Boonville’s Emily Gibson and Hayden Alley proved that you don’t have to have big numbers to compete in cross-country.
With only two runners taking part in the Moberly Invitational on Thursday, Gibson finished 21st out of 66 competitors in a time of 23:53.20 while Alley placed 75th out of 94 runners in 23:29.23.
Boonville cross-country coach Melissa Baker said the boys and girls were slim on numbers this meet. “Hayden was our only varsity boy runner, but he ran a great race,” Baker said. “He had a good kick at then end. Hayden ran an 11 second PR. The weather was cooler, which was great for our runners. Emily ran a nice race, too. She was disappointed she didn't run a PR, but I thought she got out and competed. She said at the end of the race she felt great and loved the course. Emily is really starting to compete and I am excited to watch her continue to grow as a runner.”
Evan Aubuchon of Kirksville finished first in the boys’s varsity division in a time of 17:00.22, while Alexandra Sharp of Brookfield turned in the winning time in the girls division in 19:52.80.
Monroe City girls captured the team title with 46 points. Kirksville finished second with 64 points, followed by Marion County with 72 points, Eldon 90, Harrisburg 98 and Highland 127.
Kirksville finished first in the boy’s division with 28 points. Moberly finished second with 73 points, followed by Marshall with 125, New Franklin 133, Hallsville  and Monroe City 168, Versailles 181, Salisbury 185, Glasgow 219, Highland 253, Braymer 261, Southern Boone 271 and Missouri Military Academy 326.
Tyler Perkins led the New Franklin boys cross-country team with a 19th place finish in the Moberly Invitational on Thursday.
Perkins finished the 3.1 mile race in a time of 19:42.80. Samuel Ridgeway placed 25th overall in 20:06.47, followed by Asa Fischer in 31st place in 20:42.89, Hayden Wiseman in 33rd place in 20:47.51, Douglass Creason in 35th place in 20:48.74 and David Brucks in 54th place in 21:47.21.
In the boys and girls JV races, Mallori Burnett finished third overall in 26:36.20 while Logan Pierce placed 22nd in 26:22.17.
New Franklin cross-country coach Madilynn Lyons said the boys and girls had a great day at the Moberly Spartan XC Invitational.
“It was a chilly and muddy race and the runners gave it their all,” Lyons said. “It was exciting to see the boys team finish in the top four among some strong competitors. It was yet another day of some new best times of the season and a career best for senior Hayden Wiseman (20:47.51). The boys really came together as a team and ran one of the best races we've seen yet. As for the JV, both our runners gave great efforts. Junior Mallori Burnett placed well at 3rd in the JV Girls race."
The LSE boys and girls cross-country teams had a total of five runners compete in the Moberly Invitational on Thursday.
For the LSE boys, Will Schenck finished 70th overall in a time of 14:19 while Ziaha Evans placed 95th in 15:19 and Jeremy Birk 115th in 16:35.
For the LSE girls, Tanja Bledsoe finished 70th in a time of 15:56 while Kadance Taylor placed 75th overall in 16:34.
“As a team we have spent a lot of time talking about what it means to compete, give it all you have and push yourself during a race,” said LSE cross-country coach Becky Eckerle. “During the Mobderly meet, we saw the girls really give it all they had. I am so proud of the race they ran. They came out strong and kept their pace the entire race. Tanaja and Kadence both had a PR and is was obvious when they crossed the finish they had ran their very best race. The boys also ran a great race. They settled in and maintained their spot throughout the race. Jermey had a PR and continues to work hard and improve with every race. Will and Ziahia missed a PR by just a few seconds but ran well and battled the whole time. Overall as a team, Moberly was our best meet.”