Rutgers Signee Shuler Ready for Next Phase

Long Branch (N.J.) High's Miles Shuler ran his two fastest races of the season during Thursday's Meet of Champions, and it ended with second place finishes in the 100 and 200 meters. Afterward, he spoke to about his future as a Rutgers football player and his decorated high school track.

OLD BRIDGE, N.J. – Long Branch (N.J.) High senior and Rutgers signee Miles Shuler ran his fastest 100 meters and 200 meters of his outdoor season Thursday, and both led to second-place finishes at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions at the Track and Field Complex.

Whether it is the last time the four-star receiver runs a race will be determined by the next 20 months of his life, and particularly how he fares on the football field.

"If (Rutgers) coach (Greg) Schiano lets me, I'll probably run my sophomore year in track," Shuler said after the races.

A few minutes after finishing second in the 200 meters with a personal-best time of 21.31 seconds, the 5-foot-11 Shuler was already focusing on his arrival at Rutgers, which is set for June 26.

"I've lost some weight (with track), so I'm probably at 170 (pounds)," Shuler said. "I'm going to work really hard, eat really well with their nutrition program, and hopefully put on some weight and be ready to go."

The drop in weight (about 10 days) was needed to compete at a high level in track.

Shuler was the reigning 100 meter champ after winning the 2010 title with a time of 10.39 seconds. Damiere Byrd of Timber Creek Regional High (Erial, N.J.) was the runner-up a year ago in a time of 10.42 seconds, but edged Shuler this year when he ran 10.41 to Shuler's 10.55.

Byrd usually gets a better start, but what made it surprising was Shuler was tight with Byrd for the first 50 meters.

"That's not really like me, but he got me," Shuler said. "Damiere is a great competitor. He's been working hard, and he wanted to get back at me from last year. He worked hard and he deserved it."

In the 200 meters, Shuler said poor technique in the turn cost him against two-time winner Zamir Thomas of Snyder High, who finished in 21.01 seconds.

"I didn't get the results I wanted, but as long as I gave my best, that's fine," Shuler said. "It was a good high school career, even though it didn't come out as I expected this year. But I worked hard, and other sprinters worked hard as well. They were just more prepared than me. That's it.

"It was very competitive, and it was hard. I think technique and strength were factors. Running form, and coming out of your drive phase, turning in the 200. That's what it came down to."

Shuler acknowledged "a little bit" of disappointment, but he is ready to move on.

"I have to let that all go because the next thing I'm about to do is probably going to be the hardest thing I do in my life," Shuler said, "and that's training camp for Rutgers."

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