By Chuck Reherman
EDMOND – Yukon’s cross country team members had a look of disappointment on their face after seeing their final placement in the class 6A State Cross Country Championships.
The team members were disappointed in a “last place finish.” That was until head coach Matt Parent gave them a different observation.
The Millers did finish 14th in the state meet, but turned in their best overall time on the course at Edmond Santa Fe.
The top five runners all ran in the 17 minute range for the first time this season and the other two in the mid-18’s.
“We ran the best race we have all season, you just can’t control what other teams are doing,” Parent said. “Some of the guys were disappointed because our goal was to get into the top 10. But, when five of your guys run right at or better than their best, it is all you can ask.
“They did well,” he said. “There was not that many points between 10 and 14. And, I told them, they didn’t finish last. There are 32 teams in class 6A and you all are well ahead of the last place team in 6A. And, a lot of those teams would have loved to have been here.
“The guys ran hard during the meet, they were actually elated and had smiles on their faces when they finished because they knew they had done their best. I had to get across to them that all but one of you will be back next year and our No. 1 runner has to be No. 1 like everyone else’s No. 1 runner and we have the ability to get two or three to go with you. If we can get our No. 1 runner in the high 16s or low 17s, then we bypass the bulk of the race.
“I am pleased with what they did and so many of them went off with a high note. I told them that every time they walk of the course they should have a smile on their face because they did their very best. They did. we lined up took a few swings at them as we will be back next year.”
Kyle Crow had the best finish for the Millers, running 58th overall (51st in points) in a time of 17 minutes and 26.62 seconds. Max Marler had the best time, running 70th (62nd in points) in 17:35.21.
Coy Pope ran a 78th place time (68th in points) in 17:48.42, Tyler Birmingham was 80th (69th in points) in 17:49.92 and Jonah Hanscom rounded out the scoring with am 88th place time (75th in points) in 17:58.40.
Caleb Ankrom (104th, 90th in team points in 18:38.24) and Cade Pope (107th, 93rd in team points in 18:33.00) rounded out the top seven.
The Millers finished with 325 points. Edmond Deer Creek won the team title with 47 points, Westmoore was second with 85, Edmond Memorial third with 93 and Mustang fourth with 130. The top three were also the top three finishers in the west regionals.
“In the first mile, Max was out and he did what he had to do, but everyone else, with the exception of Kyle were stuck in where everyone one,” Parent said. “The thing is what only one of our runners (Crow) had any experience running in a state meet and that was two years ago. He knew what he had to do to start working his way out. He laid back a little bit, made a big run to the two-mile point and got a little faster and faster as the race went on.
“The other guys, their biggest deal was talking about the middle school conference meet last year and they were out in front of everyone in that race,” he said. “This is a completely different animal to them, but now they know this is part of the educational process. All of them learned something to do in understanding what needed to be done and now they can go out and do it.”