Letcher, Giger lead Pirates in delayed Suburban Blue meet

KEARNEY, Mo. — After rain washed out the first Suburban Conference Blue Division meet, mother nature threatened to postpone it again early Monday, but things cleared up at Jesse James Park and Platte County got on the course.

Jackson Letcher paced the Pirates with a seventh-place finish, while Taylor Giger took fifth in the girls race to headline the showing for the Pirates.

Letcher, a senior, finished in 18 minutes, 10.90 seconds and was the first of four Pirates to finish in the top 20.

 CODY THORN/Citizen photo  Platte County’s Jackson Letcher runs over a mud puddle during the Suburban Conference Blue Division race on Monday, Oct. 8 at Jesse James Park in Kearney, Mo.

CODY THORN/Citizen photo

Platte County’s Jackson Letcher runs over a mud puddle during the Suburban Conference Blue Division race on Monday, Oct. 8 at Jesse James Park in Kearney, Mo.

“The conference is a lot stronger than it had ever been,” said Letcher. “I knew Smithville and they beat us by one point at the Tim Nixon Invitational. I didn’t know anything about Grain Valley. I didn’t know they were in the conference until today.”

Grain Valley was a surprise second-place finisher behind Kearney and Grain Valley had the league champion in Royce Fisher, who ran 17:30.30, winning by nine seconds.

Platte County is now idle until returning to Kearney on Oct. 20 for the Class 4 District 8 meet.

“We will work hard and get our minds straight,” Letcher said. “A lot of use had rough races, so we will forget about it.”

Peter Doole was ninth, Matthew Sullivan was 13th and Keegan Cordova was 18th for the Pirates, which finished fourth.

Sophomores Giger and Maddie Klippenstein finished fifth and seventh, respectively, earning first-team all-conference honors. Rhyanne Rhude, another sophomore, was 11th and earned second-team all-conference honors.

Platte County took third in the team standings, coming in behind runner-up Grain Valley and champion Smithville, which also had the individual champion in Olivia Littleton.