Platte County’s final race appeared to be more about formality than competition. Left with a choice in the 4x400-meter relay, the Pirates’ made a statement in claiming the Class 4 District 8 title on a dreary and unseasonably cold Saturday at Jerry Litton Memorial Stadium.
Isabelle Geddes all but ended the drama on the opening leg, but Abbie Schwieder, Bryn McGehe and Haley Luna turned in three more impressive laps for Platte County. The result was a near-school-record time of 4 minutes, 7.46 seconds — more than 5 full seconds faster than their previous best this season.
With standouts at the front and back of the relay, Platte County goes into this weekend’s Sectional 4 meet at Odessa, Mo. with a suddenly potent combination in the mile relay.
“It gives us a sense of security that Izzy will get us a good lead and Haley will finish us off great,” Schwieder said.
Platte County’s win in the 4x400 capped a solid day that saw the Pirates challenge for the team title — somewhat unexpectedly. Kearney ended up topping the standings with 171 points, but Platte County came in just 10 back and well in front of third-place Smithville (118).
Geddes — the junior star on the roster finishing up her final season before graduating early and continuing her education and athletic career at Division I Weber State — qualified for sectionals in three events. Luna — a dynamic sophomore — claimed three individual titles.
Still off her school-record paces, Geddes finished a solid third in the 100 hurdles (16.05) and nearly held on for the win in the 300 hurdles with a season-best time of 45.75. A few missteps coming around the curve allowed Winnetonka’s Amyah Davis to sweep the two hurdles races, winning the longer one in 45.58.
Luna twice ran a career-best in the 200, taking the district title by outperforming her seed and posting a time of 26.59 in the final. She was just off her career-best pace in the 400 but still ended up victorious in 1:00.66 to beat Lincoln Prep’s Story Downing by nearly a full second.
However, Schwieder, McGehe and Taylor Giger were among the sophomore breakout stars that helped Platte County stay in the team race.
Schwieder won the pole vault with a winning effort of 9 feet, 6 inches after setting the school record at 10-1 earlier in the year. The Pirates will have two Sectional 4 qualifiers in the event for the second straight year after junior Jaycie Call tied for second at 9-0.
This time around, the duo hopes to continue the season together all the way to the Class 4 Missouri State Track and Field Championships.
“We help each other,” said Schwieder, who advanced to state as a freshman in her lone individual event while Call just missed the cut. “Jaycie and I have gotten so close this season, and it would be so much fun if we both made it to state.”
McGehe and Giger started their day on a relaxed third-place showing in the 4x800 relay, teaming with sophomores Aly Anderson and Jenna Jurgensmeyer in advancing to sectionals.
While making the cut in two relays, McGehe also posted a career-best in her lone individual event. She bravely went to the outside down the front stretch of the first lap in the 800 race to move into position. She again took an outside route at the end of the second lap to finish second in 2:29.79 — topping a bunched 2-3-4 finish behind winner Lillian Cutler, a sophomore from Smithville.
“The 4x8 I was told to just cruise because we already had our spot secured. We just had to get top four, and we did that,” McGehe said. “(Going to the outside) was all I could do. I went in the third lane to finish because I wouldn’t have been able to finish second if I didn’t have the third lane.”
Giger also advanced to sectionals in three events but did so with two individual top-four placements.
In the 1,600, Giger finished second in 5:37.20 as the runnerup to Cutler. Giger then placed third in the 3,200 (12:02.49) behind two Smithville runners, while Platte County sophomore Ryanne Rhude was fourth place to give the Pirates two sectional qualifiers in the longest race.
Platte County sophomore Olivia Minter advanced in both the long jump (third, season-best 16-2¼) and triple jump (fourth, 32-3). Kate Brown — a freshman — placed third in the triple jump at 33-8 after finishing fifth and just missing the cut in the long jump.
Repeat sectional qualifiers in field events included senior Jaycie Stubbs and junior Addison Long.
Stubbs set a personal best of 35-4 in her first attempt of the shot put and ended up third — just one inch in front of fourth-place Bailey Stephan, a junior from Benton. Long was third in the javelin 107-6. Stubbs and Long will both be looking to advance to state for the first time next week.