For The Yukon Review
During the COAC Conference Championships Tuesday, Yukon coach Matt Parent had divided attention.
While he was watching his runners face some of the best runners in the state, he was also working out the scenarios on where his team could possibly land for regionals.
“I’m pretty sure they were waiting for this conference meet to go because the good one up on the east side, they ran yesterday, and then the other Oklahoma City conference, the Big 10, they ran last week,” Parent said. “So they’re just waiting on us.”
Parent wanted to see his Millers come out with a strong performance at the COAC, just in case those who do the rankings were watching. They ended up taking seventh place overall in the varsity boys division.
“We ran well. Basically, the best that I thought we could finish was seventh,” Parent said. “But this conference is by far the toughest conference in the state for cross country and track. It’s not even close. So if you can finish sixth, seventh or eighth, there’s a very real chance that you might be the number nine, 10 or 11 team in the state, even though we’ve got this many people ahead of us.”
The Millers posted 205 points, which was one point ahead of Edmond North.
Deer Creek took the conference title with 36 points.
Westmoore, Edmond Memorial, Norman, Mustang and Edmond Santa Fe rounded out the top six.
Max Marler led the Millers’ charge. The freshman ran the 5k course in a time of 17:26.
Kyle Crow took 35th for the Millers.
“I thought Max went out and did his thing,” Parent said. “Lyle did well, and a person that really took up a lot of slack was Coy Pope.
“Coy really got after it a little bit and ran, if not the best time, one of his best times. Then Cade Pope got put back into the varsity, and he accounted well for himself and was our number six runner,” Parent said.
“So again, I can’t say enough about these guys. They work hard every day, and I’m just pleased with their effort.”
The Millers will now wait and see which regional they will be assigned to compete in. Parent is hoping they will be sent East because of just how deep and talented the cross-country teams are on the West side.
“They’re going to do their rankings, and the OSSA will do their thing, and hopefully they realize that there are so many more teams on this side of the state that are running well versus the east side of the state,” Parent said.
The coach said three west-side teams will need to be placed on the east side because of disparity in numbers.
“Because of that, they need to be pulling teams out of here. They can’t pull the also-rans out. They’ve got to pull people out that can actually function and do well,” he said.
The goal is to to have seven solid teams from the East, Parent said.
“So, we’re hoping that that happens,” Parent said.