It runs in the family.
The Egleston family has been more than just a part of the Rowan County cross country and track program. Starting with their father Jeremy Egleston, the Eglestons have been helping the Vikings’ program achieve success since the 80s.
Jeremy was part of the Vikings only state championship team in 1987 and passed on the running tradition to his oldest son Trad. Trad started running with the Vikings’ program in sixth grade but has been running ever since he could tie his shoes. According to Jeremy, his kids took to the sport of running like fish to water.
“I love running. It has been one of my passions and getting to run with the Vikings’ program has been a blessing. Everyone is out there encouraging you and pushing you to work harder,” said Trad.
Trad has competed at State Cross Country meet the past two seasons, as a freshman and a sophomore. As a freshman, Trad ran a 19:56.35 at the state meet. Trad remarkably dropped his time over the last season and finished in the top 100 runners at the state meet. Trad finished 75th last November with a time 18:32. He has set a personal best of 17:38.
He also runs as part of the Vikings’ track team and has a time of 10:48 in the two mile and 5:18 in the mile.
Trad has loved having his dad to encourage and push him along the way. Trad hopes to break all of his father’s personal bests before graduating high school.
“It is a big thing for me to try to beat his times and to be a part of the next school state title. I believe that we can do it our senior year, but it is a lot to live up to,” said Trad.
Jeremy is just excited to see what his son can do with the next two seasons.
“I think he is very capable of doing anything he puts his mind to and I don’t think there is anyone that could be happier than me about seeing him achieve his goals,” said Jeremy.
Jeremy and Trad’s mother, Julie who ran at Morehead State University, are assistant coaches to the Vikings’ cross country and track teams.
The family of Viking runners was complete last fall when Trad was joined by his sisters, Autumn and Ariah.
“You know it is just great having my family behind me and running with me. Family is always there to cheer you on and to make sure you are working hard and going strong,” said Trad.
The twins joined the varsity program as seventh graders and both qualified for the state cross country meet in their inaugural season.
Autumn was a natural. She led the Lady Vikings to their first state appearance as a team in over a decade. She finished seventh at the Regional meet with a time of 21:14 and finished an impressive 34th at the state meet with a time of 21:04, a personal best.
Ariah was second on the Lady Vikings’ team at both the regional and state meets. She ran a 22:07 for a personal best and 16th place at the regional meet hosted by Boyd County High School and broke into the top 100 with a 97th place finish and a time of 22:34 at state.
Although they look similar, Autumn and Ariah have a much different approach to the race. According to Julie, Autumn is her competitor and Ariah is out there for the love of the sport.
“With Autumn, it could be a game of duck, duck, goose and she would still be competitive. Ariah is just happy to be out running and she is going to give it her best,” said Julie.
What the girls can agree on is that having your sister out there on the course with you will only make you stronger.
“I always know she is there. I feel like she is breathing right by my back and that motivates me to get as many people in front of me to put more space between us,” said Autumn. “ But, honestly, just having her out there helps me a lot more than what most people think. She helps push me to better times and always encourages me.”
While Autumn’s competitive nature uses her sister as motivation to run faster, Ariah is all about the bond she gets to share with her sister in training.
“Honestly during a race I don’t pay attention to her because she is so far ahead of me. I really don’t even notice her. We just run together,” said Ariah with a chuckle.
“But we train together and we get to talk about a lot of stuff. It is just really fun to have someone there who understands me and is the same age as me. Having someone who is in the exact same lifestyle as me, being there to talk me through it, it makes me that much more happy to be running.”
Autumn and Ariah also qualified for the state track meet. Autumn qualified individually in the two mile. She finished tenth overall with a time of 12:28.37. She has a personal best of 12:11 and a personal best of 5:48 in the mile.
“I made it to track state because I had all my supporters and all my track friends with me. All of them pushing me, including my dad because he put us through all those hard sprints to make us go faster and harder,” said Autumn.
Ariah and Autumn were both part of the 4x800 meter relay that placed 18th at the state meet.
The twins have a long and promising future ahead of them with their family at their side every step of the way. The Vikings program’ will continue to be a complete family affair for the next two seasons.