Part 1 of 3: Milan Jamrich

Milan (pronounced /mi-lahn/, like the city in Italy) grew up in former #Czechoslovakia. He is lighthearted & quick to see the ironic or humorous side of any situation, yet his Eastern European heritage taught him to be as tough as nails when required. As a young man in high school, he competed in the high jump. His coaches insisted he lift weights for hours until he was physically ill. Milan came to the US in the late 1970’s to pursue his post-doctoral fellowship at #Yale University. Today, as a researcher at Baylor College of Medicine, he studies how embryos develop and why some infants are born without eyes. Although his job keeps him busy, he still makes time to lift weights and high jump. Despite the rigorous workout routine, Milan says he actually enjoys the hard days in the gym. He says that as his body gets older, he cannot compete as often as he used to, but he also prefers the daily grind of working out over competing at meets. Most high jumpers practice a technique called the#Fosburyflop in which they go over the bar w/ their backs arched and their stomachs facing the sky. However, Milan never altered his straddle technique from the one he learned as a teenager. He still goes over the bar with his stomach facing down. He says that when he competes at a track meet, crowds often converge to observe the spectacle. Despite his unique approach, he almost always wins. Milan won the Masters Track & Field National Championships more than 10 times and he won the World Masters Championships in 2011. He even holds the 60-64 age-group #AmericanRecord for Indoor #HighJump. Although he is a member of the#BayouCityRoadRunners, he says he does not run nearly as often as his wife Kathleen A. Mahon. He does not have time to work, train for the high jump, & run. Against his better judgement & despite his lack of training, Milan entered the 2018 Chevron Houston Marathon. He says the police stopped him around Mile 20 & insisted he was too slow to finish the race. Milan says the most painful part was sitting in the bus w/ others who had been pulled off the course. Some of them were crying loudly & begging the officer to let them out of the bus. (To be continued…)