The Boonville boys and girls cross-country teams couldn't have asked for a better setting Saturday at Kemper park while hosting the North Central Missouri Conference Cross-Country Meet.
With the temperature in the mid 50s at race time, head coach Emily Allsop said every individual on the team was trying to best the time from their home meet on September 24th.
"Overall, we had nine runners who ran both races," Allsop said. "Five of them beat their time and three of them were within 10 seconds of their previous time," Allsop said. "I am so proud of how far they have come, and I am looking forward to seeing several more season best performances at districts on November 2nd."
With the top 14 male and female runners making all-conference, the Pirates placed two on the list with junior Holly Krumm placing sixth overall in a time of 21:33 and senior Rory Concannon ninth in 17:57.68.
Mexico's Malik Holman had the best overall time in the boys division in 16:36.72 while Kayla Fallis of Moberly crossed the finish line first for the girls in a time of 20:12.75.
As for the final-team standings, Moberly captured first with 41 points. Mexico finished second with 49 points, followed by Hannibal with 66, Fulton with 115, Marshall with 122 and Boonville with 126. Meanwhile, in the final-team standings for the girls, Mexico placed first with 36 points. Moberly finished second with 40 points, followed by Boonville in third place with 92, Fulton fourth also with 92 and Hannibal fifth with 108.
Allsop said the boys race was incredibly close, with lots of runners earning excellent times.
As for Concannon, Allsop said Rory came out quick. "He was in third place at the first mile, but the Mexico and Moberly teams created a gap in the second mile and Rory never closed it," Allsop said. "He finished 10 seconds slower than at our home meet in September."
Concannon said after the race that he tried to stay with the first place runner at the beginning but later he didn't think that was a good idea.
"I thought since it was my home course I would be able to try to keep up with him but I should have started off more in the middle," Concannon said. "I ran slower at conference last year and got eighth and this year I ran faster and took ninth. It was close, though. They were both under 18. I think I could have done better. I did my first mile too fast and my second mile too slow and my third mile I was trying to make up for it."
As for Krumm, Allsop said Holly smashed her personal best by 17 seconds in this race. "She ran great, and took every advantage of running on our home course with a home crowd," Allsop said.
Krumm said it was the home course so she knew it and how to handle it.
"I was aiming to do better than seventh because that is what I got last time and I got sixth so that is good," Krumm said. "I liked the course and I knew how to defeat the hill and managed to pass people on that so that was good. It's better than last year so maybe next year I can get fifth."
Senior Nathan Jones finished 25th overall in a time of 19:55 while Jason Broyhill placed 29th in 20:03.81, Joel Concannon 36th in 21:54.93 and Allan Wilkinson in 38th place in 22:27.87.
Allsop said Jones is a naturally good runner. "He doesn't get much time to train with us because he plays soccer also, but he broke 20 minutes for the first time this season. This was his season best time. As for Jason, he had his eye on all-conference, but he came out too fast and didn't have enough left to finish under 20 minutes. Jason has been battling some health issues this season, and he finished six seconds slower than at our home meet in September. Joel ran a great race.
"His goal is to always break 22 minutes and he did it for the second time this season during the NCMC meet. Joel cut one minute and 3 seconds off his time since the home meet on this course. He has show great improvement and dedication to the sport. As for Allan, he was disappointed with his time, but he is also one of our soccer players. He is a smart runner and does a great job keeping his pace. With a little more experience, I think he has great potential for the future."
Following Krumm's performance for the Boonville girls were freshman Grace Schupp in 20th place in a time of 25:22, Rebecca Gramlich in 29th place in 26:13.62, Savannah Burnett in 30th place in 27:10.96, Kayla Cotten in 32nd place in 27:41.12 and Patience Dorman in 34th place in 27:53.96.
A total of 42 boys and 39 girls took part in the varsity race.
Allsop said Schupp also smashed her personal best by 27 seconds.
"She ran smart and finished strong," Allsop said. "Rebecca shattered her personal best by one minute and 17 seconds. She has been struggling with shin splints, but felt great today and it showed. Her performance was incredible. Savannah ran consistent with how she has been running most of the season, but I know she had her heart set on a better time.
"She finished six seconds slower than our Boonville meet. Kayla had the best finish in the final stretch that I have seen out of her all year. She caught up to and passed the runner in front of her right at the finish line. Patience beat her time by seven seconds and broke 28 minutes for the second time this season. She ran great and had her second best time of the year."