By Chuck Reherman
Yukon capped its first week of summer workouts on Thursday after a second day of distance running.
The team will continue its workouts on Monday. The runners meet Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays during July and early August in pre-season workouts.
Miller head coach Matt Parent said the turnout for the first week was good as the majority of his varsity runners participated in the workouts.
Millerette head coach Rod Zimmerman had part of his team reporting for the first week and expects that number to grow this coming week.
There was also a big turn out of middle school runners and Mark Chaney is looking for both the Miller and Millerettes to have strong teams and compete for the conference title for a second year in a row.
“The high school group I have been pleasantly surprised, a lot of our upper end guys have been running more so than they have in previous years,” Parent said. “I have been texting with them back and forth and they know they have the potential to be good this year with so many that are coming back and that is nice.
“The ones coming back are taking ownership with that,” he added. “And, I am happy with where we are right now, where in previous years I have been a little shaky because they haven’t run as much. It means that we will get in better shape earlier in the season. It has always taken us to the middle or the end of the year to really get clicking.
“I have always said that it is not where you start, but where you finish and that has panned out every year. Our goals are still the same, we still want to qualify for the state cross country meet, we want to place high and none of that has changed.”
With the returning varsity runners and the top junior varsity coming back, plus the addition of some talented freshman runners, Parent looks to have 10 to 11 runners that will compete for the top seven spots.
“We have 10 or 11 that could be in the top seven and that is with six of those guys coming back,” he said. “We will have a really good competition for the six and seven spots.”
The runners will spend two of the three practices working on distance and the third will be more of a speed drill, where the runners go hard for two minutes, ease up for two minutes, then repeat over a series of five runs.
“We will do exactly the same as the first week,” Parent said. “Monday and Thursday will be distance runs, trying to bump their base a little bit. For our upper end guys, we went four miles on Monday and we will probably go a little further this next week. We will try to increase the distance and would like to get them to go six miles continuously here in the next couple of weeks without them feeling like they have been shot or something. If we can do that, it will be basically double what their race is and that is where they need to be.”
The Millers will open the season with the Mustang Dual and then host a meet (at Woodson Park in Oklahoma City) the first week of September. Parent is trying to finalize the last part of the schedule.
By Chuck Reherman