Adding to her list of academic and athletic accolades, Loras College cross country and track and field alumna Audrey Miller (’19) was named the 2020 American Rivers Conference (A-R-C) Johanna Olsen Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year on Wednesday, earning the conference’s highest individual honor.
“After a year of turmoil like we’ve never seen, our Scholar-Athletes of the Year process added a welcome sense of normalcy,” said A-R-C Commissioner Chuck Yrigoyen. “The process always produces young men and women whose accomplishments are anything but normal. I would like to thank the faculty athletics representatives and athletics staff members for their work in identifying this year’s impressive class of nominees. One only needed to attend a cross country or track meet to see the joy that running brought to Audrey Miller. Her smile during competition was as bright as the national-caliber resume she put together. Whether it was faith-centered activities or writing a handbook for her student peers, Audrey left Loras as a person who made a difference.”
The highest-placing NCAA Division III National Championship finisher in Duhawk program history after finishing as the runner-up at the 2016 national championship and setting the program record with a time of 20:31 for the 6,000-meter course, Miller, a native of Appleton, Wis., also holds the conference championship 5000-meter record with a time of 17:13.94 set in 2017. She was a six-time All-American across the three sports, including two All-American finishes in her cross country career (2016 and 2019) and was a three-time United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic honoree in cross country (2015, 2016, 2019) and a two-time Academic All-American in track & field (2016, 2017). She was a two-time CoSIDA Third-Team Academic All-American (2016-17, 2019-20) and a two-time First-Team Academic All-District (2016-17, 2019-20) selection. Miller earned A-R-C All-Academic Team honors three times for cross country (2015, 2016, 2019) and twice for track & field (2017, 2019) in addition to the Chi Alpha Sigma National College Athlete Honor Society Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2020. She capped off her Loras career as a Top 30 finalist for the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year award.
Miller graduated in December of 2019 with a degree in chemistry and minors in biology and Spanish and her academic success and influence spanned beyond the classroom. During the 2018-19 academic year, Miller created and edited the Loras College Survival Guide to the Science Hall, a booklet of everything about the science department for incoming students interested in majoring in a STEM field. She also was a staff writer and editor for the Loras College student newspaper, The Lorian during her four years at Loras. Miller volunteered with the After-School STEM Education Program and Loras College High School Chemistry Olympics, a day-long competition for high school students in various chemistry activities. She now attends the University of California, Davis and is working towards her Ph. D in geochemistry and planetary sciences.
“Audrey is the most thoughtful, considerate, kind and caring person I have ever met,” said cross country head coach Bob Schultz (‘). “She as a true servant’s heart and puts others needs above her own on a daily basis. I have never met anyone that resembles a Christ-like attitude more than Audrey Miller.”
Miller becomes the fourth Loras student-athlete to win the Scholar-Athlete of the Year distinction in the past five years with the most recent honoree being men’s cross country and track and field alumnus Timothy Sevcik ’18 for the 2017-18 academic year.
To be eligible for nomination, a student-athlete shall have graduated or exhausted their athletic eligibility during the academic year for which the award is given. The nominee must have demonstrated a high level of accomplishment and achievement in a varsity sport, have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale), and show evidence of scholarly achievements, community service involvement and leadership. The Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award is named after former Luther College student-athlete Johanna Olson – the inaugural winner of the women’s award – who lost a courageous battle with cancer in January 2013.
Audrey also sat in as a guest on the Duhawk Digest podcast to talk about her accolades and Loras experiences.