In a continued breakout season behind a slew of youthful talent, Platte County picked up nine all-conference finishers with one team title and one runner-up showing.
Rebekah Geddes and Jessica Clark finished 1-2 in the girls race for the first-place Pirates, and sophomore Jackson Letcher came in second to Kearney’s Clayton Adams in the boys race for the second-place Pirates in the Suburban Conference Blue Division championships, held Saturday, Oct. 8 at Jesse James Park in Kearney, Mo. in conjunction with the annual Kearney Classic. The efforts came off of record-breaking runs in a large meet the previous week and continued the march toward the postseason in a different setting.
Platte County’s girls won the first Suburban Conference title in program history, topping the other three teams.
“We were pleased with the kids,” Platte County coach Chris Stubbs said. “It was a soft course so the times weren’t super-fast, but the times really didn’t matter at a small meet like this, it’s all about place.”
Geddes finished in 19 minutes, 29.4 seconds to take her first conference title, leading Platte County’s charge. Previously, she finished fourth as a freshman and second last year.
Clark ended up almost a minute back but edged Kearney freshman Baylea Jones by about 3 seconds for important points. The Pirates ended up with a team total of 30 to beat the hosts by seven points.
Erin Straubel, Platte County’s third standout junior, was fourth, while freshman Lexi Elmore came in ninth to also earn all-conference honors. There were 30 runners total with Grandview and Belton unable to field full teams of five.
With just one senior in the top seven runners, Platte County’s boys turned in a solid showing with Letcher (17:01.6) moving up from third as a freshman to second this year. Adams has won each of the past three individual races and did so again in 16:15.0.
Letcher beat Kearney sophomore Jacob Ewer by about 24 seconds, reversing their results at conference from a year ago. In addition to Letcher, Platte County’s Evan Edwards (sixth, 17:48.4) also earned first-team All-Blue Division honors, while sophomore Keegan Cordova, junior Nick Bjustrom and sophomore Jacob Laures finished bunched together in ninth, 10th and 11th to round out the team score.
Platte County finished with 38, 10 behind champion Kearney but well in front of the other three qualifying teams.
“On paper, Kearney’s boys were significantly better than us, but they only got us by a few points so I thought we competed really well,” Stubbs said.
Grace Gullett (25th) and Hunter Long (19th) were the two seniors in the lineups for Platte County.
In the Kearney Classic, West Platte’s Max Davies set a new personal record at 18:02 and came in 30th out of 177 runners. The Bluejays haven’t had a runner break 18 minutes since 2012, and Davies entered off the first race win for the program since 2012.
Andy Cicha also took 30 seconds off his season-best, helping West Platte finish 14th as a team. North Platte was 20th with sophomore Tyler Meadows the top finisher in 90th.
North Platte’s girls fielded a full team for the first time this season and ended up 12th out of 18 teams. McKenna Fulton topped the individual showings in her first race since the end of softball season (50th), while Bailee Romaker was not far behind in 55th.
Suburban Conference Red Division Championships
Park Hill South’s girls repeated as league champion with a dominant showing Saturday, Oct. 8 in St. Joseph, Mo.
The Panthers placed all five scoring runners in the top 15 and edged Liberty North for the title by six points in what turned into a two-team race. Liberty’s Maddie Hill and Claire Reedy took the top two spots followed by Park Hill South’s Marti Heit (20:17.1) and Jasmine Crawford (20:17.9) and then three runners from Liberty North.
Emma Roth (eighth) also placed in the top 10 while Lexi Maddox (13th) and Keely Danielsen (15th) weren’t far behind.
On the boys side, Park Hill South finished third in a crowded top three with 44 points — just one back of host St. Joseph Central and five back of champion Liberty.
Ewan Frick (fourth), David Rouse (fifth) and Eli Guzman (sixth) bunched together for Park Hill South, but the last two finishers were too far back. The top three teams accounted for 14 of the top 15 individual finishers.
Suburban Conference Gold Division Championships
Park Hill’s girls finished sixth out of seven while the boys were seventh Saturday, Oct. 8 in Blue Springs, Mo. Madison King’s 23rd-place effort topped results for the Trojans in the two races.