By Chuck Reherman
MIDWEST CITY – A 12th place finish usually does not draw much praise from a coach, unless the team shows progress.
Yukon showed progressed in the Midwest City Carl Albert Invitational and although the Millers finished 12th overall, head coach Matt Parent wasn’t disappointed in his team’s performance.
The Millers took 12th with 382 points in a field of 32 teams that included some of the top teams in both class 6A and 5A.
“I felt like we did alright in the meet,” Parent said. “Our times were very similar to the week before, but the course was a little tougher, the temps were much higher, and there were triple the number of competitors. All in all, we are progressing.
“Without a doubt, the tougher course at Carl Albert had an affect on our team,” he said.
“Then combine that with the increasing temps since the varsity boys running later after the JV girls, and it made things a little more difficult. We just need to worry about ourselves. We need to get better, so that’s what we are going to do.”
Kayden Chaparro ran the best time for the Millers, finishing 60th overall in a time of 18 minutes and 8.05 seconds. Cade Pope had the second best time, finishing 71st (70th in points scoring) in 18:29.52. Jonah Hanscom finished 77th (76th in points) in 18:36.68, Austin Miller was 89th (96th in points) in 18:58.24 and Michael Gartman 93rd (90th) in points in 19:03.02.
Max Marler, who was the team’s No. 1 runner last year as a freshman, but has struggled in his first two meets as a sophomore, was 94th overall, (91st in points) in 19:04.11. Zach Woods rounded out the Miller team running 124th (121st in points) in 19:34.05.
“I thought Kayden ran well again,” Parent said. “He looks really smooth it’s just a matter of time, and he will make a dive into the 17’s. Also, it was great to get Caleb (Ankrom) and Coy (Pope) back in the mix. Both were varsity runners last year. They should now start making a move to get back. Coy has had to overcome a lot since the beginning of March, so it’s great having him back out there.
“We will continue to challenge our kids over the next couple weeks,” he said. They are running well for about two-thirds of the race. The effort is there.
“We just need them to keep adding volume,” Parent added. “Eventually, they will be able to sustain it and put a full race together.”
Pope and Ankrom ran their first meet of the year and competed at the junior varsity level. Parent expects the pair to be back running with the varsity in the next couple of weeks.
The Millers host a meet with the Putnam City Schools on Thursday starting at 4 p.m. at Eldon Lyon Park in Bethany.