Geddes, Letcher lead Platte County XC to pair of runner-up finishes at conference

KEARNEY, Mo. — Rebekah Geddes ran in consecutive meets for the first time all season, and she didn’t mind the results. After a sub-19 minute — and school-record setting — performance at the Capital City Classic a week prior, Platte County’s dynamic sophomore looked to repeat the feat in the Suburban Conference Blue Division meet held Saturday, Oct. 10 at Jesse James Park. Her time of 19 minutes, 27.9 seconds earned a second-place finish, almost 15 seconds behind champion Emma Evans of Winnetonka (19:13.0).

BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo Platte County freshman Jackson Letcher runs through the fog at the Suburban Conference Blue Division meet held Saturday, Oct. 10 at Jesse James Park in Kearney, Mo. Letcher continued his strong first season as a Pirates runner by finishing third in the meet while the Platte County boys finished in second place overall.

Platte County coach Chris Stubbs limited her races this season, including holding her out of the home Platte County Invitational, in an effort to keep her fresh for the postseason. Geddes wants to run 6-minute mile splits and just missed that goal in the Suburban race.

“I have confidence in myself,” Geddes said. “I just run my race, and I’m OK with whatever the outcome is.”

Geddes was the top finisher for Platte County, which ended up with 44 team points and in second place behind team champion Kearney (28 points). Just three teams in the Blue division qualified for a team score with Belton and Grandview each short of the five runner minimum and Raytown South sending zero girls to run at the varsity meet.

Kearney placed all seven runners in the top 11 while Platte County featured just Geddes and sophomore Erin Straubel in the top 10. Straubel came in sixth, 20 seconds behind fifth-place Bailee Strickland of Belton.

Both sophomores earned first-team All-Suburban Conference honors.

Lauren Johnson and Jessica Clark, also sophomores for the Pirates, wound up on the second team, coming in 12th- and 13th-, respectively, while junior Katana Audas rounded out the counting five with her 16th place showing, just outside the all-conference honors.

“It’s actually the smallest race we run in,” Stubbs said. “It’s not about splits. We try telling them that. It’s hard because we run in such big races. When you are only running about 30 kids in a race, it’s not splits; it’s about place. This is the championship part of our season — from now on it’s about place and not splits.”

On the boys side, Platte County freshman Jackson Letcher continue his strong first year success with a third-place finish (17:25.8). He helped lead the Pirates to a second-place team total of 42 — 20 behind team champion Kearney.

All five Platte County runners earned spots on the all-conference list.

“It’s really exciting,” Letcher said. “Competition is great here. None of this was expected. I just kicked it in during cross country. I’ve been eating healthier, drinking a lot more water. Results have been a whole lot better.”

Platte County junior Hunter Long, recently diagnosed with anemia, continued to battle through the season and bettered his recent efforts thanks to treatment. He also earned first-team honors alongside Letcher, placing sixth.

The remainder of Platte County’s counting five made the second team with junior Jared Maksudian, sophomore Evan Edwards and freshman Keegan Cordova finishing in a line at 11th, 12th and 13th, respectively, with less than 7 seconds separating the trio of Pirates runners.

Platte County finished well ahead of third-place Belton (89 points) and Raytown South rounded out the four teams with enough runners to garner a team score.

In all, Stubbs said 20 of 34 runners participating in the varsity and junior varsity races set personal bests in the foggy morning races.

Suburban Conference Red Division

Park Hill South’s Lexi Maddox helped the Panthers cruise to a Suburban Conference Red Division title on Saturday, Oct. 10 at Stockdale Park in Liberty, Mo.

The junior standout finished as the individual champion in 20:14.16 seconds, one week after she set a school record with a 19:10 effort at the KC Metro Classic. Maddox was part of a 1-2 finish for the Panthers with sophomore Marti Heit 24 seconds behind her teammate in second place.

All five counting runners for Park Hill South finished in the top ten to outpace second-place Liberty (39 points) by 15.

Park Hill South sophomore Keely Danielsen (sixth, 21:09.79) joined Maddox and Heit on the first-team all-conference list, while freshman Emma Roth (ninth, 21:26.34) and junior Jasmine Crawford (10th, 21:38.59) made the second team and rounded out the Panthers’ top five. Park Hill senior Jillian Roepe finished third (20:51.17) to lead the Trojans to a third-place team finish (67 points).

On the boys side, Park Hill South narrowly missed defending its conference title from a year ago. The Panthers finished six points behind team-champion Central (43 points) and three points behind second-place Liberty (46) in a tightly packed bunch. The Panthers had three top-10 finishers: sophomores Ewan Frick (fourth, 17:22.66), Eli Guzman (sixth, 17:25.36) and Trey Rouse (eighth, 17:42.57).

Park Hill junior transfer Hunter Lund finished fifth (17:24.45) to lead the Trojans, who finished fourth with 78 points. Park Hill freshman Parker Canfield finished 13th (18:10.58) to earn all-conference honors.

Kearney Invitational

With the KCI Conference Championships a week away, North Platte edged West Platte in the final boys team standings Saturday, Oct. 10 in Kearney, Mo.

The Panthers finished with a 423 team total and placed 14th out of 28 teams, which included Class 4 schools Rock Bridge and Rockhurst at the top. Dylan Stockman led North Platte in 39th, a little more than a second behind KC Lutheran’s Mark Bucholtz and about 4 seconds in front of Lone Jack’s Justice Brown.

West Platte, which totaled a 427, received a personal-best from Andrew Cicha, who placed 60th in 19:05.5 with North Platte senior Eric Brown right behind him in 19:06.2. The two KCI rivals kept alternating finishers with North Platte’s Tyler Meadows in 83rd and West Platte’s Max Davies in 84th.

Connor McNair and Justin Howard rounded out the top five for West Platte with both recording personal best times.

On the girls side, West Platte freshman Lea Moose came in 73rd at 23:42.9, but the Bluejays were one runner short of the five needed to qualify as a team. North Platte came in 13th out of 13 with senior Rayanne Daniel the top finisher in 77th (23.48.4).

Excelsior Springs Invitational

North Platte’s boys finished seventh with a 196 total, four points in front of a modified Platte County unit on Tuesday, Oct. 6 in Excelsior Springs, Mo.

Stockman, a senior, again led North Platte with a 19th-place finish (18:51.7), and Eric Brown cracked the top 30 in 108-runner field, placing 29th in 19:12.7. Platte County rested its top runners, and junior Payton Anderson came in 24th to pace the Pirates (19:04.3).

Platte County’s girls also kept its top runners out of the lineup and came in fifth out of six qualifying teams. Hannah Valentine, a freshman debuting after finishing out her tennis season, placed 15th at 22:33.2.