2016 Summer Olympics Touches Sharks

A dream comes true
July 14, 2016

The finish was thrilling… whether you were there in person, watching on TV, or like my son and me, having it “facetimed” to us while we drove home from Mankato. The conclusion of the Women’s Heptathlon with the 800M run at the US Olympic trials on Sunday July 10th brought tears and shouts of joy to all who know Heather Miller-Koch and her husband and coach, the Sharks own Ryan Koch.

Many of you know that Coach Chuck established the Sharks 25 years ago… and through many of those years, each of Chuck’s sons competed very successfully as decathletes. Chuck’s eldest son Jason now coaches track & football at a Minnesota high school. Chuck’s youngest son Andrew is now a personal trainer in New York City. Chuck’s middle son Ryan moved on from the Sharks and competed in both track and football at St. Cloud St. University. There he met Heather Miller, a 2005 graduate from Columbus High School in Columbus WI. That meeting later blossomed into marriage, and into an amazing coach / athlete relationship that, after many years of dreaming, working, and sacrifice, will now take them both to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Heather Miller-Koch finished 2nd in the Women’s heptathlon and will proudly represent the United States in that event. On Day 1, Heather competed strongly in all 4 events, and included personal records in the high jump and shot put. Her scores placed her 3rd overall and in strong position. On day 2, the strong performances just kept coming. Another PR in the long jump, and the javelin. It all culminated in an amazing 800M. In the first 200 meters Heather tucked in behind two other runners. But with a pace too slow for her taste, Heather bolted in between the other two athletes and took the lead. A lead that she would never relinquish. Heather powered through the remaining one and half laps and broke the tape looking comfortable and in command. Her performance vaulted her into second place, and onto the U.S. Olympic team.

The post-race embrace...the tears of joy that fell to the track... It’s an amazing thing to witness a dream come true. Dream big… work hard… never quit, and good things can happen.
Congratulations to Heather and Ryan… and to Coach Chuck and the whole Miller and Koch clans. A job well done!! Good Luck in Rio!!

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