S4:E24 | Daniel Michalski

June 14, 2021

Olympic Dreams Grounded on True Hope

When Daniel Michalski won an NCAA Division II national title in steeplechase in 2017, many would have considered that a fitting close to an outstanding college athletics career. But the Lord, and Dan, a 2018 Cedarville alumnus, had other challenges to jump, hurdle, and climb.

Daniel took his last year of college eligibility with him to Indiana University as a graduate student, where he had an outstanding year of competition, including being runner-up in the 3000M steeplechase at the Big 10 Championships in 2019. And if not for his toe clipping a hurdle, Dan was headed for a national title at the NCAA Division I Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Even with the stumble, Daniel had an All-American finish and came in seventh.  

This year, Daniel has continued to soar in the event he loves. At one point this spring, he owned the top American time in the steeplechase and had the third-best time in the world. And on June 21, he will compete at the steeplechase prelims of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for a chance to represent the United States in Tokyo this summer. If he makes it, he will be the first Yellow Jacket to compete on the Olympic stage.

Even for all of Daniel’s impressive athletic successes, his faith, and his newfound roles as a husband to Abby, a dad to Daley, and a college cross country and track & field coach, keep his feet on the ground.

“I’m not a just a runner,” he shares during the podcast. “I have more value than that. I know I’m loved. As a son, a brother, now a husband and dad, and ultimately as a child of God, there is so much more to this story than one race.”

Daniel broke a 44-year-old record at the Drake Relays in April, claiming the steeplechase crown in 8:29:83. He also won the Penn Relays this year, becoming only the second male athlete to win both in the same year.

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