Miles Riggs, a 2013 Franklin County High School graduate, had the opportunity to run cross country in college in the fall of 2013, but turned down that chance.
“I was nervous and timid about leaving and going to run somewhere,” Miles said. “I didn’t really know if it was what I wanted to do.”
But on Wednesday, more than a year after graduating high school, Miles signed to run cross country and track at the University of Pikeville.
In the last year, Miles continued to work where he worked in high school, Zaxby’s, and also lived in an apartment with friends for a few months. And in that time, Miles realized he wanted to do more.
“It was just a repetition of going to work, going home and paying for rent,” Miles said. “I wanted more. I wanted an education. I missed running and the meets. I wanted to go somewhere and go run.”
His father, Alex Riggs, said he always wanted Miles to go to school and knew he had potential in running. But he also knew that his son was not ready right after high school. At the beginning of June this year Miles told his dad that he wanted to go to college.
“He came in one night and told me that he wanted to go back to school and run,” Alex said. “I asked him ‘Are you telling me right now that is what you want to do. Because if you tell me that, I’m on the phone tomorrow and will start contacting people.’”
Miles ran in races through Zaxby’s as the owner would sign up the employees to run 5K races. And that showed him how much he loved being on a cross country team.
“I guess it just took the year that I was off to really make me realize how much I missed it, the meets, the competition and the racing,” Miles said. “As I was running the 5Ks through Zaxby’s, it just wasn’t the same. I liked being a part of the team.”
And unlike after high school, Pikeville was of interest to Miles, because his cousin and friend Kory Waller, a 2014 Western Hills graduate, signed to play basketball for Pikeville. The two plan on rooming together in college.
Miles filled out an application online in early June and three to four weeks had passed without hearing anything.
“I was nervous because I didn’t think there was enough time to do all that we had to do,” Miles said. “I thought if not in the fall, I would have to go in the spring and I really did not want to do that.”
Then Alex called on July 1 and that is when things happened quickly. Pikeville had not received some of the needed paperwork and that was taken care of that day. Also that morning, Alex talked to John Biery, Pikeville’s cross county and track and field head coach, and heard back from him later the same day that the team would like Miles on the team.
All of that happened with Miles at work. Alex called his son to tell him the good news.
Miles has been running every day to get back into form and can’t wait to be on a team once again.