Pirates crew sets sail for state meet in Jeff City

The Class 3 sectional track meet is widely regarded as one of the toughest in the state. So, after Platte County’s performance at the meet last Saturday at Excelsior Springs, Pirates track coach Gabe Middleton had good reason to be optimistic heading into this weekend’s state meet at Lincoln University in Jefferson City. Platte County sent 14 events overall to the sectional and nine finished in the top four, earning berths at the state meet. “If you can place top four in our sectional, you have a really good chance of placing at state,” Middleton said. “We just have to keep peaking and competing hard.” Platte County had only one girl at the sectional, but Shelley Laures made up for it – she won the high jump with a leap of 5-feet, 2-inches and took fourth in the long jump. On the boys’ side, Kevin Schultz won the high jump with a best of 6-6 and Jordan Branson won the long jump at 21-9. The 1,600 relay team of Schultz, Mateo Tanis, Aaron Brown and Aliek Reed came within .06-seconds of breaking the school record and took second. The 3,200 relay team of Schultz, Nathan Straubel, Christian McCoy and Hunter Long set a personal record and took third. Straubel finished third in the 3,200 and fourth in the 1,600, while Branson took fourth in the triple jump. Platte County’s boys finished third in team points with 69; Liberty North was tops with 121. “Our kids had a really good day,” Middleton said. “The weather wasn’t great, but it wasn’t a factor for our kids.  They showed a lot of mental toughness.”