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Davis Journal

VHS cross country gearing up for a special season

Aug 31, 2023 03:29PM ● By Catherine Garrett
Viewmont High’s Allie Eliason, Eliza Gehring, Omi Egnew, Sarah Scott and Kiera Stacey (first five, left to right) return for the Vikings girls squad who are looking for their third-straight Region 5 title. Photo courtesy Trent Hooper

Viewmont High’s Allie Eliason, Eliza Gehring, Omi Egnew, Sarah Scott and Kiera Stacey (first five, left to right) return for the Vikings girls squad who are looking for their third-straight Region 5 title. Photo courtesy Trent Hooper

From a seventh-place team at last year’s 5A state race, the Viewmont High boys cross country team returns nearly every runner and is favored to be on the top this fall.

“We are looking strong this year,” said second-year head coach Trent Hooper, also noting that the girls squad, who return most of their lineup, are going for its third-straight Region 5 title. “Our ladies are looking like a top-five team with a chance at the top-three, on the podium.”

The Vikings boys are led by senior All-State runner Gabe Hooper – Trent’s son – who owns the school record in the mile after his run at the outdoor nationals in the summer. Also in the Vikings top five is senior Weston Egnew, junior Ben Hyde, junior Peter Gehring and junior Talmage Brushke, who were all sub-10 minute 3200 meter runners for Viewmont in track this past spring.

“We have a really good squad coming back,” Gabe Hooper said. “They all work extremely hard and I’m so proud of them. We’re ready to go show ‘em what’s up.”

The girls team is highlighted by senior Naomi Egnew, junior Audrey Lemon, senior Eliza Gehring, senior Kiera Stacey, junior Sarah Scott and junior Margaret Jeppesen, who were all individual state qualifiers in track last year and competed on two relay teams at Nike nationals during the summer.

Coach Hooper, who also ran for Viewmont in the 1990s – holding the state record in the 800 and being ranked second in the nation in the indoor distance before competing for Weber State – said he also expects others to contribute to the boys and girls lineups and further development of the program this fall. The top 15 runners on each side include Tempe Anderson, twins Bryce and Hayden Arbuckle, Brooklyn Brady, Kate Egnew, Allie Eliason, Will Hyde, Abi Lee, Ayden Lee, Grace Mitchell, Junah Overson, Lyndsey Parke, Allie Phelps, Nick Placido, Spencer Smith, Bridger Stringfellow, Lydia Stringfellow, David Tervort, Lexi Toronto, Cece Walton and Austin Wilson. 

“We have a strong sophomore pack coming together that is close on the heels of our varsity team,” he said. “Our summer team size jumped from 70 runners to a little over 100. There is a lot of new talent up-and-coming.”

The Vikings have been focusing on unity among the program while “expanding our aerobic capacity,” according to coach Hooper.

Others on the 2023 VHS squad are Christian Anderson, Shelbie Bergen, Dex Booth, Braden Bredthauer, Britain Bredthauer, Holland Brushke, Cooper Buck, Clement Burton, Peter Carlson, Alyssa Clayton, Ashley Covey, Jordan Davis, Trent Dovey, Millie Egnew, Hyrum Elder, Joey Eliason, Lyndie Erekson, Emma Fuller, Maddie Gaskill,  Aaron George, Sam Hooper, Audrey Howell, Gabe Jardine, Libby Jardine, Jersey Jensen, Marshall Lake, Ian Lee, Andrew Martin, Brynn Mays, Weston McCormack, Kate McKay, Thomas McKay, Gavin Myers, Macey Parrish, Milo Patterson, Matthew Peterson, Jay Remington, Tate Ripplinger, Andiee Smith, Ava Smith, Spencer Smith, Annika Stout, Breklyn Stout, Cayla Stout, Slater Stratford, Lucas Taylor, BeeAnna Thurgood, Wyatt Thurgood, Ashlyn Turner, Eva VanOrman, Brienna Wallis, Ethan Warnock and India Wiemers.

At the Region 5 Pre-Region boys race at Layton Commons Park Aug. 22, Gabe Hooper placed first with Hyde (second), Weston Egnew (fourth), Hayden Arbuckle (sixth) and Peter Gehring (eighth) also placing top 10. The girls – who won their race – were led by Naomi Egnew who placed second.

At the Wasatch Rendezvous Aug. 26, the Vikings boys took second to American Fork, who is ranked nationally and has the fastest runner in the country, and the girls came in second to another 6A school in Timpanogos. Eliza Gehring won her race against the seventh runners from the six teams competing.

The JV girls squad recorded a perfect score in winning their race – with all five positions of Cecelia Walton, who had a “breakthrough race,” according to coach Hooper, Margaret Jeppesen, Allie Phelps, Brooklyn Brady and Abigail Lee – finishing within six seconds of each other.

Also in the top 10 were Allie Eliason (seventh), Lexi Toronto (eighth) and Kate Egnew (10th). 

For the second-place JV boys, Junah Overson (third), Spencer Smith (fourth) and Ethan Warnock (eighth) came in among the top runners.

Viewmont is also scheduled to compete at the Timpanogos Invitational (Lakeside Park) Sept. 1, the Park City Invitational (Round Valley/Quinn Junction) Sept. 8, the Border Wars (Sugar House Park) Sept. 16, Region (Layton Commons Park) Sept. 27 and Divisionals (Lakeside Park) Oct. 10. JV Region is scheduled for Oct. 17 at Roy High School with the 5A State Championships Oct. 24 at the Regional Athletic Center.