Boonville cross-country team completes final tune up before districts

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News

With the final meet of the season before districts, the Boonville boys and girls cross-country teams wanted to make a statement Tuesday while competing in the Mexico Autumn Classic.

While competing a field of over 120 runners, Boonville cross-country coach Melissa Baker said Mexico is a great meet for the runners to compete in one final regular season race before districts. 

“The Mexico Autumn Classic has some really good competition for our kids to run against,” Baker said. “There are several runners there that will compete at the state championship meet at Gans Creek in Columbia. Our runners definitely ran a better race than they did at conference and that was our goal going into the race. We have spent a lot of time talking about how important it is to think positive thoughts and find that mental toughness when you feel like you are running on an empty tank.

“Our quote on the back of our shirts says, “Mental toughness is finding fuel in an empty tank. Our quote on the back of our shirts says, “Mental Toughness is finding fuel in an empty tank.” Alison Eichelberger ran a great race for just finishing softball season. She had a goal to break 23 minutes, she didn’t quite meet that goal, but I am confident after a week and a half of practice she will be able to achieve that goal at the district meet. Brayden McFarland and Jordan Birk also both ran personal record. They both ran a strong race and competed against themselves, which was a goal going into the meet.”

For the Boonville girls, Alison Eichelberger led the Lady Pirates by placing 25th overall out of 59 runners with a personal record in 23:05. Emily Gibson, meanwhile, finished in 37th place with a season best  time of 24:33, followed by Hailee Williams in 39th place in 24:45, Daylynn Baker 48th in 26:18 and Jordan Birk 58th with a personal record time of 29:04.

Delaney Straus of Marion County had the fastest time in the girl’s race in a time of 19:42.24.

St. Dominic won the girl’s team title with 54 points. Mexico finished second with 68 points, followed by Moberly with 74, Helias 81, Clark County 143, Marion County 168, Kirksville 178, Battle 196 and Boonville in ninth place with a score of 201.

As for the Boonville boys, senior Brayden McFarland finished 39th overall with a personal record time of 20:46. Hayden Williams placed 49th overall in 21:53 while Hayden Alley took 51st with a season best time of 22:31. 

Payton Kirchhoff of Helias had the winning time in the boy’s race in 17:043.

Helias also captured first in the meet for the boys with 29 points. Mexico finished second with 76 points, followed by Kirksville with 81, Moberly with 102, St. Dominic with 123, Battle with 142, Eldon with 195, Clark County with 214 and MMA with 218.

The Boonville boys and girls cross-country team will compete next on Saturday, Oct. 31 in the Class 3 District 4 Meet at Linn High School. 

Teams competing in the meet along with Boonville are: Blair Oaks, California, Cuba, Fatima, Owensville, Salem, Southern Boone and St. James. 

Boonville senior Brayden McFarland finished with a personal record for the season by placing 39th overall in a time of 20:46.
Boonville cross-country runner Emily Gibson runs a turn while competing in the Mexico Autumn Classic Tuesday in Mexico.