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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • Plainview runner Miller on board with UCO

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  • A few months ago, Makayla Miller figured out where she was going to run in college.
    She's been one of the best cross country runners in the state for long before then, but it took a little more time for the Plainview senior to decide that Central Oklahoma was the place for her.
    "I woke up one morning and was like, 'well, that's where I want to go,'" Miller said.
    Simple as that, UCO had another of Oklahoma's elite runners. With friends and family on hand Thursday at Plainview High School, Miller signed her letter of intent to run for the Broncos.
    "It's kinda one of those surreal things," Miller said of her signing. "I set my goal and I made it to my goal and I'm actually getting to do it now."
    Miller selected UCO over interest from Stephen F. Austin State (Nacogdoches, Texas), East Central and St. Gregory's. The four-time All-State cross country performer settled on UCO for its proximity to home, but its distance as well, saying "it's farther away from home to where there's a barrier."
    It also doesn't hurt that former Plainview teammate Rebekah Hickman is currently running for the Broncos.
    "I thought the campus was beautiful, and then talking to coach (J.D.) Martin, I really liked him," Miller said. "And having Rebekah there also kinda helped me out. I went up and met with the team and I really liked the girls."
    Miller will graduate from Plainview as one of its most decorated distance runners ever. She was a part of four consecutive 3A state championship cross country teams and two state title teams in track and field.
    After battling mononucleosis as a junior, Miller rebounded as a senior to tie her best career finish at the 3A state cross country championships last October, finishing third overall. In four seasons of varsity cross country, Miller never placed lower than seventh at state.
    Miller said that she's happy with what she's accomplished at Plainview, but there's still a state track championship she wants to capture next week.
    Plainview coach Jerry Naylor knows that determination from Miller was a key part of his squad's dominance the past four years.
    "She's always been an important part of our program," said Naylor, who's coached Miller since the sixth grade. "Without her we couldn't have done as good as we did.
    "She's been outstanding for us and she's going to make an outstanding runner in college."
    Follow Horne on Twitter: @ekhorneARD

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