Geddes adds to Platte County XC legacy; Letcher shows off state improvement

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Rebekah Geddes didn’t focus too much on another all-state season. Instead, Platte County’s standout junior relished the chance to compete in the Class 4 Missouri State Cross Country Championships with another teammate on the course.

NICK INGRAM/Citizen photo Platte County junior Rebekah Geddes runs in the Class 4 Missouri State Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 5 at Oak Hills Golf Center in Jefferson City, Mo.

NICK INGRAM/Citizen photo
Platte County junior Rebekah Geddes runs in the Class 4 Missouri State Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 5 at Oak Hills Golf Center in Jefferson City, Mo.

Continuing the greatest career in program history, Geddes bettered her own school record to finish sixth for a second consecutive year, but for the first time in three trips, she had company. Jessica Clark, a sophomore, raced to 67th Saturday, Nov. 5 at Oak Hills Golf Center in her first state race.

“Today was pretty good. It was nice having Jess because we just keep each other calm the whole time, and we’re just having fun together,” Geddes said.

Geddes finished in 18 minutes, 44.66 seconds — more than 10 seconds better than her state run in 2015. The past two seasons have produced the two fastest times in program history on the longtime state course.

In her freshman season, Geddes placed 16th at state. The top 25 runners in each classification earn all-state honors.

NICK INGRAM/Citizen photo Platte County sophomore Jessica Clark runs the final stretch of the Class 4 Missouri State Cross Country Championships.

NICK INGRAM/Citizen photo
Platte County sophomore Jessica Clark runs the final stretch of the Class 4 Missouri State Cross Country Championships.

Geddes became the only runner in program history to earn all-state honors three times and owns three of the four fastest state times for Platte County. She’s done so during the Pirates’ only three seasons competing in Missouri’s largest classification.

“She has been just phenomenal these past three years,” Platte County coach Chris Stubbs said. “I told her after the race that I have been such a fan of hers. She is the best runner Platte County cross country has ever had.

“As I’ve said before, she is an amazing runner, but she’s even more impressive as a person.”

Clark survived a difficult Sectional 4 race the previous week just to make the state field. She entered the final stretch at Jesse James Park in Kearney, Mo. in 12th and solidly in line for one of 30 state berths in the field.

However, Clark succumbed to exhaustion near the finish line, falling multiple times before managing to walk the final steps to finish in 29th place.

Completing a breakout season, Clark’s time of 20:05.91 ended up as the fifth fastest in program history in a state meet. 

NICK INGRAM/Citizen photo Platte County sophomore Jackson Letcher (776) stays with the pack during at the start of the Class 4 Missouri State Cross Country Championship on Saturday Nov. 5 at the Oak Hills Golf Center in Jefferson City, Mo. 

NICK INGRAM/Citizen photo
Platte County sophomore Jackson Letcher (776) stays with the pack during at the start of the Class 4 Missouri State Cross Country Championship on Saturday Nov. 5 at the Oak Hills Golf Center in Jefferson City, Mo. 

On the boys side, Platte County sophomore Jackson Letcher also displayed his improvement through two seasons. He ran at state for a second straight year but moved up from 75th as a freshman to 38th this season.

Letcher’s time of 16:25.75 ranks as the second fastest in program history at state and put him nearly a minute ahead of his pace from a year ago. Nathan Straubel ran 15:50.06 as a senior in 2014, placing sixth in Class 4.

At the finish, Letcher ended up in a pack of four runners separated by little more than a half second. 

“The course was a little bit muddy, but I felt pretty good the first mile,” Letcher said. “But then the second mile I felt really bad. I went out way too fast, and the third mile I got back in it, definitely.”