The Boonville boys and girls cross-country teams are expecting big things for the 2019 season.
With seven girls and five boys making up the team this season, head coach Melissa Baker said the outlook for the year is to work on getting better, improving their times and building a program.
“I am excited that middle school cross-country was added to the sports option in Boonville and I think that will continue to build, which will help grow the high school program,” Baker said. “I am looking for Cale Fox to be a leader this year. He has a lot of cross-country experience and is excited about leading our team this year.”
With more than half of the team playing dual sports this fall, Baker said the key to the season is to be true to their motto: “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift”. Baker said this was a quote from Olympic gold medalist Steve Prefontaine.
“We have to train hard every day,” Baker said. “We can’t go through the motions. We have to utilize every practice and get stronger. Our goal this year is to compete as a team and improve times every time we run a race. I believe this team has the potential to do just that, and have a good showing in every meet.”
While competing in the Tri-County Conference last year, the Pirates also hope to improve on their standing from a year ago after placing fourth with two all-conference performances. Baker said the girls did not score as a team last year due to low numbers.
“Hopefully with more girls on the team we will be able to compete as a team at conference rather than just individuals,” Baker said. “California, Osage and Blair Oaks will still be the frontrunners in conference this year for the boys, and Osage and Eldon always have strong girl’s teams. However, my goal is to have some all-conference runners. To earn all-conference an individual must place in the top 15.”
Fox, a senior, captured the school record last year in a 3,500 meter race in a time of 12 minutes and 52 seconds. Baker said Fox’s best time in the 5,000 last year was 17 minutes and 52 seconds.
“This year he would like to run a 17:25 or less,” Baker said. “Cale can get this goal with hard work and determination. Brayden McFarland is also returning this year and I think he will be a stronger runner for the team. His top time last year was 21:09, and he has a goal to run a sub 19,00 this year. For the girls, Daylynn Baker had the top time last year at 24:33. I think Olivia Eichelberger and Rachel Massa will be competitive this year as well. I am also excited to watch freshman Emily Gibson learn the ropes and begin to understand how to compete at this level.”
Making up the roster for the Boonville boys cross-country team are: Cale Fox, Hayden Alley, Dakota Rapp, Brayden McFarland and Austin Rice.
The roster in cross-country for the girls will consist of Arie Perry, Bayli Collins, Daylynn Baker, Olivia Eichelberger, Anna Thompson, Rachel Massa and Emily Gibson.