While most Track & Field athletes worry about just one event, Chula Vista’s Heather Miller-Koch will compete in seven at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
The Heptathlon is a two-day competition bringing the world’s most versatile athletes together to compete in hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 meters, long jump, javelin and the 800 meters.
“The winner of the Decathlon, the men’s event, they're usually named the world’s greatest athlete, so the women, that's the world’s greatest female athlete," Miller-Koch said.
The 29-year old Wisconsin native who played basketball in college before discovering her untapped well-rounded athletic potential on the track, moved to Chula Vista last year to take advantage of the Olympic Training Center.
“The weather is so predictable and so amazing to train in year-round. It doesn't get much better than this," she said.
With so many events to perfect, finding a training partner can be tough on heptathletes, but Miller-Koch lucked out with a devoted and attentive coach.
“We have little competitions where he'll spot me here and there, we'll sprint together around the corner, he'll take two lanes outside of me so it's a little longer but still even," she said.
Coach Ryan, a former college decathlete, also happens to be her husband. The couple shares a guest house close to the training center.
"It’s definitely a balance and it’s definitely a work in progress from when we started this journey together, but I wouldn't want to have it any other way. Just him knowing everything it takes and he is the one writing the plan to get there," she said.