Platte County track's Bearden vaults even higher, Watts showing versatility

Bryce Bearden continued to show a knack for vaulting at home.

TODD NUGENT/Special to The Citizen Platte County senior Bryce Bearden celebrates as he falls to the mat after clearing 14 feet, 9 inches in the pole vault during the Platte County Invitational on Tuesday, April 25 at Pirate Stadium. Bearden set a school record for the fourth time this season on the vault.  

TODD NUGENT/Special to The Citizen
Platte County senior Bryce Bearden celebrates as he falls to the mat after clearing 14 feet, 9 inches in the pole vault during the Platte County Invitational on Tuesday, April 25 at Pirate Stadium. Bearden set a school record for the fourth time this season on the vault.
 

Setting a school record for the fourth time this season, the Platte County senior won the pole vault title in the Platte County Invitational on Tuesday, April 25 at Pirate Stadium. He cleared 14 feet, 9 inches to better his recent personal-best of 14-6 set in two meets earlier in the month.

Platte County’s 15-year-old school record stood at 13-6 entering the season.

Bearden first cleared 13-7 and then upped the mark to 14-0 and 14-6 before last week’s performance. Platte County sophomore Jacob Laures took second in the Platte County Invitational with a new personal best, tied with Mike Wade’s old program record of 13-6 set back in 2002.

The 1-2 pole vault finish, two wins for senior Okwar Jale and diverse performances from senior Mac Leet and junior John Watts helped Platte County score 191 points, enough to beat Kearney by 33 for the team title. The Pirates had 10 individual victories total.

There were 12 teams in the final standings.

Jale swept the hurdles events, going 15.91 seconds in the 110s and 41.55 in the 300s. He won each race by more than a half second.

Watts continued to provide questions for coaches on what events to use him in with the postseason approaching.

TODD NUGENT/Special  to The Citizen Platte County junior John Watts finishes the first turn during his leg of the 4x400-meter relay in the Platte County Invitational on Tuesday, April 25 at Pirate Stadium.

TODD NUGENT/Special  to The Citizen
Platte County junior John Watts finishes the first turn during his leg of the 4x400-meter relay in the Platte County Invitational on Tuesday, April 25 at Pirate Stadium.

After a brief stint out with injury, Watts has shined in multiple events, and he won the 200 (23.12) and long jump (21-6½) at home. Leet finished third behind Watts in the long jump but won the high jump in a three-way tiebreaker at 6-0 and triple jump with a personal best of 41-11.

Platte County senior Kevin Neal, third in his more natural event of the 300 hurdles, finished second in the triple jump at 41-9¾ with Platte County reworking jump entries after an injury to junior JP Post. The Pirates other individual victory came from freshman Trey Phan in the 100, a personal-best 11.56.

Phan, Neal and Watts also factored in Platte County’s three relay wins. The 4x100 team of Ahmaad Holt, Blake Reynolds, TJ Guillory and Phan, the 4x200 team of Holt, Guillory, Neal and Matthew Phillips and the 4x400 team of Watts, Guillory, Phillips and DeAndre Rollins were all victorious for the Pirates.

Platte County senior Cade Goettling finished second in the javelin, nearing junior teammate Dakota Schmidt’s school record. Goettling threw 145-1, just under his personal best.

On the girls side, Platte County didn’t have the individual successes but showed depth, even with junior star Rebekah Geddes out. The Pirates won two events and finished with 120 points — second to Kearney’s 161½ in a field of 14 teams.

Erin Straubel, a junior won the 3,200 with a new personal-best time of 11:58.28, while freshman Isabelle Geddes took the 300 hurdles race by 3 seconds for Platte County. In the 4x400, the Pirates’ team of Isabelle Geddes, Tori Farr, Jessica Clark and Amanda Sullivan finished second to Winnetonka with Rebekah Geddes unavailable.

Platte County also competed in a quad at Oak Grove on Friday, April 28 ahead of the final three meets of the season. The Pirates travel to Belton, Mo. on Friday, May 5 for the Suburban Conference Blue Division Championships before competing in the Class 4 District 8 and Class 4 Sectional 4 meets the following two weekends.

Oak Grove Quad

Platte County took a limited roster to Oak Grove, Mo. on Friday, April 28 in a tuneup.

Holt, a senior relay specialist, swept the sprints with an 11.6 in the 100 and topping freshman teammate Phan in the 200. Leet took the high jump, clearing 6-2 again while continuing his search to get back to 6-4.

Post returned from injury to win the triple jump at 40-7.

In open events, Platte County tested sophomore long-distance specialist Jackson Letcher in the 800, and he won in 2:09. Keegan Cordova, a developing option in the 4x400, won the 400 in 52.6.

On the girls side, Platte County’s Clark also entered the open 400 to continue testing her relay viability. She won in 1:04.1.

Tori Farr, a senior, won two field events, going a personal best 17-1 in the long jump but just 4-6 in the high jump. Karleigh Wise took the triple jump at 31-7½, while senior Liz Peterson was just off her personal best in the shot put (34-11).