KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Rebekah Geddes didn’t know how much speed remained after a grueling day.
For good reason. The Platte County sophomore ran in four events for the first time all season Saturday, May 21 during the Class 4 Sectional 4 meet. She ended up qualifying for the Missouri State Track and Field Championships in all four, culminating with a comeback effort on the anchor leg of the 4x400-meter relay.
Having finished up the 3,200 just minutes earlier, Geddes took the baton with Platte County in fifth. She slowly closed the gap and then outleaned Winnetonka’s Esther Loukawila at the line, giving the Pirates a fourth-place finish and a state berth.
“I was just trying to help the team as much as possible and go as fast as I could,” Geddes said. “With 50 left, I didn’t think (I had enough) then I just told myself, ‘Nope. You’re going,’ and I just went for it.”
Platte County’s dramatic qualification in the final race put an emphatic end to a day that featured a heartbreaking amount of near misses.
Geddes also joined the 4x800 team along with Jessica Clark, Ava White and Rachel Gilbert, and the long-distance specialist coasted through the final lap to help the Pirates finish in a comfortable third. Geddes also eased up but solidly qualified in the 1,600 (third) and 3,200 (second).
White led off Platte County’s 4x400, seeded seventh out of eight teams, and Gilbert provided a strong second leg, forcing two other runners to the outside as the midway point of the race approached. The Pirates were still in fifth when Sage McGehe handed the baton to Geddes shortly after her runner-up showing in the two-mile.
Having attempted to conserve energy with her heavy work load, Geddes held just enough, helping the Pirates finish in 4 minutes, 12.53 seconds — more than 8 seconds better than their fourth-place time at District 8 last week and just .07 of a second in front of Winnetonka.
“My plan was help qualify the relays and the other ones just qualify second, third,” Geddes said. “I was kind of nervous because I’d be third (in the 1,600 or 3,200), and I never knew how far behind fourth and fifth were so it was kind of hard to mentally slow down for those.”
Platte County ended up with three individual qualifiers in addition to the two relays.
Hilary Mathurin, a senior, makes a return trip to state in the 300 hurdles after a dynamic qualifying race. The pint-sized speedster turned in a runner-up showing in a school-record 46.59 seconds, bettering her mark set two weeks earlier in the Suburban Conference Blue Division meet.
Despite finishing behind Kearney’s Emma Couch again, the second-place showing helped provide some relief from other disappointments.
“She got me at the last second. We were pretty much head to head,” said Mathurin, who came in just 0.12 of a second behind Couch after finishing seventh earlier in the 100 and running on the sixth-place 4x200 before later coming in seventh in the 200. “Even though she beat me, she’s a good competitor to have because she pushes me. The competition is crazy fast, but I’m happy with what I ended my last sectionals with.”
Platte County sophomore Tianna Daniel-Dalton added a sectional title to conference and district crowns in the high jump, continuing a spectacular first season. She cleared 5-2 in the high jump to finish ahead of three competitors at 5-0.
Tori Farr, a junior, ended up fifth in what became a series of near misses for Platte County.
In all, the Pirates were one spot away from state qualification in eight events. Bryce Bearden and Payton Sheehan tied for fifth in the pole vault to start the day, while Grace Lewis closed the afternoon with a career best 8-6 pole vault to also come in fifth.
In between, Clark (3,200), Okwar Jale (300 hurdles), David Fulk (800), JD Crawford (1,600) and John Watts (long jump) also came in fifth in individual events. The 4x200 team of Watts, Fulk, Tyler Clemens and Lloyd Lockett turned in a season best time of 1:30.70 but still wound up one spot short of a state berth.
Fulk again subbed in for injured TJ Guillory in two relays in what turned out to be a busy day. His workload will be down to the 4x400 and 4x800 at state after an adventurous day for the relays.
In the 4x800, Jared Maksudian, Keegan Cordova, Crawford and Fulk set a season-best by 16 seconds and placed second in 8:11.64, just more than 3 seconds back of Kearney. The 4x400 of Lockett, Watts, Clemens and Fulk also set a season-best at 3:23.69 — less than a second behind the coveted school record set at state in 2014.
Raytown South won the event in a ridiculously blistering 3:18.30, leaving the Pirates to beat out Grandview for the runner-up spot.
The relays helped ease some of the fifth-place disappointments for Watts and Fulk. That list also included Crawford, a sophomore who started out at the back of the 1,600 before making a late move. He went all out for the final 600 meters and set a personal-best 4:42.54, just 0.13 behind Grain Valley’s Dalton Miller for the final state spot.
“I didn’t start out fast enough (in the 1,600),” Crawford said. “I tried to run my race, and that didn’t work out. I think the 4x8, if I hadn’t done that, I would’ve been able to go 0.1 faster and got to state. We were all pretty excited about the 4x8. We don’t know where that came from. It was awesome.”
A pair of Platte County freshmen did manage to make the individual state cut.
Xavier Keith continued his late-season ascension, topping the 50-foot mark for a second straight week in the shot put. His 50-10 effort at sectionals placed him third and sent him on for another week of competition after he broke out with conference and district titles the previous two weeks.
Jackson Letcher also set a personal-best in the 3,200, shaving about 15 seconds off his previous top time. He sprinted to a 10:13.19 finish to come in fourth with the top four runners well separated from the next four.