- Wayne Drehs, ESPN Senior Writer
- 0 Shares
OMAHA, Neb. -- As he stood behind the block and did a few final squats before his preliminary heat in the 200-meter breaststroke Thursday morning, University of Indiana junior Cody Miller heard a rip. And then he felt a draft.
His racing suit tore along its seam from his lower back "all the way down."
"I was like, 'Oh s---,'" Miller said.
The fans seated behind him were chuckling, and he wondered what he should do. Screw it, he thought, I'm just going to swim. That's what he did at Big Tens earlier this year when the same thing happened in the same event. Only this time, he was stopped by a race official who suggested he get another suit. So Miller raced up into the stands where his team was seated, rummaged through his bag and changed into a new suit right there in the stands.
When he shuffled back down the stairs and onto the pool deck, he received quite the cheer.
"Now everyone in the world is going to know what deck changing is," Miller said. "Hopefully they'll put that on TV. That'd be good, right?"
Perhaps a bit energized by the pre-race chaos, the two-time defending Big Ten champion in the 100 and 200 breast swam the 200 in a time of 2:13.61, nearly a tenth of a second faster than his qualifying time. It left him tied for 12th overall out of 129 swimmers, giving him a spot in one of two semifinal heats tonight. It also made up for a disappointing performance earlier in the week when Miller finished 44th in the preliminaries of the 100 breast.
But the main story afterward was Miller's pre-race wardrobe malfunction, a tale he was none too shy to discuss.
"This is cool. I got a story," Miller said. "They're going to know my name now."