6.25 come in fourth-place finish at Florida Relays. District champ. Finished third in Class 3A state meet.

Long jump: Gerod Tolbert, Flagler Palm Coast, Sr.

Went 24-4.75 to win Class 4A state meet. Also won district and region titles.

Triple jump: Seth Stockton, Columbia, Sr.

About as dominant of a season as there is. Won every meet he entered, including a PR of 50-2.75 at the Don Hall Invitational. Class 3A state champ.

Pole vault: Matias Masony, Nease, Jr.

Best clearance was a 14-5.25 to finish runner-up at the Bob Hayes. Took seventh at 4A state meet.

Shot put: Jake Guarnera, Ponte Vedra, Jr.

Had PR of 58-2.5 to finish as Class 3A state runner-up. Won one event this year and finished as runner-up in three others.

Javelin: Vincent Jackson, Ponte Vedra, Jr.

Threw it 187 feet to win the 3A state championship. District and region champion, too.

Discus: Nathan Lebowitz, Ponte Vedra, Sr.

Massive throw of 189-2.5 came in district and led the state. Won 11 of 12 events this season, including Class 3A state title. Yale signee.

400 relay: Mandarin

Team of Stephen Degregorio, Kieren Jackson, Rayphel Cox and Jaylen Lewis turned a 41.11 to win the district meet.

1600 relay: Flagler Palm Coast

Team of Isaiah Joseph, Dennis Murray, Brandon Kalasnik and D’Zirath Steward clocked a 3:15.99 to finish as Class 4A state runner-up.

3200 relay: Mandarin

Ran a 7:47.96 to win region. Team of Gavin Nelson, Charley West, Erik Lash and Dominic Geraci took third place at 4A state meet.

Second team

Event, Athlete, School, Class

100: Jayden Dailey, Tocoi Creek, So.: First state champ in Toros history. Ran his best time (10.44) to win 2A title. Finished season on five-meet winning streak.

200: Josh Howell, Creekside, Fr.: Excellent debut season. Had a low of 21.31 at district. Took fourth at 4A state meet.

400: Kavon Miller, Bolles, Sr.: Season-best time of 47.27 came in the Florida Relays. Finished fifth at 2A state meet. District champ and region runner-up.

800: Roman Mollicone, Fleming Island, Jr.: District champ with a low of 1:54.68. Took fourth in Class 3A state meet.

1600: Gavin Nelson, Mandarin, Sr.: Finished fourth in Class 4A state meet in 4:13.32.

3200: Matt Ryan, Nease, Jr.: Class 4A state champ in 9:07.41. District and region champ, too.

110 hurdles: Keshawn Porter, Westside, Sr.: Clocked a low of 14.86 at the Chandra Cheeseborough Invitational. Fifth at region ant 14th in 3A state meet.

400 hurdles: Jarrell Jimenez, Ponte Vedra, Jr.: Low of 55.04 at the North Florida/South Florida Challenge. District champ.

High jump: Jayden Harris, Bishop Kenny, Sr.: Had his best finishes (6-5.5) at district and then 2A state meet where he finished third.

Long jump: Kemani Wilson, Bolles, Sr.: Covered 23-8 in his best distance of the season at Bolles Sprint meet. District champ, region and state runner-up.

Triple jump: Cardler Datilus, Orange Park, So..: District champ with a 45-6.25 distance.

Pole vault: Henry Gainer, Ponte Vedra, Sr.: Had a PR of 14-1.25 in his first event of the season. Took fifth in Class 3A state meet.

Shot put: Nathan Lebowitz, Ponte Vedra, Sr.: Finished third in 3A state meet with a 56-8.75. Second at region and third at district.

Javelin: Will Wainwright, Suwannee, Jr.: Throw of 175-10 was his season best and led to 2A state runner-up finish.

Discus: Solomon Thomas, Raines, Jr.: Throw of 168-6 was his best of the season and won his the 2A state title.

400 relay: Oakleaf: Group of Amarrion Grant, Devin Collins, Josber Stimphil and Evan Brown finished sixth at 4A state meet with a 41.55.

1600 relay: Jackson: Foursome of Dashawn Buist, Alex Williams, Willie Hill and Brian Johnson ran a 3:17.39 to finish 2A state runner-up.

3200 relay: Fleming Island: Finished third in 3A state meet with foursome of Roman Mollicone, Graham Myers, Donavin Montoya and John Keester IV turning in a 7:53.32.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.