Hello everyone, my name is Kyle Deeken and I am your new Webmaster for Missouri Milesplit. I would first like to note that I am very grateful for this opportunity and excited to begin building on all of the fantastic work Coach Ryan Banta did in his time as Webmaster. May I be one of the many to say that he has done a wonderful job and I can only hope to improve upon what he's presented.
I am 24 years old and a coach in my own right. I am the Head Girls Track and Field Coach at Francis Howell High School and I also train the athletes competing in the 800, 1600, and 3200. (This is the part where I brag about our state champion in the 6-lap 1600 Maddi Leigh and our runner-up Girls 3200 Relay.) I am also the Assistant Cross Country Coach at Howell. Furthermore, while substitute teaching at Howell, I am involved in the Masters of Education in Secondary School Counseling program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and hope to be finished no later than the summer of 2019 so I can get started working as a high school counselor and continue coaching.
Photo: Greg Hall
I have been running for 9 years now. I started out in 2008 as a freshman on the track team at Ft. Zumwalt North High School, just trying to get my 1600 and 3200 time down for soccer season, but I then got roped into cross country (along with soccer) in the fall by our coach. I ended up finishing my sophomore year of cross country as the #3 on a state qualifying team in our first year in Class 4. I ran at 3 state cross country meets in Class 4 with my highest finish being 37th (2009) and 1 state track meet in the 2011 Class 4 3200 (10th, 9:31.87). I ran for the legendary coach Clark Wille at Millikin University (Decatur, IL) for one year before transferring to Maryville University St. Louis to run with Micky Kaufman. There my biggest accolade was all-GLVC in cross country in 2015. I ran 15:08 for 5K, 25:08 for 8K, and 31:16 for 10K. My training post-collegiate has been stalled by two separate Achilles injuries, but I have completed two half-marathons (1:09:58 best) and one marathon (2:33:30). I am slowly working my way back from one of those two injuries and hope to run more races this Fall! You can check out my athlete profile here, if you so choose.
Ever since I quit competitive soccer in 2009, I have become a self-proclaimed -- and even sometimes others-proclaimed -- running nerd. I am highly detail-oriented and find myself studying all of my and my athletes potential competitors as a means of preparing strategies for races. I have a great deal of passion for this sport and a great deal of respect for all of you coaches, parents, athletes, and spectators who share this passion. I understand that you enjoy seeing and hearing about how your own athletes fared on any given weekend, but also enjoy hearing about the details of athletes' training regimens, strategies, thought processes, and just overall outlook on the sport. I hope that I can provide all of that for you.
That being said, I do look forward to bringing all of the pictures, videos, interviews, results, etc., etc., that you so desire from this site, but I do look forward to all of the help that you can provide me in that endeavor. I would implore those of you who frequent this site, the message boards, the results page, the rankings and virtual meets, everything this site has to offer, to please give me feedback on what it is you want to see. My biggest area of expertise is writing about athletes and condensing stats. I want to bring in more history (*ahem* Coach Hays) so that when we're bringing you coverage and writing articles, we can preface it with historical data that shows just how impressive or unheard of these stats really are. I have one bit of history on which I am working that should be one of the first few pieces of content I provide. I also hope to bring forward content that makes the subscription worthwhile to all of you. There will be a good deal of free content, yes, but it can't all be free, unfortunately. As one of my first orders of business, I will be posting a more subjective pre-season power rankings for the Top 15 athletes in each class for each gender as well as the Top 10 teams and a 10 To Watch List (one all-classes list for each gender).
Finally, as I alluded to above, I seek out your help to make this site one worth visiting. As a human person, I am sorry to say I can only be in one spot at one time, and as I have a few other obligations, I am limited in the amount of travel I can undertake. That is where those of you who have both already been strong contributors to this site in the past (you know who you are) and would like to take on a bigger role come into play. Please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime with questions, ideas, opinions, criticisms, feedback, and desires to provide help in covering meets or contributing to the site. I'm talking pictures, videos, post-race interviews, athlete Q and A's, "Coach's Toolkit" contributions, anything that may help, using my email address - firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be seeking out providers of regional coverage in all areas of the state and hoping that some of my friends across the state can help me with that. But like I said, I still need your help. This post was purely for all of you to get to know me. This website is all about all of you! Thank you for your time and How Sweet It Is!