Millers finish seventh in Track Classic

Kole Frederick (left) and Tyler Dechant (right) battle Putnam City’s Bobby Wood over the hurdles in the 110-high hurdles. Wood won the event, Frederick was second and Dechant fourth. (Photo by Chuck Reherman)

By Chuck Reherman
Sports Editor
In what looked like a preview of a regional or state meet, Yukon’s annual Track Classic drew its largest and maybe toughest field.
There were 31 teams represented in the day-long meet at Miller Stadium and featured many of the top teams in class 6A as well as 5A.
Yukon’s Miller track team finished seventh overall in the meet with 50.5 points.
Norman won the meet with 77 points, Del City was second with 75.5, Edmond Memorial third with 75 and Midwest City fourth with 62.5.
“There was a lot of firepower in most events,” Miller head coach Matt Parent said. “Fortunately, the weather held off for us. It was a little cool, but otherwise next to perfect considering what has been happening.
“We’ve been battling some nagging injuries that has left us at less than full strength for a majority of the season,” he said. “When we are healthy, we do well as a team. When we aren’t we take a hit. This year we finished seventh out of 31 teams which isn’t bad. However, with just a few changes, we easily could have finished third or even second.
We did have some good finishes though. I really liked Elijah Wallace’s open 800. He got under the two-minute barrier in the open 800 for the first time. I think he got a little anxious in the first 400, so there is room to improve, but he did a great job on Friday.  Also, I was excited for Isaac (Yancey). He got back into the 140’s in the discus. Because of the really tough competition, he was sixth, but he is beginning to move in the right direction.”
The Millers placed in six events, scoring most of their points in the 110-high hurdles.
Kole Frederick placed second, being edged out of first by Putnam City’s Bobby Wood. Wood ran a 14.95 second time and Frederick ran a 15.03. Tyler Dechant finished fourth in 15.31 and Blake Gerber was sixth in 15.67.
Gerber also finished third in the 300 meter hurdles in 41.70 seconds and Chris Gerber was sixth in 42.16.
Dechant finished second in the high jump, the first time this season he has not won the gold medal at a meet. Dechant cleared 6-7, but missed on three attempts at 6-9. Del City’s Gregory Whittenberg won the gold at 6-9.
Wallace ran third in the 800 in a time of 1:59.64. Makari Slaughter finished sixth in the 100 in 11.05 seconds and Yancy was sixth in the discus with a 143-10 throw.
“We placed several of our guys in the hurdles,” Parent said. “We weren’t as sharp there as we have been, but those guys really focused on conditioning this past week, so they should see the benefit in the coming weeks.
“In the distance events, we had several of our younger guys that ran their best races of the year,” he added. “They might not have placed at this meet, but they did their best which is all a part of the process and all that can be asked.  For example, Eli (George) ran the 3200 meters about 15 seconds faster than his best, and Cade (Pope) ran about the same for this year. I’m really proud of that regardless of place.
“Caden (Hernandez) and Makari were able to grab places and points in the sprints.  This is a great accomplishment for those two youngsters. They are continuing to get better and are really competing against some of the best around.

Kyla Davis clears the bar at 12-1 to set a new Miller Stadium record on her way to a gold medal in the pole vault. (Photo by Chuck Reherman)

The Millerettes finished 14th in the meet with 21 points placing in only one event.
YHS continued to dominate the pole vault as Kyla Davis broke the Miller Stadium record, clearing 12-feet, one-inch. It was the second time this season she has cleared the 12-foot mark.
Kenadi Hamilton finished tied for second at 10-0. It was the first time she had cleared the 10-foot mark.
Maycie Reed also cleared 10-0, but finished fifth on amount of misses.
“Kyla is vaulting well, after clearing 12-3 for the first time a few weeks ago she had a goal to break the stadium record at the Classic,” Millerette coach Rod Zimmerman said.  “She sets a goal and goes and gets it. Kenadi and Maycie are vaulting well still also and together the three of  them make up most of the points our team has scored this season.
“I feel Analise (Rayburn) is running better every meet and ran a personal best 63 second split to open up the 4×400 relay,” he said. “Phoebe (Lewis) also running better in the 300 hurdles running a personal best 51.67.”
Yukon will take a smaller group to the John Jacobs Invitational meet at the University of Oklahoma.
“This is the final push into the end of the regular season,” Parent said. “Next week will be conference (COAC) then on to regionals. We hope to get everyone back in the next week or so.  It will be really nice going into this part of the season full strength.”