Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald

Challenging for titles in the swimming pool comes naturally for Baker High School senior Jared Miller.

For that reason it was no surprise that Miller earned a Class 4A state championship in the 200 individual medley race last month at Gresham.

“It isn’t my first state championship,” Miller said. “I actually got my first title last year as a junior when I won the 100 backstroke.”

Miller placed second in that event this year at the state meet.

“I was calmer than I was my junior year,” he said. “But I still get some butterflies before an event.”

Miller said winning events doesn’t come by chance. It takes months of hard work.

“I train for a long time each season,” he said. “This year I started in August.”

He also gets some competition from younger brother Justin during the high school season.

“He gives me a little competition on the high school team,” Miller said. “But he likes to compete in other sports so there’s not the kind of competition the whole year round. He isn’t always swimming like I do.”

Miller said he swims about 18 hours every week.

“I swim a lot, and do weight training,” he said.

He said he follows a weight training program used by La Grande swim coach Darren Dutto. Miller swims for the La Grande swim team during the summer.

Miller said like most other athletes he follows a specific training program.

“During the day, like any other athlete, I try to get the proper nutrients and training, and try not to let my nerves get out of control at the meets,” he said.

Miller, who has been swimming competitively since age 7, said the 200 backstroke is his favorite event. However, that event is not part of the high school competition.

“Because of the time it takes for the event, high school meets don’t run the event,” Miller said.

Miller, who has signed to swim at South Dakota State University next season, said he tried other sports growing up. He found that he improved more quickly in swimming, deciding to stick with that sport.