Rowan County Cross Country continues to excel as the season progresses.

The Vikings were host to their annual Roy Wright Invitational last Saturday at Rowan County Senior High School. The event hosted 13 varsity girls’ teams and 14 varsity boys’ teams.

The day’s varsity events were highlighted by three personal bests, a new school record and four top 10 finishes.

The Lady Vikings had stellar performance. They placed second for their best team finish of the season.

Autumn Egleston, once again blazing the way for the Lady Vikings, has continued to climb her way to the top. Autumn’s impressive 19:50.20 finish set the Lady Vikings’ school record. Autumn holds record as a mere eighth grader having shaved over 20 seconds off her personal best of 20:16.69 set at the Mason County Invitational and over a minute over last year’s personal best.

She placed second out of 61 runners and finished 31 seconds behind first place Paige Decker (19:29.00) from Mason County.

While Autumn has consistently led the way for the Lady Vikings, her sister Ariah Egleston continues the chase.

Ariah finished second for the Lady Vikings and fifth overall.

Ariah has been on the rise. She shaved 20 seconds off her personal best at the Boyd County Invitational. She ran a new personal best of 21:52.10 and was one minute behind her sister’s 20:52.60 finish.

With another race under her spikes, Ariah continued to narrow the gap between her and her sister. She shaved close to a minute off her personal best at the Roy Wright Invitational. She dropped under 21 minutes with a time of 20:56.30.

The Lady Vikings had Rachel Emrick run her first race. She came in third for the Lady Vikings and placed 18th overall.

A Lady Vikings soccer player, Emrick joined the cross country team for her senior season. She set her personal best with a time of 23:01.10

Sophie Price and Christiana Lytle rounded out the Lady Vikings’ top five. Price finished seconds behind Emrick with a time of 23:06.20. It was her second best finish with the Lady Vikings’ program. Lytle finished just 14 seconds off her personal best with a time of 25:03.90.

The boys’ team has made strides in the right direction. They continue to set their eyes on a return trip to the meet and Top 10 finish. They finished third to Mason and Russell last Saturday.

The boys’ team follows behind team captain Jonah Stanley, who has consistently been the team’s first guy in.

He has dropped into the 17s for his third race this season. He finished second in Saturday’s meet just four seconds behind first place finisher Isaiah Riggs from Mason County. Stanley’s 17:59.00 finish was just four second behind Riggs (17:55.84).

Jason Ingles, joining the Vikings for his first season, continued to climb the ladder. Primarily the Vikings third in, Ingles finished second for the Vikings and eighth overall with a time of 18:46.96.

Lucas Hart returned for his third meet this season. Hart, also a Vikings soccer player, got a late start to the season. His first race was the Tigertown XC Palooza Sept. 14. He also raced in the Boyd County Invitational Sept. 21. Hart has continued to improve his time. He finished 16th overall with a time of 19:11.77, a seasonal best.

Trad Egleston (19:34.67) and Chad Mabry (20:24.78) rounded out the Vikings’ top five.

The Vikings return to action tonight for the EKC championship at Morgan County. Girls’ race at 5:45 p.m. The boys’ race will follow at 6:30 p.m.

Krystal Williams can be reached at kwilliams@themoreheadnews.com or by telephone at 784-4116.

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