Poolside with Courtney Miller

  • By DJ Jamiel
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  • January 17, 2014 04:28 PM
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This is the 17th of a season-long series that will feature updates on WVU swimming and diving alumni, as well as getting to know members of the current team.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -  Just keep swimming… 
This should be the life motto for West Virginia swimmer Courtney Miller. The sophomore has had to overcome many obstacles to reach Morgantown. Despite the roadblocks, Miller is a dominant swimmer for the Mountaineers this season.
During her junior year of high school Miller was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. Although treatable, the ailment never leaves the body. Due to the diagnoses, Miller was told that swimming could be in jeopardy.
Courtney Miller
“I did not think that I was going to be able to swim anymore because I was in and out of the hospital,” spoke Miller. “I was able to get the disease to go into remission and begin training again.”
The Buckhannon, W.Va. native got back into the pool training harder than before. The work paid off, as it earned her a spot on the WVU roster.  Although swimming in her home state is an honor, it was not what drew her to WVU.
“What ultimately brought me here (WVU) was coach Vic Riggs,” said Miller. “I really like him, the team and the program they are building.”
Having Riggs as a coach was a challenge initially. She had to get used to another voice around the pool. Miller had been coached by her father her entire life.
“Coming here I was intimidated because I had never been coached by anyone else,” explained Miller. “I loved having my dad as a coach, but I had to make an adjustment and things worked out great.”
As a freshman last season, Miller recorded a first-place finish in the 100 back against TCU. At the same meet, she finished second in the 200 back. In the Big 12 Championships, she took 13th in both the 100 and 200 back.  
Following a great freshman campaign, Miller decided that her summer was best spent in Morgantown. This would allow training to continue.
“It was a lot of fun staying here in the summer,” articulated Miller. “It allowed me to not only train, but to get closer to my coaches.”
She entered this season ready to make more winning waves in the pool. As prepared as she was, Miller was faced with a hurdle when the school year began.
“I had Mononucleosis first semester and thought I was going to have to redshirt,” spoke Miller. “I was cleared to swim right before the Mizzou Invite. I then spoke with Coach Riggs and he allowed me to travel with the team and compete at the meet.”
On just three weeks of training, Miller posted some of her best times as a Mountaineer.
“Being able to come out and perform so well was great,” said Miller of the Mizzou Invite. “That is one of my favorite races so far at West Virginia.”
Even with the difficulties of intense training, her love for the sport is unyielding.
“Swimming does get tiring with such a long season,” said Miller. “ I love the sport though, and would not have it any other way.”
You might be noticing a theme with Courtney Miller. Every time she is faced with an obstacle, the sophomore seems to end up back in the pool. Miller believes her experiences make her a better person.
“I think the obstacles make me a better person and athlete,” explained Miller. “They make me driven to prove everyone wrong.”
When things get tough, the best option for Miller is to just keep swimming.