The Boonville boys and girls cross-country team looks to get tough literally for the 2018 season.
With 16 total runners out this season, the most in school history, head coach Melissa Baker said the motto of this year’s cross-country team is: “Tough runs don’t last, tough runners do.”
Baker should know. After all, she ran track for the California track team in high school and is currently the girls track coach for the Boonville Lady Pirates track team.
“We are talking a lot of practice about strategy during the race,” Baker said of the 2018 season. “I think we will have a competitive team on the boys and girls side. We have some strong upperclassmen who have been leaders.”
With just as many boys as girls this season on the cross-country team, Boonville should definitely have the numbers to fill out a team. However with only three returning runners from last year in Cale Fox, Charlie Pumel and Jalyn Schnetzler, Baker said a weakness could be inexperience with the younger runners.
“We don’t have a lot of returning lettermen, but we’re really excited about the athletes that are running cross-country this season,” Baker said. “The team comes out and works hard every day and supports and encourages each other. They push each other to be better. We are noticing different team members stepping up and taking on the leadership role every day.”
As for the Tri-Country Conference, which will be new to the Pirates this season after competing in the NCMC the last 10 years, Baker said the California boys will be a good opponent for Boonville.
“I have heard that the TCC is strong in cross-country,” Baker said. “As far as the other schools in the conference other than California we will just have to see how our season progresses. The key for us is to never settle. I talk to the team a lot about not just getting by, but focuing on getting better. This group of kids mesh well together. They support and encourage each other and are a strong Pirate family.”
Baker said the Pirate runners also talk a lot about goals for the 2018 season. She said each athlete has writter their own personal goals.
“We visit about what steps it is going to take to accomplish those goals each day,” Baker said. “As coaches we would love to see our boys and girls team place at each meet. We would also like to get some kids out of districts and to the state meet in Jefferson City.”
As for runners to watch this fall for the boys, Baker said seniors Adam Schneringer, Logan Pfeiffer, Lance Marshall, Charlie Pumel and Hayden Potter should all be competitive this season. Baker said Fox and Pumel are both strong runners and knowledgeable about cross-country.
“We look for both of them to be competitive this season,” Baker said. “Logan is new to the Pirate cross-country team, but not new to cross-country. He is a natural runner and we look forward to watching him compete his senior season. Adam and Brayden McFarland are also new to cross-country, but they all bring positivity to the team. Lance is a great senior leader. Luke Green is our lone boys freshman runner and he is a natural runner. He has really embraced running and works hard each day to get stronger.”
On the girls side, Baker said a lot of the runners are dual sport athletes.
“We look forward to having them run when they are not competing in their other sport,” Baker said. “They have all worked hard in the off-season to become stronger athletes.”
Competing this season for the girls are senior Jalyn Schnetzler, junior Kali Corbitt, sophomores Daylynn Baker, Gracie Sadler and Molly Amos and freshmen Payton Luscombe and Rachel Massa.