The Boonville boys and girls cross-country team braved the weather and some of the best runners in the state over the weekend while competing at the Class 3 District 5 Meet at Howard Hills Complex in Moberly.
While facing teams like Helias, Fulton, Mexico, Osage, Eldon and Kirksville, the Pirates also had to battle the 30 degree weather at race time along with a few flurries.
As it turned out, the Pirates fell short of qualifying for the state meet next Saturday in Jefferson City.
The Helias boys and girls both captured the team championship. The Helias girls finished the meet with 23 points while Osage placed second with 66, Moberly third with 82, Mexico fourth with 89, Eldon fifth with 118, Kirksville sixth with 161, Fulton seventh with 176 and Chillicothe eighth with 226.
As for the Helias boys, they accumulated 41 points to edge Fulton, who finished second with 42 points. Mexico placed third with 87, followed by Osage at 121, Eldon at 159, Blair Oaks at 183, Southern Boone at 186, Marshall at 212, Kirksville at 223, Moberly at 240, Chillicothe at 292 and Boonville 12th at 304.
Alex Dukes of Mexico captured the boys individual title in a time of 16:17.20 while Abby Hake of Helias won the girls individual title in 20:07.70.
Boonville junior Jalyn Schnetzler had the top time for the Lady Pirates while finishing 43rd among 65 runners in a time of 24:11. Kia Moore finished 47th overall for the Lady Pirates in 24:24 while Blake Allison came in in 49th place in 25:06 and Annabel Carter in 54th place in 25:38.
Boonville cross-country coach Blake Bodenhamer said the girls seemed to get out a little slower than usual.
“It could've been that they were not used to the cold, emotions were running high, or any combination of these things,” Bodenhamer said.  “They knew coming out there that the competition was going to be tough.  At the first mile mark things were looking pretty typical, with mile splits looking just a little slower than normal around 8:15 - 8:30.  After about the first mile I could tell that the cold air was definitely giving some of the girls a hard time.  This was the first really cold day that they had run in all season and I think their bodies were somewhat shocked by it.  I could tell that they weren't getting as deep as breathes as usual.  
“I knew that would lead to a little bit of trouble later on in the race.  By the second mile Kia was leading the pack which was awesome because that was the first time she had done that all season and Jalyn was right behind.  Blake and Annabel had fallen about 30 seconds behind struggling with their breathing.  In the third mile Jalyn pulled ahead of Kia and pushed both of them towards the finish.  Blake finished about 30 seconds after Kia and Annabel finished about 30 seconds after Blake.
Bodenhamer said overall he thought that the girls could've run better, but also realizes that the cold air was very tough on some of the girls.  
“I thought that we made some huge strides with the girls this season, especially the girls who were new to the sport this year,” Bodenhamer said.  “I'm hoping that our new girls will bring along a couple friends to come out for us next season and that our senior girls had an enjoyable and competitive final season.”
As for the Boonville boys, Charlie Pumel turned in the top time for the Pirates by placing 47th out of 79 runners in a time of 19:41.
Cale Fox placed 49th overall in 19:44 while Skyler Blumhorst finished 59th in 20:34, Ethan Gunderson in 77th place in 24:13 and Tyler Wexieldorfer in 79th place in 28:43.
Bodenhamer said the boys team had been looking at times of district competitors well in advance to this race so they knew what they had to do to make it to the state level this year.  
“Some of our fastest guys knew that they would need to drop 45 seconds to a minute to place in the top 15 to move on,” Bodenhamer said.  “Knowing this made our boys team a lot more determined and practice that much harder at practice in the weeks leading up to districts.  Similar to our girls team,  I thought our boys team got out slower than usual and that the cold weather effected some of their breathing throughout the race.  At the first mile the guys splits were about 30 seconds slower than what I would've liked.  Cale hit the first mile at about 6:05 and Skyler and Charlie hit it at about 6:20.
“Our top three guys really busted their tails throughout the race, but again I could tell that the cold air was getting to them.  At the second mile their splits were about the same at around a 6:15 - 6:30 mile.  Charlie pulled ahead in the last mile of the course, breaking away from Skyler and eventually passing Cale towards the end. I'm really hopeful for our boys team for the future.  Cale and Charlie really stepped up in the races this season and I'm excited to see how much stronger they've both gotten and how much better they will do next season.  Our senior boys Skyler and Tyler had great seasons as well and they younger guys love running with them.  I'm also excited to see what Ethan can do after we get him stronger and work on some things in the off season.”