The schools with a view, as in Viewmont and Mountain View, gave their competitors a pretty good view of the state of high school cross country Saturday as they captured titles at the annual Murray Invitational.
Viewmont's boys' team staved off a good challenge from the Bruins to win the team title, while Mountain View's girls' team, top-ranked in the nation by both USA Today and Harrier Magazine, amassed an incredibly low score of 30 points to run away with the team trophy.Individually, Bountiful's Brandon Wilding, quickly emerging as the top prep runner in the state, won the boys' race in a time of 15:21.87, holding off Sam St. Clair of Mountain View in an exciting finish over the three mile Murray Park course. Robby Duncan of Bingham was third, Jeremy Call of Viewmont finished fourth and Rich Rowley of American Fork was fifth.
The girls' title was never seriously in doubt, as Mountain View beat second-place Timpview by 86 points. Juniors Amy Allen and Juliet Stone finished one-two for the Bruins, Allen in a winning time of 17:54.24.
Afterwards, coaches Lynn Dubois of Viewmont and Dave Houle of Mountain View were pleased with their teams' performances, but both said their squads can still improve.
"We can and will run better than we did today," Dubois said, pointing out that Homecoming activities at Viewmont took their toll on some of his kids. "We did a good job today, and we knew Mountain View and Bingham would present a challenge for us. This was a satisfying victory for us."
Dubois has coached three state champs in cross country, in 1982, 1983 and 1987. Still, this year's Viking squad must be considered the deepest he's ever had, and in the non-scored JV race that began Saturday's invitational, Viewmont placed nine runners in the top 20.
At Mountain View, the Bruins' reputation for cross country dominance has also grown under Houle's tutilage, and the Bruins are stronger than ever. Of the top seven runners for the Lady Bruins, only two are seniors.
"The national ranking has been nice," Houle said after Saturday's race, "but it's also brought with it some added pressures. Every week we need to not only run better, but lower our scores in invitationals like this."