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Dustin Monke / Forum Communications Co., Published August 10 2012

Dickinson State graduate anchors Bahamas gold medal 1,600 relay team

LONDON – Dickinson State can now count an Olympic gold medalist among its graduates.

Ramon Miller made history for his home country of the Bahamas on Friday night at the Summer Olympics, running the anchor leg of the 1,600-meter relay team that won the nation’s first gold medal in men’s track and field at Olympic Stadium.

Miller trailed Angelo Taylor of the United States until the final turn, when he turned on a big kick and sprinted past Taylor to the finish line. There, he fell to the track and was mobbed by his relay teammates, Chris Brown, Demetrius Pinder and Michael Mathieu.

The Bahamas ran a national-record time of 2 minutes, 56.72 seconds to beat the Americans, who lost the race at the Olympics for the first time since 1984. The U.S. took the silver medal with a time of 2:57.05. Trinidad and Tobago took third.

“To be able to do that, on a historic day for the Bahamas, to be the one to help that happen, it’s just a day he’ll never forget,” Dickinson State University track and field head coach Pete Stanton said. “And obviously we’re very proud and very happy for him here. This is as big as it gets.”

At DSU, a handful of staff members – including President D.C. Coston – watched the race on a big screen in Wienbergen Hall.

“I couldn’t be any happier and prouder of Ramon,” Stanton said. “You couldn’t write a better script for what happened there.”

Miller, a 12-time NAIA champion at DSU, won an Olympic silver medal while he was still a student.

As an alternate member of the Bahamas 1,600-meter relay team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Miller competed in a preliminary round but did not run in the finals.

In London, he finished 10th overall in the 400 meters, missing the final round. Brown was fourth in the finals while Pinder took seventh.

Until Friday, it was a disappointing turn for the Bahamas team that entered the Olympics with so much hope.

Miller ran the opening leg of the relay in the qualifying rounds and had the slowest time of the four.

The U.S. was running without two of its biggest quarter-mile stars.

Taylor, a two-time gold medalist in the 400-meter hurdles, was thrust into the lineup after a flurry of injuries hit the Americans. Lashawn Merritt and Jeremy Wariner both pulled out before the preliminaries.

Monke is the sports editor for the Dickinson Press, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.