The Viking Invite is back this year with some great athletes and great teams! While many of Utah's top athletes and teams are up at the Bob Firman Invitational, a few of the top dogs in the state like to stay in Utah. This year, there are quite a few.
The boys varsity race will feature the #1 ranked team in the state: American Fork. This team has shown us that they are a lot better than we thought. American Fork has been great in the past, but after losing their top 6 guys from last year, nobody would have guessed that they would be where they are now. After upsetting Corner Canyon at the BYU Autumn Classic, everybody wants to see if they can keep it up. Our bet is that they can!
Apart from American Fork who seems like a lock for the win, this race will also include Westlake, Mountain Ridge, Mountain View, and Pine View who have all been competing with each other all season. They will all be contending for the next spot. Mountain Ridge tends to struggle in the bigger races with their big spread, but in a race of this size, they could still have a shot with their front runners.
|BYU Autumn Classic
After his win at BYU Autumn Classic, American Fork's #9 ranked Ashton Hysell seems to be the favorite to win. He did a great job at running his own race and finishing strong and that gave him the win. Can he win his third race of the season? His biggest competition will be Copper Hill's Jerin Palmer who was the 6th finisher at Highland earlier this season. Other contenders will be American Fork's Nathan Jaster, and Westlake's Michael Moffat, Binghams Austin Hone. Some medal contenders are Mountain View's Braden Minor and Spencer Standing, American Fork's Ben Mcbride and Kooper Dibb, Westlake's Jedidiah Megargel, Pine View's Luke Huddleston and Scottie Bushar, and more.
The favorite this weekend is definitely #5 ranked Pine View. This is a team who has consistently placed top 3 against some of Utah's best teams. With front runners like Jessica Hill and Ali Baker and a spread of only 1:07, they are definitely a team to watch out for. Westlake will have a change to get back into the rankings too this weekend. They have been competing very well this season but just barely got beat by some other very good teams at BYU Autumn Classic. Look for them to redeem themselves. Mountain View is a bit of a dark horse. The team has a great history of being a top team in the state. This year, they have shown that when all of their top girls are there, they can compete with the best. #1 ranked Lone Peak will also be in attendance but it looks like their top girls will be racing somewhere else. Lone Peak is a very deep team and even with their JV squad, expect them to compete.
This will be a very exciting race between some of the best girls in the state. #8 ranked Elizabeth Zwahlen is coming off of a strong 5th place finish at Murray. She will almost definitely be near the front. The favorite however, would have to be between Emma Heslop and Jessica Hill. While neither are ranked at the moment, Emma will almost definitely move into the rankings after her 2nd place finish at BYU Autumn Classic where she took an early lead and held off everybody except Carlee Hansen. Considering the credentials of some of the girls that she beat, she will definitely be another one to look our for in that lead pack. Jessica Hill has led her team to very high placings all season long. She consistently finishes near the front of every race she is in and with a win from the Cedar All Comers meet under her belt, she will be looking to make a name for herself and her team. A wildcard to look out for is another one of Pine View's top runners, Alli Baker. Since running a huge PR in the 800m of 2:08 last spring, she has definitely kept the momentum going. She has gone on to finish just behind Jessica Hill in every race this season and she will be somebody to keep an eye on.
This Viking invite will be held on September 21st at Pleasant Grove High School. The first race will start at 9:00 am. The top 10 finishers in each race on the 3 mile course will receive a medal. Here's the schedule:
9:30 JV Fr & So Boys
10:00 Varsity Girls
10:30 Varsity Boys
11:00 JV Jr & Sr Girls
11:30 JV Jr & Sr Boys