The Class 3 District 5 Cross-Country Meet Saturday at Howard Hills Sports Complex in Moberly lived up to its billing as one of the toughest in the state.
Along with competing against Class 3 powerhouses Helias and Warrensburg, the Boonville boys and girls cross-country teams also had to battle Mother Nature with the rain and mud.
With 72 boys and 70 girls competing in the meet, the Boonville Pirates fell short of qualifying for the state championships this coming Saturday in Jefferson City.
In the final-team standings for the boys, Helias captured first in the district with a total of 38 points. Warrensburg, meanwhile, finished second with 49, followed by Clinton with 117, Kirksville 121, Odessa 132, Osage 138, Eldon 171, Southern Boone 230, Marshall 243 and Moberly 260.
Helias girls also took first in the final-team standings with 44 points while Warrensburg finished second with 75, Moberly third with 94, Southern Boone fourth with 113, Osage fifth with 137, Kirksville sixth with 139, Clinton seventh with 148, Odessa eighth with 209, Eldon ninth with 229 and Boonville 10th with 258.
Boonville boys and girls cross coach Blake Bodenhamer said state of course was the main goal or have somebody finish in the top 15. “I knew the competition coming out was going to be tough,” Bodenhamer said. “However, I also knew that for some of these seniors like Jason Broyhill and Patience Dorman that this was probably going to be their last race so I wanted them to go out and run their race and finish on a good note. I would have liked to have some of our runners move on to the state level but I knew with the competition and the weather that it was good to be tough.”
With the girls starting first in the rain, Helias’ Kayla Yanskey edged Warrensburg’s Shelby Palmer by a mere five seconds 19:52.50 to 19:57.40, respectively.
For the Boonville girls, sophomore Kayla Lang finished 29th overall in a time of 22:32.70. Blake Allison, meanwhile, finished in 53rd place in 25:06.60 while Grace Schupp placed 57th in 25:41.60, Patience Dorman 62nd in 27:46.40 and Brynn Edwards in 63rd place in 28:47.50.
Bodenhamer said Kaylee Lang, who had the best time for Boonville, started off strong in her race but then fell back a few spots toward the middle, which he wasn’t expecting. As for Blake Allison, Bodenhamer said she had a very good finish. “You could tell she was going all out,” Bodenhamer said. “The emotion was there, you could definitely see it in her eyes that she was pushing.”
In the boys race, Duncan Clark of Kirksville won by a mere two seconds over Elliott Knerschield of Helias 16:42.56 to 16:44.40, respectively.
For the Boonville boys, sophomore Sklyer Blumhorst finished 36th overall in a time of 20:02.40. Charlie Pumel, meanwhile, finished one spot back of Blumhorst in 37th place in 20:08.10 while Jason Broyhill placed 57th overall in 21:20.60 and Joel Concannon 63rd in a time of 22:17.70.
Bodenhamer said he thought the Boonville boys ran with a ton of heart. “This course was real sloppy but it was sloppy for everyone,” Bodenhamer said. “I thought Skyler and Charlie were both neck and neck the entire race and pushing each other and that’s what I was looking for from these guys. I want them to push each other throughout the entire race so they can push those PRs to their limits.”