Miles Unterreiner, who took part in the 2012 NCAA cross country championships and Rhodes interviews on the same day on opposites side of the country, was chosen as a Rhodes Scholar.
On Saturday, the Rhodes Trust released its list of 32 recipients from around the nation. It included three from Stanford, including Unterreiner, who earned his bachelor’s (2012) and master’s (2013) degrees in history and was a Rhodes finalist last year.
"I am incredibly honored to receive the Rhodes Scholarship from among a field of such extraordinary candidates," Unterreiner said. "I absolutely could not have done it without the support of my professors and teachers, my advisers, my athletic coaches, my friends and family and Stanford University. This award truly belongs to all the people who have guided me and shaped who I am. So what I feel most of all about receiving the Rhodes Scholarship is thankful – for everyone in my life who made it possible."
On Nov. 16-17, 2012, Unterreiner was faced with trying to satisfy his obligations to his Stanford team and to the Rhodes Trust. The NCAA cross country championships in Louisville, Ky., were sandwiched around Rhodes interviews in Seattle the day before and the afternoon of the meet. A Stanford donor provided use of a private jet to transport Unterreiner from the interviews to the meet and back again. Unterreiner placed 140th at the NCAA’s and was not selected by the Rhodes Trust. However, he made the most of his second chance.
The native of Gig Harbor, Wash., was a three-time All-America in track and field, twice outdoors (in the 10,000 meters in 2011 and 2012), and the indoor 5,000 in 2011. His best 10,000-meter time of 28:49.15 placed him at No. 37 on the 2012 U.S. performance list, among both collegians and professionals.
He was a consistent contributor in cross country, running in four conference championship meets, four NCAA regionals, and three NCAA championships. He twice was named All-West Region and had a best conference finish of ninth, helping Stanford to the 2010 Pac-10 title.
In June at the Stanford Athletic Board awards, Unterreiner was honored with the Block ‘S’ for the senior male letterwinner with the highest cumulative grade-point average (honors, 4.045 B.A.; 4.037 for M.A.).
Unterreiner now is working at The Frontier Group, a think tank in Santa Barbara, Calif. He was a writer, columnist and managing editor for opinions for the Stanford Daily and won the Robert Novak Collegiate Journalism Award. Unterreiner also served as president of the Stanford American Civil Liberties Union executive board and was on the editorial board of Stanford's undergraduate history journal. His interests are in international human rights, and he plans to pursue a master's of philosophy in international relations at Oxford.
The Rhodes Scholarships are the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship awards in the world. Scholars are chosen for their outstanding scholarly achievements as well as their character, commitment to others and to the common good, and for their potential for leadership in whatever careers they choose.