Bram Miller of Falkville High School joined the school’s track team just two weeks ago after competing for the baseball team all spring. Friday at Selma’s Memorial Stadium, the sophomore won the Class 1A state high jump championship and was credited with setting the Class 1A state record with a leap of 6 feet, 8 inches.
However, Miller won the event clearing the bar at 6-6 – same as Kynard Craig of Linden and Anfernee Simmons of Keith. All three attempted to clear at 6-8 but missed giving Miller the championship with fewer misses. Miller then tried to clear 6-6 ½ which would have eclipsed the state record of 6-6 ¼ set by Kerry Harrell of St. Jude in 1999. But, Miller missed.
However, when the event report was turned in, it erroneously listed his winning jump at 6-8. When Miller received his first-place medallion at the awards stand, it was announced that he had set the state record. He immediately told the presenter he did not make that jump. The correction did not get turned in Friday night and the final results listed him as the new record holder.
“He told me last night, and we talked about it and I promised him we would get it corrected today,” said Falkville track coach Keith Wilemon Saturday morning. “He made it clear he did not want to be given credit for something he did not do.”
The correction was made Saturday morning. No points had to be changed and no medals had to be returned. In fact, had Miller said nothing, there might not have been any correction made.
That would have been wrong, Miller pointed out. “I was proud to jump 6-6,” said Miller, who cleared 5-8 as a freshman. His best this season was 6-4. “But I did not deserve the state record because I didn’t set it. I had to tell someone. It was the right thing to do.”Wilemon said he is proud of his sophomore for winning the event but he is much prouder of Miller’s honesty, integrity and character.“That’s the kind of young man he is,” said Wilemon.
Miller’s mother, Dree Miller, said once the final results were posted, she started getting messages congratulating Bram for the state record. “I answered back telling everyone he didn’t jump 6-8 but did win at 6-6,” she said.
She and her husband Jeff said they admire their son’s spirit of competition. His actions following his high jump championship are what true good sportsmanship is all about.
“We have always tried to raise him to do the right thing,” Jeff Miller said. “When he won he gave credit to the Lord for his athletic ability. We are so proud of him.”
Bram said he has a goal set for next season.
“I want to come back next year and jump 6-8,” he said.