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Lady Pirates capture first in Oak Grove Invitational, Eichelberger finishes 4th

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
The Boonville Lady Pirates cross-country team captured its first-ever first place finish Wednesday during the Oak Grove Invitational. The Lady Pirates finished with four runners in the top 17 to finish first. Competing in the race for the Lady Pirates were (left to right)Jordan Birk, Hailee Williams, Daylynn Baker and Alison Eichelberger. Not pictured is Emily Gibson.

The Boonville Lady Pirates cross-country team made history Wednesday while competing in the Oak Grove Invitational.

While competing against a field of 31 runners, the Lady Pirates clinched their first-ever first place finish by out-distancing Fort Osage 29-26.

Boonville cross-country coach Melissa Baker said it was a great day to run at Oak Grove. “It was exciting to see that the performances of the varsity girls resulted in a first place finish,” Baker said. “We brought home our first team plaque, which was quite an accomplishment.”

The Lady Pirates also had four medalists in the meet, with freshman Alison Eichelberger leading the way for the second straight race with a personal best time of 23:05. Hailee Williams finished 10th overall in 24:33 while Emily Gibson took 12th in 24:43, Daylynn Baker 17th in 25:44 and Jordan Birk in 29th place in a time of 32:03, which tied her personal record time.

Baker said Eichelberger had another great race with a personal best. “Hailee ran a strong race and finished in the top 10 while Emily, Daylynn and Jordan all ran a strong race that contributed to the victory,” Baker said. “The course was tough, but it was a one lap course for 3.1 miles.”

Aubrey Johnson of Oak Grove captured first in the race with a time of 21:48.9. Loren Cunningham of Lafayette County finished second in 23:00.2, followed by Heather McQueen of Lexington in 23:03.8.

As for the Boonville boys cross-country team, they finished ninth overall with 209 points. Harrisonville captured first with 47 points, followed by Lexington with 57, Fort Osage with 65, Kingsville with 108, Lafayette County with 161, Richmond with 166, Van Horn with 179 and Oak Grove with 188.

Harrisonville also had the top two runners in the meet, with Conner Blixt placing first in 17:22.5 and Tommy Baker finishing second in 17:53.

Ryan Jones led Boonville in a time of 21:15, which was good enough for 36th place and a personal best for the season. Brayden McFarland finished 40th overall in 21:29 while Hayden Williams placed 45th in 22.17, Austin Rice 50th in 23:13 and Hayden Alley in 53rd place in 23:58.

Baker said being a freshman and a dual sport athlete, Jones has shown a consistently strong effort all season.

A total of 62 runners competed in the boys varsity division.

In the middle school race, Olivia Dilse finished eighth overall for the LSE Lady Pirates in a time of 14:39.8. Lillian Newham placed 15th overall in 16:02.2 while Raven Taylor came in 26th overall in 17:22 and Hillary James in 34th place in 19:34.

Warrensburg girls finished first in the team competition with 36 points. Clinton finished second with 53 points, followed by Odessa with 78, Lexington with 86 and Lafayette County with 102.

A total of 43 runners competed in the girls middle school division.

As for the LSE boys cross-country team, which competed against a total of 55 runners, Will Schenck finished 14th overall in a time of 14:22.8 while Jeremy Birk placed 34th in 15:53.7, Ziaha Evans in 37th place in 16:43.1 and Jack Hamblen in 46th place in 17:44.4.

Warrensburg boys captured first in the boys middle school division with 30 points. Oak Grove finished second with 58 points, followed by Lexington with 60 and Richmond with 87.

Four members of the Boonville Lady Pirates cross-country team and one member of the LSE girls cross-country team received medals Wednesday while competing in the Oak Grove Invitational. Receiving medals for Boonville were (left to right)Hailee Williams, Olivia Dilse, Alison Eichelberger and Daylynn Baker. Not pictured is Emily Gibson.