WNY to Represent in Race Walking at Olympic Trials
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
It was only a few years ago that Miranda Melville was winning gold at the Empire State Games in the 5K race walk, having just started her college career at Wisconsin-Parkside, a Division II school with a championship race walking program.
The Rush-Henrietta grad has flourished since, representing the United States in two World Cups and World Junior Competitions, all while finishing her undergrad degree at Parkside.
"I've been able to just focus a lot more on this aspect of my life, which is what I wanted to do with my first year out of school, knowing that it was going to be an Olympic year. I wanted to be able to put all that I could into this and see where it was going to take me, see how fast I could go."
In mid-March, Melville raced a 20K event in California and made the Olympic "B" standard, putting her in next weekend's Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon.
She won't represent Rochester alone. Rachel Zoyhofski, another Rush-Henrietta grad and RIT student who trains occasionally with Melville has provisionally qualified, as has former Aquinas track star Dan Serianni on the men's side.
"This is a really big step for a lot of athletes, is to actually qualify for the Olympic Trials. It's a big deal," Zoyhofski said.
"Anything could happen at Olympic Trials, for the "B" Standard, they'll only take one but they'll take up to three for the "A" Standard so, you wanna keep working toward the "A" standard but in reality, you also wanna try and win the race no matter what," said Melville.
At Trials, athletes need to finish in the top three and hit the Olympic "A" standard. Miranda is currently about four seconds shy of that mark.
"I didn't go all-out in Huntington Beach, I know I have a lot more in me so I'm excited for my next race to see what I can do and see how far I can push myself," Melville said.
Whether they qualify or not for London, this is just the beginning for Zoyhofski and Melville. Both would be prime candidates for the 2016 Olympics.
"There is more to life than race walking, I still wanna go back to school and get my p.Hd. hopefully but I still wanna train. This is a huge part of my life and who I am and I really enjoy it and I am still so young that 2016 is definitely within my grasp," Melville said.