Boonville’s Cale Fox and Emily Gibson couldn’t have asked for a better finish Thursday during the Tri-County Conference Cross-Country meet at Eldon.
As one of the top runners in the conference the last two seasons, Fox used this race to run against some of the best runners in the Tri-County and gauge where he wants to be going into districts. As it turned out, Fox delivered on both counts by finishing sixth overall with a personal record in 17:31.8. The time was also six seconds off the school record, which Fox hopes to break either next Tuesday at Mexico or in two weeks at districts at Linn High School.
As for Gibson, she finished just in the medal round in 13th place in a time of 22:31.3.
Only the top 15 runners are recognized as all-conference.
Boonville cross-country coach Melissa Baker said from the time the team started training this summer, a main focus that they have shared all year long was to build toward the conference meet both as individuals and as a team; and yesterday the results of all that work came to fruition.
“Two of our athletes were rewarded by their hard work by being named to the all-conference team,” Baker said. “Cale  ran a personal record with a time of 17:31.8 and Emily Gibson, a freshman, placed 13th with a personal best time of 22:31.3. Cale and Emily displayed the mental toughness that we have talked about all year long, That mental toughness served them well as this was a tough course to negotiate.
“Olivia Eichelberger ran a great race as well, and missed being named all-conference by just one place. We are looking forward to competing at Mexico on Tuesday, and then districts in a couple weeks, as we have high hopes for our runners to do well.”
The Lady Pirates also fared well in the team standings by placing fourth overall with 119 points.
Osage girls captured the title with 33 points, followed by Blair Oaks with 60, Eldon 88 and Boonville 119.
For the boys, Osage took first as well with 37 points. California finished second with 71, followed by Blair Oaks with 79, Hallsville at 115, Versailles at 121 and Southern Boone at 135. Boonville did not have enough runners to field a team, which requires at least five members.
Olivia Eichelberger just missed the medal stand by placing 16th overall in a time of 22:53.9 while Daylynn Baker finished 25th in 24:33.2, Rachel Massa 28th in 25:30.8 and Anna Thompson 37th in 38:18.9.
Kati Schoeneberg of Blair Oaks had the winning time for the girls in 20:09.7.
For the Boonville boys, Hayden Alley finished 41st overall out of 44 runners in a time of 22:04.6.
Chase Grosvenor of Osage turned in the fastest time in the meet in 16:19.8.
JUNIOR HIGH
The LSE boys and girls cross-country teams also had a strong showing Thursday at Eldon.
Alison Eichelberger finished ninth overall for the Lady Pirates in a time of 13:55.6. Tanaja Bledsoe placed 31st overall in 16:49.4, followed by Addy Nichols in 34th place in 17:13.8, Kadance Taylor 38th in 18:10.9 and Regan Wilson 39th in 18:43.8.
LSE girls also finished fifth overall as a team with 151 points.
Southern Boone finished first with 26 points, followed by Eldon with 77, California 93, Blair Oaks 120 and Boonville 151.
For the LSE boys, Will Schenck finished 31st overall in a time of 14:28.4 while Jeremy Birk placed 50th out of 59 runners in 17:10.8.
Southern Boone won the team title for the boys with 42 points. Osage finished second with 62, followed by Eldon with 77, Blair Oaks 83 and Versailles 139.
LSE cross-country coach Becky Eckerle said it has been a great season for LSE Cross Country.
“I am so proud of this first team,” Eckerle said. “They’ve worked hard and learned so much about cross-country. As a team, we have seen great growth from our very first practice. Thursday at our conference meet, we were excited the girls were able to participate as a team since volleyball has ended. We were able to have Allison Eichelberger, Addy Nichols and Regan Wilson join us and we finished fifth as a team. The future looks great for cross-country. Allison qualified for all-conference by finishing ninth overall. She came out and gave it all she had. Even though we didn't have any other PR's, they all ran well and have continued to improve throughout the season.”