By Michael Kinney
The Yukon Cross Country team traveled north of Lake Hefner on Thursday for the Enduro Cross Country Bluff Creek High School Invitation. From the moment they got off their buses, the Millers looked like they came to decimate the competition.
And that is exactly what they did as they took home first place in both the varsity girls and boys 5k races.
Elora Jones dominated the girls division while Elijah Ankrom earned the top spot for the boys.
“I think I ran good. I ended up taking the lead out at the start and then just had to lead the whole way,” Ankrom said. “It kinda sucked coming out of the woods into the wind but just had to go out and lead to get a good hold on the spot and then to just out run ‘em in the end.”
Jones had the lead throughout the varsity girls race and strolled across the finish line well ahead of the competition.
Ankrom, on the other had, had to deal with competition in the first half of the contest, but was able to pull away midway through the course.
Ankrom said his ability to deal with the weather conditions was key for him to leave his competition behind.
“As soon as you come out of the woods wind coming from the north, well coming from the south just hits you dead on,” Ankrom said, “and then just going out in open space it’s pushing against you and you don’t have anyone to draft off of, so it makes it a whole lot harder to push.”
Ankrom credits the Yukon coaches for having him prepared to challenge all conditions.
“Just having to lead in practice and stuff it’s helped me a lot with winds, which is like dealing with head on, and just having to lower my body and just duck into it, and run right into it. So again just practice helps a lot,” Ankrom said. “So coach does a lot good for the whole team in helping us out with everything from wind resistance to hills and everything.”
But Ankrom was just as impressed with his team as a whole.
“I think that the team did really well with me going out and leading, our numbers two through five, really did good job of staying together and just pushing together, and holding as a team to rack up the smallest amount of points possible. So we did really well as a team-wise and I’m really proud of the guys for running how they did today, Ankrom said.”