By Chuck Reherman
FAYETTEVILLE, AR. – Another solid showing.
Yukon’s cross country team had their best finish in the annual Chile Pepper Festival in Fayetteville, AR., running to a sixth place finish Saturday.
The Millers finished with 207 points, 50 points ahead of eighth place finisher Fayetteville, AR. Rogers, AR., won the meet with 54 points and Bentonville, AR., was second with 95. There were 63 full teams and 15 partial teams participating in the meet.
“We had a really good meet this week,” YHS head coach Matt Parent said. “We had a scaled down group going to Arkansas this past weekend. Basically, we took all of those that were on varsity or are very close to varsity. We were able to run all 10 guys in the same division, so that was great. Every single one of our runners ran their best time or right at their best time of the year.
“It was a fast course,” he said. “There were gradual uphills, but the downhills were pretty steep. Then, you add in the fact that there were over 600 runners in the division. It creates a situation where you better run, or you get run over.”
Kayden Chaparro continued to lead the Millers and ran the top time for YHS, finishing 14th in 16 minutes and 44.0 seconds.
Brandon McCoy ran 35th overall in 17:10.11, Coy Pope 39th in 17:47.7, Raymen Sanabria 58th in 17:30.3 and Riley Patton 71st in 17:39.5 to round out the scoring.
Michael Gartman was 94th in 17:56.3, Max Marler 103rd in 18:00.0, Colton Lewis 115th in 18:04.7, Austin Buchler 124th in 18:09.2 and Austin Miller 145th in 18:19.7.
“Brandon had a great meet for us,” Parent said. “He ran his fastest time of the year. This can really help us. He inserted himself into the varsity team up with Coy as a number two or three runner. Raymen and Riley also had their best race of the year. Both improved 10-20 seconds.
“I’m hoping that there is another 10-15 seconds of improvement over the next three weeks,” he said. This will give us five guys that would span from the mid 16’s to the mid 17’s. Then, the back end of our varsity guys would hopefully not be very far behind.
“I think we got a lot better as a team this weekend. The puzzle pieces are starting to fall into place as we enter the end of the season. I feel really good about our top 10. They have really made some big gains this year. I’m also excited about the top end of our JV team too. They are running faster than any other JV group that I’ve had too.”
The Millers compete Thursday in the OBU Challenge, held at the course at Gordon Cooper Tech Center in Shawnee. The meet gets underway at 6:10 p.m.