Boonville falls short at state in 100, 800 and 4 x 100 relay
The Boonville boys and girls track teams didn’t have the finish they were looking for Saturday at the Class 3 State Track Meet at Adkins Stadium in Jefferson City.
But if you consider that in two of the three events, Boonville improved on its standing.
As for Boonville’s Rhodes Leonard, the freshman standout entered the 800 meter run ranked sixth against a field of 16 runners and was in fifth position after the first lap. However, on the second lap or 600 meters, Boonville boys track coach Ryan Lyons said Leonard ended up stepping on the metal railing just inside the innermost lane and was unable to finish the race.
“A tough way to end an absolutely amazing freshman season,” Lyons said. “I couldn’t be proud of Rhode’s and the success and improvement I witnessed this season. He has the seventh fastest 800 meter time of all 3A returning runners. His future is bright and he will return to the state meet; I have no doubt about it, and I believe that he will not be alone.”
Leonard entered the 800 with a personal record time of 2:01.48, which he got the weekend before at the Class 3 Sectional 2 Track Meet at Montgomery County High School. That time would have placed Leonard in eighth place on Saturday.
Daelen Ackley of El Dorado Springs captured the 800 meter title in a time of 1:58.85.
As for the Boonville girls track team, senior Jodie Bass led off the Lady Pirates in the 100 meter dash.
Ranked 16th out of 16 runners in a time of 12.92 seconds, Bass came back and beat five other runners to finish 11th overall in a time of 13.11 seconds.
Delaney Weimer of New Covenant Academy won the girls 100 meter dash in a time of 12.67 seconds.
Although disappointed in her finish, Bass said she beat everybody from sectionals the weekend before when she placed fourth so that was kind of an accomplishment.
“There’s still improvements that I could have done,” Bass said. “I think my start could have been a lot better. I'm actually known for having really good starts and I think I could have done a lot better on my start. My reaction time was kind of off, but I've been working hard all week; working out and stuff. I think my finish is usually what I have trouble with and I actually I think had a really, really good finish.”
Baker said Bass didn’t finish her race strong the weekend before at sectionals.
“We’ve been working on the end of a race this week, and she blew the end of a race away,” Baker said. She rocked it. I think we were just a step slow at the start of the 100 meter race. You don't think it's as hard to put all together, but it's a really tough race to put all together even for just 100 meters, and she did great.
“She came in ranked 16th and finished 11th. She has nothing to hang her head about. We're talking the best of the best in class three and she's right in that mix.”
In the girls 4 x 100 meter relay race, Boonville entered the event ranked 11th out of 16 teams and ended up finishing 10th in a time of 51.96. However, had the Lady Pirates ran their personal best for the season at 51.60, they would have placed eighth overall.
Center High School captured first in the 4 x 100 in a time of 50.14 seconds. Mt. Vernon, meanwhile, placed eighth in 51.68 seconds.
Baker said the goal is always to get on the podium, but it’s hard.
“These girls are fast,” Baker said. All 16 teams are fast and to break our school record twice is quite a big accomplishment. Their handoffs were good and their race looked clean. It was a little bit slower at sectionals, but this is the big stage, and they were probably a little bit nervous.”
The 4 x 100 meter relay team consisted of two seniors (Jodie Bass and Daylynn Baker) and two freshmen (Alison Eichelberger and Kylee Turner).
Baker said with Daylynn Baker hurting her hamstring this year, they could have been at the big stage in at least two, maybe three more events and maybe even another relay team.
“I thought these girls were kind of the heart of the track team,” Baker said. “This was our goal to make it to the state meet and they did it. As for Alison and Kylee, it was good for them to experience the state meet with our seniors. I think this will be helpful as we go into next season with them already having the taste of what it’s like to compete at this level.”
Bass said she thought the 4 x 100 team did really good. “We bumped one place from 11th to 10th,” Bass said. “There’s probably improvements we could have made on our handoffs, but I think we did good. We broke the record the weekend before at 51.60 seconds and got 51.9 seconds today. Even though it was my last race I hope they do even better next year and the girls coming up are a lot better and they make it back.”
Daylynn Baker she was definitely not satisfied getting 10th. “I’m very proud of the girls,” Baker said. “Every time that we went into a meet I felt as though we were under estimated. However, we came up every time. We broke the school record at sectionals, so we were a very good team. We all worked together very well, but I wish we could have done a little better.”
Baker also competed in her last race as well but will continue her track career at State Fair Community College in Sedalia.
While finishing fifth in the 300 meter hurdles as a freshman, Baker was plagued by injuries her sophomore and senior season. Her track season was canceled her junior year due to COVID-19.
“It was disappointing not to be able to run the 300 hurdles,” Baker said. “I tore my hamstring, which was really disappointing. I tried my best to run through it as much as I could but it seemed like the 100 is all I could run and it was kind of hard to get over the 100 hurdles, so therefore, the 4 x 100 was our best shot.”
Eichelberger said she wanted top eighth. “We’ve only ran this like a few times as a group,” Eichelberger said. “It was kind of thrown together but seeing how far we’ve come since the beginning, it’s pretty crazy. Our time was good so I feel pretty good about it.”
Turner she is really proud of how far the team came this season. “This was really just thrown together at the last minute team because we had such a good bond,” Turner said. “Thanks to coach, she really did believe in us and we were able to push through and bump up our ranking a little bit. We were ranked 11th and come out 10th, which was good. It would have been a lot better to get on the podium, but we still worked hard and bumped up our ranking.”
In the final team standings for the girls. Ste. Genevieve finished first with 38 points. Blair Oaks placed second with 37 points, followed by Southern Boone in third place with 33 points and Pleasant Hill fourth with 32 points.
For the boys, El Dorado Springs captured the Class 3 title with 43 points. MICDS finished second with 42 points, while Centralia placed third with 41 points and Lutheran St. Charles fourth with 38 points.