By Chuck Reherman
NORMAN – Saving their best for last.
Yukon’s Miller track team saved their best effort for regionals and came away with 13 qualifiers and a third place finish Saturday at Norman.
The Millers scored 86 points to finish behind Westmoore (174) and Edmond Memorial (172) in the eight-team field.
YHS qualified three relays and four field events among their events.
“We competed well on Saturday,” Miller head coach Matt Parent said. “Top to bottom, this was our most complete meet of the season. This was a tough, tough regional, but our kids new what they had to do. We were able to qualify 13 kids, and the large majority of them were automatic qualifiers.
One highlight of the day was qualifying three of our four relays,” he said. “The day started of great with the 4×8 team running their fastest time of the season. They dropped several seconds off their best time for the third week in a row, and, in my opinion, they still have a little more that can be cleaned up. By doing this, they could drop their time another two to four seconds. I’m really proud of how this group of guys are starting to train and compete.”
The 4×800 team of Max Marler, Eli George, Kayden Chaparro and Austin Miller ran third in a time of 8:20.04.
The 4×100 team of Caden Hernandez, Makari Slaughet, Chaz Bradley and Ezra Johnson finished third in 43.35 seconds. The 4×200 relay team of Ezra Johnson, Slaughter, Christian Eldridge and Bradley ran third in 1:30.37.
“Our 4×1 team had a little adversity hit them about 40 min before the race,” he said. “Christian had a foot issue after running the 200, so Chaz had to step in to his place. This meant that two handoffs had to be changed which can definitely cause issues during the race. We got the stick around, and we were able to grab the third auto spot. That is all that mattered.
“The 4×2 team were able to hold off Edmond North for the final qualifying spot,” he said. “We ran our fastest time of the year too. I’m really pleased with how this relay turned out. In fact, this is our highest seeded relay. We just started concentrating on this one a few weeks ago. In an effort to save our legs during the early part of the season, we didn’t even compete in this event. As the season went along and our runners started progressing, our coaches decided to start putting things together. I’m really happy with how this has turned out.”
In field events, Zach Cantwell took second in the discus with a throw of 137-3 and Matt Werschem was third with a 130 throw. Werschem was third in the shot as well with a 47-2 heave.
Levi Cosgrove took second in the pole vault with a 13-0 vault. Johnson placed second in the long jump with a leap of 21-8 and Keaton Hahn was fifth with a 21.00.5 jump.
Slaughter also ran third in the 100 meter dash in 10.97 seconds and Karis Antwine was third in the 100 hurdles in 15.12.
“We gained quite a few points in the field events on Saturday. In the long jump, Ezra Johnson tied for 1st, but was awarded 2nd on the tie breaker.”
his second best jump wasn’t as far as the Ed Memorial jumper. It also tied for Ezra’s best jump of the season. Also, Keaton Hahn had his best jump of the year, finishing just over the 21’ mark. Unfortunately, Keaton missed a state birth by about an inch. However, all you can do is your best, and that is exactly what they did.
The discus saw Zach Cantwell and Matt Werschem place 2nd and 3rd respectively, qualifying them both. Matt had his best throw of the year. In fact he had a couple throws that would have been his best of the season. Matt continued his stellar performance in the shot put as well. He placed 3rd with a throw that was about a foot and a half better than his previous best competition throw. He also had 4 throws better than his previous best. He was on fire.
In the pole vault, Levi Cosgrove had a great day for us, equalling his best performance of the season at 13’. He is starting to become consistent at the vault, and he has really improved from the start of the year. He has a legitimate chance to score at the state meet.
Karis Antwine ran his best flight of hurdles not only once, but twice during the regional meet. He was rewarded with a third place finish and an automatic bid to the state meet.
Makari ran to a third place finish in the 100m dash. He was thrown into some serious speed and was able to come out with an automatic birth to the state meet. He had been banged up over the last week, but he looked great during the race.
I’m really proud of how we competed. You never know how things will go when you have such a young team. The large majority of our points came from sophomores. Our coaches have worked hard this year getting them to this point. The regional meet is really the most important meet of the season. In Oklahoma, it is the only way into the state meet. Our kids performed extremely well with most of them hitting their personal best during this meet. That is all you can ask. We finished 3rd overall, and that is a major accomplishment, considering who was in our regional.