The Yukon boys cross country team will open the 2018 season with the Paul Parent Jamboree at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 4 at Woodson Park in Oklahoma City.
The Miller harriers will compete in two scrimmage races prior to the season-opening race. Yukon will host the Alumni/Community Run at 6 p.m. Thursday and then compete in the Canadian County Cross Country Clash against Mustang at 3:45 p.m. Monday at Yukon.
Yukon coach Matt Parent said he is excited to get the season going.
“We have just really gotten started with the bulk of the team,” Parent said. Fortunately, several of our top 10-12 runners have been running during the summer and making improvement. Hopefully, by the middle of the week, we can get most of the paperwork taken care of and just get to getting ready for the season.”
Parent said he is excited about this senior class and they will rely on their leadership.
“We will lean heavily on our two seniors at the start of the season,” Parent said. “Noah Hanscom and Kolby Mccoy have been on the varsity team for about three years now. They know what needs to be done for us to be successful. Also, Cade Pope has really made great strides this summer. From what I’ve seen, he’s really improved this summer. Kohl Kimmel, Kyle Crow and Mike Stamm are three more guys who saw varsity time last year that will be counted on this year. We also have three very good freshmen that have been working really hard as well. Ely George, Jonah Hanscom and Andrew Daggs have great futures ahead of them and they will provide depth and quite possibly could be varsity runners this year.”
For all coaches, getting their teams to perform their best at the end of the season is the goal. Parent said he has different strategies to make that happen for his cross country runners.
“Right now, we are just trying to boost their base,” Parent said. “So, we will have several days of distance runs spread throughout the week for a week or two. Eventually, we will switch over to several days of Fartlek (speed play) runs. Typically, we see our biggest drops in time once we incorporate this type of training. Last year, we made huge gains during the season. If we see anything close to the same results, things will be alright for us this year. I always say that it’s not where you start, it is where you finish.”
Parent added several keys to the success of his team this season.
“The quicker we get comfortable with a supportive distance base, the quicker we can get to the higher end training,” Parent said. “This will give us the strength that it takes to sustain us throughout the race. We will need to get to high intensity training that mimics race day. This is where improvement is made. Everything we do leads us to the end of the season, the regional and state meet. Our goals haven’t changed in many years. We always look to qualify for the state meet. We’ve done that every year for more than a decade. However, here recently, our teams have done well. Our goal is to finish in the top 10. I think we have a really good group. It will be hard to replace Elijah Ankrom and Grant Olander, but if we work hard, collectively, it can get done. I really like this group, and I can’t wait to get into the season with them.”