Senior Taylor Jania Hill-Miles did it all at Eastside High School.
She participated in three sports for the Rams—track and field, cross country, and soccer—but she also excelled in the classroom and was a role model outside of school.
Hill-Miles carried a 4.7 weighted GPA, was a National African American Scholar (top 2.5% PSAT score for demographic) and was named the Ram of the Year (student of the year at EHS).
She was also the ACPS Volunteer of the Year, the 2021 Edna M Hart Keeper of the Dream winner and dedicated 500+ volunteer hours to various causes. She served as captain of the soccer and track teams and co-captain of the cross-country team.
“Taylor Hill-Miles is an outstanding student-athlete,” said track and field coach Byers Hickmon. “Taylor was a team leader in practices and in competitions. She is committed to excellence and demonstrates that commitment in practices, which translates to events in track and field competitions. Her teammates, both male and female, respect her and look at her as one of the team leaders.”
This past year Hill-Miles qualified for regionals in the 4×400, 4×800, and 4×100 sub. The captain set personal records at every meet her senior year.
She was also a part of a pair of district championships on the soccer team, including a regional championship her sophomore year and a final four berth, which was the best girls soccer finish in EHS history.
In 2020, she had major surgery on her spine and had to take time off from all sports for about a year to recover, but she found other ways to stay involved with sports and support her teammates, like being a team manager and assistant coach.
Some of her favorite high school sports moments include “upholding school tradition by helping win track and field districts for the fourth and fifth year in a row in 2018 and 2019,” her first and second year on the team.
One of her favorite quotes is by one of her coaches, who said, “The strong will survive, the weak gonna fall by the wayside and the crybabies gonna cry.”
She said this was his way of reminding them that one’s mentality toward the sport will directly affect one’s outcome.
Another favorite quote is by Rams’ assistant cross country coach Don Mederos (“Dr. D”), who said, “this is an easy day.”
Hill-Miles said that hearing those words always made her laugh because “there are never easy days in cross country.”
Looking back over the past four years, Hill-Miles said it’s the relationships that she will remember the most.
“I will remember hard work, sprinkled with laughs and warmhearted memories,” she said. “But most of all, the friendships that I am grateful to have made. These long-lasting connections through sports, and other extracurriculars, made all of the early mornings and late nights worth it. My teams extend beyond any game field, course, or track.”
Her plans after high school are to study biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California and participate in intramural sports.
“Taylor is the total package, a true three-sport athlete who excels academically,” said Eastside Athletics Director Philip Crutchfield. “She always advocates for her teammates and is a go-getter. She‘s a model for all future Rams.”
This is the latest in our summer “Senior Spotlight” series recognizing some of the top area student athletes from the Class of 2021.