Cross-country coach looks for strong regional run

Yukon’s Avery Stanley has soared this season for the Yukon Millers’ girls’ cross-country team.
Nowhere has that shown more than last week when the Yukon runner took the top spot at the Central Oklahoma Coaches’ Association meet at Deer Creek.

Yukon’s Avery Stanley runs toward the finish line at the recent Central Oklahoma Coaches’ Association cross-country meet. Stanley won the women’s race. Photo / Michael Kinney

Stanley’s time of 18:51.27 was 12 seconds faster than her nearest competitor.
“That was pretty big,” said coach Rodney Zimmerman. “I had a gut feeling that she was running well enough to win.”
Zimmerman said Stanley was among the top runners all day. She was in third place at the mile mark and had moved to second at the two-mile mark.
By the time she was within 800 meters of the finish line, she was all alone in first, Zimmerman said.
It was the first race Stanley has won since last year when she was the winner at Moore.
But Zimmerman said the conference win is her biggest yet.
He’s hoping she can top that mark this weekend when Yukon’s girls’ and boys’ teams travel to Sand Springs for the Regional Cross-Country Meet.
“She’s (Stanley) been running good all year. I felt she was going to have an opportunity to do it,” Zimmerman said of the conference race win.
Meanwhile, the girls finished second overall at Deer Creek.
“That’s our highest finish,” he said. “I can’t complain about anything anyone did.”
The Millers also a had strong finish from Harper Barlow, who finished 11th overall.
She ran a 19:55.9.
Elora Jones finished 21st with a time of 20:14.21.
Jones is coming off a hamstring injury, Zimmerman said.
“Harper was in a good spot, as was Eora and Kailan Parks,” the coach said.
Parks finished 25th.
Yukon also had the No. 40 runner with Rena Henson and No. 50 with Emily Schneider.
Zimmerman said two of the team’s normal starters were not in the race.
Meanwhile, he said everyone handled themselves well.
“This is a group I think highly of. They tend to go out and get after it day after day. They expect as much out of themselves,” he said.
Looking at Saturday’s race, Zimmerman said the girls will face significant competition.
Jenks, Owasso and Broken Arrow are expected to be in the race. That’s No. 1, 2 and 3 in the state.
“We expect the times to be fast, but I feel like we can compete with them,” Zimmerman said. “Even if we run times we want to run, I think we can finish anywhere from first to fourth.”
The top seven teams from each regional will advance to the state meet next week at Edmond Santa Fe.
Meanwhile, the Yukon boys’ team finished seventh at the COAC meet with 263 points.
Mustang won the meet with 37 points.
Yukon’s top runner was sophomore Max Marler, who finished 34th with a time of 17:02.81.
Cade Pope and Kayden Chaparro finished 36th and 37th, respectively.
Pope’s time was 17:11.96, while Chaparro finished with a time of 17:17.14.
Caleb Ankrom finished 50th with a time of 17:42.59, while Jonah Hanscom finished 51st with 17:42.95.
At No. 61 was Austin Miller.

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