Boonville cross-country coach Melissa Baker wanted to see what her team was capable of while competing in the Fulton Invitational on Saturday.
With over 40 teams and 100 runners in each varsity race, Baker said more than anything she wanted to see how her team competed in one of the biggest meets of the season.
“First of all it was great for our team to compete,” Baker said. “We’ve been practicing a lot and needed competition to see where we were, and Fulton is one of the biggest meets we will attend this year.”
As it turned out, Baker got what she wanted as the Lady Pirates wound up finishing 14th as a team with a score of 341.
The Fatima girls captured first in the meet with a score of 74 while Helias finished second at 102, Centralia third at 109, St. Charles fourth at 135 and Capital City fifth at 161.
Jozelynn Bostick of Centralia had the best time in the meet in 20:55.11.
For Boonville, Emily Gibson finished in 58th place against a field of 105 runners in 25:36. Daylynn Baker placed 70th overall in 26:41, followed by Olivia Eichelberger in 74th place in 27:05, Rachel Massa in 93rd place in 28:52, Arie Perry in 100 place in 33:05 and Anna Thompson in 103rd place in 37:44.
Baker said Gibson ran a great first mile and had a strong finish to her last stretch of the 5K. “Daylynn Baker, Olivia Eichelberger and Rachel Massa were the next three finishers for the Boonville girls, and I was pleased with all of their times and races,” Baker said.
In the boy’s race, Jack Crull of Helias had the winning time in 16:30.44.
Cale Fox finished in 32nd place against a field of 133 runners in a time of 19:26. Hayden Alley placed 120th overall in 25:10 while Austin Race finished in 124th place in 26:05.
Baker said Fox ran a great first mile, fell behind his pace a little on the second mile and then made it hard to move up in the third mile of the race.
Helias captured the team title with a score of 36. Fatima finished second at 68, followed by Capital City at 84, Kirksville fourth at 112 and St. Charles fifth at 143.
For the LSE boys and girls cross-country teams, head coach Becky Eckerle said the Pirates ran a much better race than the first meet in Salisbury.
“I think the kids knew what to expect this time around,” Eckerle said. “Fulton was a large meet with about 200 runners for each the boys and girls. It was a tough course and was really tight in a lot of spots. They came out strong, so we just need to work on pace a little more. I’m really proud of all their hard work, and each of them improved their overall time.”
Nick Dyro of Fulton had the winning time for the boys in 12:14.44 while Elyse Wilmes of Our Lady of Lourdes turned in the best time for the girls in 12:20.01.
For the LSE boys, Will Schenck finished 74th overall out of 227 runners in a time of 14:52 while Ziaha Evans placed 156th overall in 16:55 and Jeremy Birk in 201st place in 19:27.
For the girls, TaNaja Bledsoe had the best time for the Lady Pirates by placing 91st out of 184 runners in 18:90. Kadence Taylor finished in 141st place in a time of 20:23.
Our Lady of Lourdes won the team title for the boys while Southern Boone captured the title for the girls.