To say that the Boonville Pirates cross-country team was short-handed over the weekend in the Marshall Invitational would be a gross understatement.
While normally having a 4-5 boys and 5-6 girls, the Pirates had only two runners compete on Saturday while senior Blake Allison was the lone competitor for the Lady Pirates.
“We took a very small team to Marshall this year,” said Boonville cross-country coach Blake Bodenhamer. “A majority of our team is active in the high school’s band and they had a big competition in Carrollton that conflicted with the race times this year.”
With 64 boys and 41 girls competing in the varsity race, Boonville sophomore Cale Fox finished ninth overall in a time of 18 minutes and 49 seconds. Ethan Gunderson, meanwhile, placed 61st overall in 24:35. As for Allison, the senior placed 17th overall in a time of 24:21.
Irvin Zalpa of Smith-Cotton had the winning time for the boys in 17:37 while Caroline Meyers turned in the fastest time for the girls in 20:02.
Bodenhamer said this was the first time in her running history that Allison had to run a race being the only girl on the team. “When the race started she got out quick and maintained 15th place for a good part of the race and her mile splits were consistent for the first two miles,” Bodenhamer said. “She ran into a little bit of trouble with pacing again in the last mile of the course, but fortunately many of the girls that were behind her did too.”
Bodenhamer said he was also somewhat nervous about how the boys were going to do this race. He said Fox had been pretty sick this week, which he was scared would effect his performance.
“As Cale neared the finish I thought my time was wrong,” Bodenhamer said. “My clock was 18:30 and he was about 20 seconds away from the finish. He flew into the finish with a time of 18:49. This was the first time that Cale had ever ran a sub 19 race receiving a new PR and some hardware to take home.”