E.A. Sports Today

Frequent flyer Myles

Anniston senior signs to run track and cross-country at Southern University, makes the announcement on his 18th birthday

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Christian Myles is quick to note his route is “kind of different,” whether it’s where he’s wants to get to or where he’s been. He’s had his share of ups and downs in his six years running track and cross country at Anniston High School, but he’s always bounced back and landed on his feet.

On Monday, his 18th birthday, about a month after bringing his high school career full circle with the state championship he always wanted to win, Myles signed to run track and cross country at Southern University.

He chose Southern over Alabama State and Florida A&M. He would have been grateful for any opportunity to run at the next level – and several programs were interested – but signing with an historically black college was important to him on several fronts.

“I’m not going to lie, my first two years I wanted to go to an HBCU because I wanted to learn more about my culture and the next two years I was going to go bigger, like SEC, NCAA,” he said. “My route’s kind of different. I’m making my route kind of different.

“I know right now for my times for running at a big level, I know I’m there, but I’m not where I want to be. I thought about starting off small and then I started researching and that’s when I thought about looking at HBCU schools.”

A lot of American black kids are drawn to track and field, but not many are running long distance. There have been many meets when competitors and coaches have sought out Myles seeking insight to his success and offering encouragement.

Myles made an impression from the minute he burst on the scene as a seventh grader. He started running cross country at the urging of his older brother, getting in workouts between football and basketball practice, and in the first significant race of his career provided the margin for the Bulldogs to win their first ever Calhoun County Cross Country Championship at Oxford Lake.

Fast forward to his senior year and in the last race of his high school career he ran a leg on the winning 4×400 relay that secured the Bulldogs’ first-ever outdoor track state championship. In between he set school records in the 800, 1600, 3200 and cross-country 5K, won individual state titles and staged some epic local battles with White Plains’ Jake Moore and Oxford’s Noah George. 

“I had a goal when I started running that before I leave to win state or any big championship,” he said.

He’ll start off at Southern running the 800 and 1600. The Jaguars finished fourth in this year’s SWAC Track and Field Championship, tied for second at the Indoor Championship and fifth in cross country.

But the view hasn’t always been from the top step of the podium. When COVID hit in 2020, he caught it and thought he had lost it all.

“That was a big downfall,” Myles he said. “I had to regain a lot. I’m thinking everything was over with, no more track, COVID. That was my biggest downfall. It really messed up my focus. There ain’t no more track. We came around.”

Bulldogs coach Lisa Howard Holland says that’s one of Myles’ best attributes – landing on his fleet feet.

“He’s had some ups and downs in his career, but through it all he’s kept coming back,” she said. “Wherever he goes I just want him to take the Lord with him. He is the author of his fate. He gets to write his story. Whatever mistakes he has made along the line, like we all do, he’s just going to have to learn from those and go on and just do great. I’m praying he’ll just do what he needs to do.”

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