Gibson, McFarland lead Boonville CC team in Marshall Invitational

Chris Bowie

The Boonville boys and girls cross-country team along with the LSE cross-country team battled the rain and mud Thursday while competing in the annual Marshall Invitational.

With over 100 runners competing in both the high school and middle school divisions, Boonville cross-country coach Melissa Baker said the rain poured before the race so the course was quite an adventure.

“There was mud and water puddles all the way through,”Baker said. “I actually think the kids had a lot of fun running the course. It gave them a bit more of an adventure. Several of our runners achieved a personal best in their time. They were excited to see that their work in practice is paying off. Hopefully, this will encourage them to keep working and strive for even better results every time they compete.”

With a total of eight runners competing for Boonville, Baker said six ended up setting a personal best for the season.

Boonville also had two runners in the top 10 for the meet (one boy and one girl) and five runners in the top 15 (three boys and two girls).

As for the Boonville boys, who had a full team with five runners, senior Brayden McFarland led the Pirates by placing 10th overall with a personal best time of 20 minutes and 47 seconds. Austin Race placed 11th overall with a personal best time of 20:50, followed by Hayden Williams in 15th place with a personal best time of 21:49, Austin Coleman in 20th place with a personal best time of 22:30 and Hayden Alley in 27th place in a time of 23:34.

Jude Rumbaugh of Richmond turned in the winning time for the boys in 18:28.

A total of 34 boys participated in the race.

Baker said she was really impressed with Austin Rice’s improvement from last year. “Hayden Williams and Austin Coleman both ran the full 5K for the first time and ran a solid race. Iam excited to see them compete again after getting this under their belt,”Baker said.

As for the Boonville girls, Emily Gibson finished eighth overall in a time of 23:41 while Hailee Williams placed 11th with a personal best time of 24:15 and Jordan Birk in 25th place with a personal best time of 32:03.

A total of 25 girls participated in the race.

Riley Bryan of Smithton captured first for the girls in a time of 19:53.

Baker said Gibson led a pack of girls for about two miles of the race and was in third place until the last mile. “I was proud of Emily’s effort and we will continue to work on strength and stamina for that last leg of the race,”Baker said. “She ran a great time to start out her season. Hailee Williams and Jordan Birk both battled hard and finished strong on their first ever 5Krace in high school.”


As for the LSE boys and girls cross-country teams, head coach Becky Eckerle said the Pirates had a great first meet.

“The weather and the course conditions made it a little more difficult, especially since this was the very first meet for many of the runners,” Eckerle said. “This is our second year having a MS team and the growth we are seeing is promising This is a great group of kids that come to practice and work hard.

“Will Schenck had a great run. He slipped a little at the start, but he battled hard the entire time and gave it his all. Will is a great leader on the team. The drive and determination that we have seen in Jeremy is amazing. This kid comes to every practice and just has such a desire to be better. Ziaha ran with us last year as a dual sport runner so we don't always see him, but he pushed himself on the course.

“This is the first year for Jack Hamblen to run Cross Country. He has really worked hard and has improved so much.. On the girls team, we have a whole new team. Hillary James has some experience with cross country but for the other three girls, this was their first meet and they were a little nervous. Olivia and Lillian ran together most of the meet. They both finished a little bit under their personal goals. Raven was right behind them and ran a great strong race. Hillary has worked really hard on her running form and she has improved her time greatly, I can't wait to see how they all improve throughout the season. Overall, we came out strong and had a great first meet.”

For the LSE girls, Olivia Dilse finished in ninth place in a time of 15:45. Lillian Newham placed 10th overall in 15:55, followed by Raven Taylor in 12th place in 16:05 and Hillary James in 23rd place in 19:45.

A total of 25 girls participated in the middle school race.

Addison Barringhaus of St. Mary’s finished first for the girls in 13:39.

For the LSE boys, Will Schenck finished eighth overall in a time of 14:12. Jeremy Birk placed 19th in 15:19, followed by Ziaha Evans in 24th place in 16:17 and Jack Hamblen in 28th place in 17:16.

A total of 34 boys participated in the race.

The middle school boys and girls race consisted of 3200 meters.

Jackson Strodtman of Glasgow finished first in the boys middle school race in a time of 11:55.



The New Franklin boys and girls high school and middle school cross-country teams also participated in the Marshall Invitational

Mallori Burnett had the highest finish for the New Franklin by placing third overall in a time of 23:13. Douglas Creason finished 13th overall for the boys in a time of 21:07 while Logan Pearce placed 34th in 27:38.

As for New Franklin middle school, Lilly Chitwood placed sixth overall in 15:05, followed by Skylar Greenwood in 22nd place in 19:16 and Lydia Burnett in 24th place in 22:30.

For the New Franklin middle school boys, Caden Schlotzhauer finished in 13th place in 14:41, followed by Landon Shaw in 12th place in a time of 14:36 and Nolan McGowan in 30th place in 17:49.

New Franklin coach Kelsey Beeler said being the first meet of the season, there were definitely some jitters before the race.

“We have a lot of new faces on the team, and most had never seen a cross country meet before,” Beeler said. “Once they got going, they all competed very well and finished strong.”