There are several air parks around the Yukon area, but the real flight school in Canadian County might just reside in the friendly confines of Miller Stadium.
Only three Yukon high jumpers have ever cleared a 6-foot, 10-inch bar … J.R. Giddens (now a professional basketball player), Vernon Turner (statistically the greatest high school high jumper in the nation’s history) and 2019 senior Tyler Dechant.
Dechant leaped over the 6-foot, 10-inch bar on March 28 at the Edmond North Relays and is the front-runner to bring home the 2019 6A high jump state championship.
“I couldn’t believe it when I cleared it,” he said. “It was pretty crazy. It was a good feeling. Now, I just need to work hard and keep moving up.”
Yukon jump coach Kevin Ritter said he knew Dechant had the makings of a good high jumper when he saw him as a freshman.
“He’s in rare company now,” Ritter said. “I saw him jump 5-feet-10 in eighth grade and then he jumped 6-feet-2 as a freshman. Vernon (Turner) was only at 6-feet-2 at the end of his freshman year. We knew he had a chance to be special. He has some really good pop to him. He learns well and takes coaching really well.”
Dechant said his goal before his high school career comes to an end in May is to reach the 7-foot mark.
“I just need to keep conditioning and keep practicing and listening to coach,” Dechant said. “Coach Ritter is a good coach and knows what he’s talking about. He puts us through a really good weight program.”
Ritter believes Dechant can reach his goal of 7-feet.
“On the right day, he can get to 7-feet,” Ritter said. “If we can the right jump at the right time with the right weather, he has a good shot at it.”
Yukon boys track and field coach Matt Parent said it has been good to see Dechant develop the way he has.
“He has really found his groove,” Parent said. “He really likes doing this and you can tell. I said last year that he has a chance to become a grown man in this sport and he has absolutely done that.”
Kyla Davis takes first in the Deer Creek meet
Sophomore pole vaulter Kyla Davis continued her impressive career with a first-place finish in the girls pole vault competition Friday at the Deer Creek meet.
Davis cleared 12 feet for the second time in her young career.
“It was phenomenal to do it in those windy conditions,” Yukon girls track and field coach Rodney Zimmerman said. “I did not expect that to happen, but she is phenomenal. She and the rest of her teammates in the pole vault have really good control. It’s pretty impressive.”
Fellow Yukon girls pole vaulters Maycie Reed and Kenadi Hamilton took second and fourth place at Deer Creek. Reed vaulted 10 feet and Hamilton vaulted 9-feet-6.
Boys take fourth, girls 10th at Deer Creek
The Yukon boys and girls track teams competed in the Deer Creek and track and field meet Friday with the Miller boys finishing fourth as a team and the Millerettes taking 10th.
Union won both the boys and girls team competitions.
On top of the Yukon girls pole vaulters’ impressive performance and Tyler Dechant’s first-place finish in the boys’ high jump with a jump of 6-feet-6, here are some other notable placers for Yukon:
The boys’ 4×800-meter relay team took second with a time of 8:17.97. Tyler Dechant finished second in the boys’ 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.91 seconds. Chris Gerber placed fifth in the boys’ 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.46 seconds.
In the boys’ 100-meter sprint, Makari Slaughter took sixth with a time of 11.2 seconds and Caden Hernandez finished seventh with a time of 11.25 seconds.
In the boys’ 800-meter run, Elijah Wallace placed fourth with a time of 2:00.04.
In the boys’ 300-meter hurdles, Chris Gerber took third with a time of 40.95 seconds and Blake Gerber finished fourth with a time of 41.65 seconds.
In the boys’ 4×400- meter relay race, Yukon placed sixth with a time 3:31.68.
In the boys’ pole vault, Conner Sudduth took fifth with a vault of 11-feet-6.
In the boys’ discus throw, Zac Cantwell finished sixth with a toss of 129 feet and Isaac Yancy placed seventh with a toss of 128-feet-2.
Yukon Classic up next
The annual Yukon Classic Track and Field Meet will take place at 10 a.m. Friday at Miller Stadium.
Parent said the numbers are down from previous years. He believes not as many big schools are coming this year because the 5A and 6A state track and field championships are being held at Moore High School rather than at Yukon High School.