On March 4, Graceland junior Michael Millslagle ’24 won the national title in the NAIA men’s indoor track high jump. The Lamoni, Ia. native defeated two-time defending champion Shandon Reitzell of Midland University with an impressive jump of 2.13 meters, earning him All-American honors.
Millslagle first became interested in high jump to compete with his older brother when they were teenagers, but he decided to leave it behind to play baseball at Graceland University. When assistant track and field coach Tom Shore reached out to him in need of a high jumper, Millslage tentatively agreed. After his first meet, he realized he had what it takes to compete at the next level, and he was hooked.
“Becoming a national champion in the men’s indoor track high jump is a testament to his hard work, determination, and unwavering spirit,” said Shore. He continued, “I couldn’t be prouder of Michael for achieving this incredible feat. I am excited that he has another year at Graceland and that our work can continue. The job’s not done.”
Millslagle finished second at nationals during his sophomore campaign and has been on a record-breaking tear ever since. In the past 12 months, he has broken the Graceland men’s indoor record, set multiple facility records, and become an international champion at the International University Sports Federation America Games held in Merida, Mexico.
At the Grinnell Invitational on January 28, Millslagle broke the meet record. At the Washburn Open, he tied the facility record with a personal best jump of 2.15 meters, which broke the Graceland indoor high jump school record. Two weeks after that, at the Heart Conference Indoor Championships on February 19, Millslagle achieved multiple records: he set new school and facility records, broke the conference record, and achieved a new personal best of 2.16 meters (7.087 Feet). At that point, Millslagle held the top three jumps in the NAIA.
At the 58th annual men’s indoor track & field national meet hosted by Dakota State, Millslagle secured his name in Graceland history by becoming the first high jumper to hold the men’s individual national title in program history.
“It was a sense of relief because last year I got second, and that pain was just holding over me. I’m just going to use [this win] to keep motivating myself to get back there and hopefully keep winning and jumping higher,” said Millslage.