Yukon cross country girls set to make splash at regional meet

It’s postseason time for cross country across Oklahoma and the Yukon girls cross country team will take its talents east Saturday to compete in the 6A east regional meet at noon at Mohawk Park in Tulsa.

Yukon coach Rodney Zimmerman said having to go east for the regional meet will be a difficult task.

“I think on the girls side with some of the changes they made this year, with two schools that are traditionally east side schools going west and four west side schools going east, it is the toughest regional we could be in for the girls,” he said.

Zimmerman said one of the keys to his team’s success is understanding which teams they can beat and which teams they can’t.

“Looking at the teams, I think there are five or six that I just don’t think we could beat at this time,” Zimmerman said. “With that said, I think there are seven teams we can for sure beat and that leaves two or three I believe we can compete with and will have to beat to get into state. To do that, it will take another week like we had at the conference meet where everyone runs a personal record.”

In order to qualify for the 6A state cross country meet, the Yukon girls must finish in the top seven of the team standings Saturday.

Zimmerman added what he believes his team learned at the conference meet last week.

“We learned that the girls are still improving and that is probably the biggest factor that could lead to the success we want,” Zimmerman said. “The other is one of the teams we will have to beat is Norman North. It’s going to be hard, but if we can collectively beat their two through five runners by enough, we can do it. That will also help us take care of another team or two we need to finish ahead of Saturday.”

The Yukon coach talked about how he plans on preparing his team for the regional.

“The first few days it will be some runs that are faster than race pace,” Zimmerman said. “Then, we will back off and everything we do at the end of the week is just to keep them loose and ready to run, but let them get their legs back under them.”

Zimmerman closed by saying one of the toughest challenges in going east for the regional will be going against teams they haven’t seen all year.

“We see the rankings,” he said. “We look through the results from meets and sometimes that conflicts, so you don’t really know what to think about them. The good news is we went to the Owasso meet on this course a few weeks ago and the girls know the course and we like it. We ran against Owasso, Bixby, Tulsa Washington, Ponca City and Sand Springs. We have also run against some of the others in that region at other meets during the year, so there may only be five teams we haven’t seen and in the end all the girls can do is go out there and run as fast as they can and try to beat as many other runners as they can.”

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