XC ROUNDUP: PC runners excel in state preview

Platte County’s Nathan Straubel continues to display the form that could make him a state championship contender. The Pirates senior placed second Oct. 4 in the Capitol City Challenge held at Oak Hills Golf Center in Jefferson City, Mo.The venue also annually hosts the Missouri State Cross Country Championships.

A three-time state qualifier, Straubel finished Saturday’s race in 16 minutes, 8.81 seconds, a little more than 10 seconds back of sophomore Ben Naeger from Ste. Genevieve. The top two were almost 30 seconds ahead of the next pack and crushed their state times from a year ago.

A sixth-place finisher in Class 3 last year, Naeger — a sophomore — shaved nearly 30 seconds off last year’s state time, while Straubel’s mark was nearly 40 seconds better. He placed 21st at state a year ago.

Behind Straubel’s effort, Platte County placed 12th in the 26-team field.

Out of 197 entrants, Pirates senior Nolan Orf came in 27th (17:38.35), while senior Hunter Long came in 73rd. Senior Hunter Long was 90th.

Platte County’s girls were even better thanks to another runner-up showing.

Rebekah Geddes — a freshman — came in about 17 seconds back of winner Hannah Pierson of Marquette, a fellow Class 4 school. The featured race included schools from Missouri’s largest two classifications, and Geddes’ time of 19:24.47 earned second place overall.

Erin Straubel, a freshman, collected a medal with a 21st-place effort (20:41.51), and sophomore Sara Wyss, freshman Katana Audas and senior Shelley Laures rounded out the team score in 73rd, 72nd and 92nd to help the Pirates place sixth out of 24 teams. There were 170 individual entrants.

KC Metro Championships

Park Hill South’s girls were tied for third and the boys sixth in the final team standings Oct. 4 in Peculiar, Mo.

Individually, senior Tucker Melles highlighted the efforts with a third-place finish in the boys standings. He came in at 16:24.60 as the top finisher from a Missouri school. Fellow senior Darrien Case followed in 13th, and the Panthers wound up with a score of 200 — 37 back of fifth-place Liberty.

Park Hill’s Hanok Tekle finished in 26th for 17th-place Park Hill.

Lexi Maddox — a sophomore — again led the girls, claiming eighth in 19:17.50. Emma Roth (19th) and Marti Heit (29th) were the next-best finishers for the Panthers, who finished tied for third with St. James Academy.

Savannah Invitational

West Platte’s boys finished seventh out of 14 teams behind Daniel Cicha’s 11th-place showing in 18:54. Braxton Hill followed in 18th with a new personal-best 19:06.

On the girls side, Rachel Heili ran her first 5k race of the year and placed 20th in 23:48. Overall, the Bluejays fielded three runners, and they should have a full team in place for the Class 1 District 8 meet scheduled for Nov. 1.

North Platte didn’t fare as well, battling illness and injuries.

Bailee Romaker was 17th in the girls race, and Shelby Fisher came in right behind Heil in 24th place, while the Panthers boys placed 10th out of 14 teams and didn’t have a top-25 finisher.