By Chuck Reherman
OKLAHOMA CITY – Yukon opened the cross country meet season with just what the Millers needed.
A team title.
Yukon had their top four runners finish in the top 10 and won the 2nd annual Paul Parent Jamboree, Tuesday at Woodson Park in south Oklahoma City.
The Millers won the six-team meet with 32 points, outdistancing Oklahoma City Capitol Hill for the title. Capitol Hill was second with 46 points. Northwest Classen was third with 67.
The Millerettes also did what it needed, finishing second in what turned out to be a strange day for the team.
The Millers took the individual title and finished fourth, sixth and 10 in their first 5K meet.
“We basically accomplished what we needed to on Tuesday,” Miller head coach Matt parent said. “I knew the times wouldn’t be stellar. The course was obviously sloppy from the rain, and we hadn’t been in school for five days. However, I spoke to the guys about making this a high intensity practice.
“We needed to use it for a training race. I thought we did just that,” he said. “We weren’t at full strength. Two of our varsity runners were sick or hurt, but we had guys step in and do nicely.”
Noah Hanscom took the individual title in a time of 18 minutes and 46.3 seconds. He finished five seconds ahead of U.S. Grant’s Ajay Short, who ran an 18:46.7 time. Capitol Hill’s Brazean Cook finished third.
“I really liked that our guys went out to race,” Parent said. “They were running their first 5k of the season, and a stellar time wasn’t really possible, so they raced the competition.
“We will continue to look for steady improvement out of our guys,” he added. “Every week we get a little better. Hopefully that trend will continue.”
Colby McCoy had the second finish for the Millers, running fourth overall in a time of 19:00.9. Cade Pope finished sixth in a time of 19:08.5, a half-se ond out of seventh place.
Seth Cortez ran 10th overall in a time of 19:16.5 and freshman Jonah Hanscom rounded out the Miller scoring with an 11th place finish in 19:17.3.
Kyle Crow just missed out on scoring, finishing 12th (YHS’ sixth runner) in a time of 19:23.7. Mikael Stamm was 19th overall in 20:54.9.
The Millerettes had three runners finish in the top 10, but were edged out by Capitol Hill for the team title.
Capitol Hill also had three runners in the top 10, but their fourth and fifth runner finished 12th and 13th overall, while the Millerette fourth and fifth runners placed 19th and 20th.
“Tuesday was a rough meet coming off a five-day weekend and running on a wet course were things we new would be challenging,” Millerette coach Rod Zimmerman said. “Also a lot of our girls were running their first 5K race and that’s a learning experience for them.
“What we didn’t see as a challenge was one of the strangest things I have seen in a cross country race,” he said. “A dog came from somewhere and joined the race and eventually knocked Elora (Jones) down twice about half way through the race. Had that not happened we cut 19 points off of our score and win the meet.”
Jones was leading the race when the strange occurrance happened. Jones injured a knee and was not able to finish the race.
Freshman Avery Stanley had the highest finish for the Milleerettes, running third overall in a time of 23:40.2. Western Heights, who finished third overall, had the first two places. Adali Esquivel won the individual title in 23:12.3 and Whitney Spitler was second in 23:30.4.
Ashley Brinkley finished fifth overall in a time of 25:08.6, while Avery Turner was eighth in a time of 25:23.5.
Lauren Brown finished 19th in 27:06.2 and Phoebe Lewis rounded out the scoring with a 20th place finish in 27:39.2. Avery Cunningham had the other time for the Millerettes, placing 28th in 29:26.9.
“The times were just slower than we would like,”Zimmerman said. “Again the long weekend and the girls were out of their routine some may not have ran at all over the break and probably stayed up late some nights others had tournaments for other sports, which is good they were active and competing, the routine was just different than a normal week in school. We should get that back the next few days and times should be better on Friday I would think.”
By Chuck Reherman