Platte County's Geddes stellar at state XC again; Park Hill South girls 9th

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Platte County coaches built Rebekah Geddes’ entire season toward performance at the final meet. BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo Platte County sophomore Rebekah Geddes runs during the Class 4 Missouri State Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov . 7 at Oak Hills Golf Center in Jefferson City. Mo.

The strategy worked without a doubt based on the Pirates sophomore’s sixth-place finish Saturday, Nov. 7 in the Class 4 Missouri State Cross Country Championships at Oak Hills Golf Center. Platte County coach Chris Stubbs selectively held Geddes out of races over the course of the year to keep her fresh for the three-week grind that postseason races bring.

After becoming the first Class 4 district champion in program history, Geddes also set another school record at the state course (18 minutes, 54.99 seconds), becoming the first girl to break the 19-minute mark in Jefferson City.

“I’m pretty excited because that was my goal when I got up today,” Geddes said. “My goal was to break 19. The finishing straight was hard. My arms were dead, and my legs were dead. I just saw the clock, and it kept me going.”

Earning her second straight all-state medal after finishing 16th as a freshman, Geddes already held the school record for the Oak Hills course after finishing in 18:47.2 during the Capital City Challenge earlier this season. She cut about 20 seconds off of her state time from a year ago.

Geddes went on to set the course record at Platte Ridge Park in the Class 4 District 8 race before finishing second to Blue Springs South’s Tori Findley at the Class 4 Sectional 4 meet to qualify as an individual for state.

“As an athlete she’s amazing,” Stubbs said. “As a human being, she is even better. Right before the race I told her, ‘No matter what, you’re one of the best people I’ve ever been around. You’re going to do good.’ I just knew she would.”

Geddes was Platte County’s lone qualifier.

Park Hill South brought its entire team to state in Class 4 for the first time but came up short of a trophy with its standout crop of underclassmen.

The team champion at both District 8 and Sectional 4, the Panthers finished with 244 points and were ninth in the final standings — nearly 100 back of a top-four spot. They didn’t have an all-state performer and finished behind three other Kansas City metro area teams, including Blue Springs South.

BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo Park Hill South sophomore Marti Heit, right, runs during the Class 4 Missouri State Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 7 at Oak Hills Golf Center in Jefferson City. Mo.

“We had a great season,” Park Hill South coach Pam Jurgensmeyer said. “We’re very proud of how the girls ran all season long. We are all coming back next year. Of course, we wish the end of today’s race would have been different for all of us, but we’re not going to look back on the season with any regrets.”

Park Hill South sophomore Marti Heit led the way in for the Panthers in her second state race (40th, 19:58.10), while junior and three-time qualifier Lexi Maddox followed close behind in 44th (20:02.21) after topping the lineup much of the season. Jasmine Crawford (88th), sophomore Keely Danielsen (100th) and junior Mallory Michel (115th) completed the counting score.

Crawford, a junior, was also a second time qualifier after missing the 2014 postseason with a foot injury. Emma Roth, another sophomore, came in 136th and didn’t count toward the team score after grabbing all-state honors as a freshman.

Park Hill senior Jillian Roepe finished 77th (20:30.19) as the lone qualifier for the Trojans.

On the boys side, Platte County’s Jackson Letcher finished 75th (17:12.90). He made an instant impact in his first season with the Pirates and was one of only a handful of freshmen to qualify for state as an individual this season.

“I had to explain to him what playing with house money meant at dinner last night, and he was like ‘Oh, OK. I get it now,’” Stubbs said. “He’s had an amazing year. This is just kind of the icing on the cake for him.”

Park Hill junior Hunter Lund finished 37th (16:48.69) and missed all-state honors by just 12 places, while Park Hill South’s pair of sophomore state qualifiers Ewan Frick (62nd 17:04.33) and Eli Guzman (89th 17:24.47) were the Panthers’ representatives after going to state a year ago as part of the state qualifying team.