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Stanley runs away with first at Moore meet

Yukon’s Avery Stanley, a sophomore, crosses the finish line in first place to lead the Millers’ cross country team to a fourth-place finish at the Moore Lions’ Invitational last week. Photo / Michael Kinney

The Yukon girls cross country team had another strong showing Thursday when they rolled into the Moore Lions Invitational.
Led by Avery Stanley, the Millers placed fourth overall with 103 points. They were only 46 points behind Moore, which took first. Guthrie (75) and Noble (99) placed just ahead of Yukon.
“I was pretty happy,” coach Rodney Zimmerman said.
Stanley grabbed the individual title for Yukon. She ran a 20:38 to dominate the 5k course.
The sophomore was 24 seconds faster than Guthrie senior Mercy Dement.
“Obviously, Stanley ran well,” Zimmerman said. “She hit her season PR (personal record). And she was working close to her PR from last year too. This is a pretty challenging course. Kind of equivalent to last week at Choctaw.
“So, I was real happy with her race and being able to run that out front by herself.  She was good.”
In her past three meets, Stanley has seen steady improvement.
After finishing 12th at the Putnam City North Invite, she took fourth at Choctaw.
Zimmerman gives the credit to Stanley’s willingness to work.
“Work ethic from last year to this year is tremendously different,” Zimmerman said. “Over the summer, she put the time in that she needed to. She was light on mileage last summer. This summer she was right where she needed to be. I think she is reaping the rewards of that.”
Other runners who had a solid day in Moore included Kailen Parks. Her time of 22:27 was good enough to place 15th.
“I felt Kailen Parks keeps getting strong,” Zimmerman said. “She comes out and works hard a lot. I think we’re seeing that improvement for her as she gets in shape.”
The Yukon JV girls also had an impressive outing. They grabbed first place with 43 points. That was enough to hold off Moore, Choctaw and Westmoore.
The highest placing JV runner was sophomore Bri Abbot, who took fourth.
Zimmerman liked what he saw from the entire team.
“We just keep moving forward as a team and keep practicing, and I think they’re going to keep improving,” Zimmerman said. “There is no telling there could be drastic improvement by the time they are done.”
The Millers will travel to Tulsa on Thursday for the Owasso Cross Country Invitational. The race will be held at the Mohawk Polo Fields.
“It’s a nice course,” Zimmerman said. “They get to get back in the trees some, and we get some team camaraderie time. So we always look forward to that. The girls love it and we, as coaches, love to spend a little time with them, have dinner. So we are really looking forward to it.”

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