KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Tori Farr chased Platte County’s school record in the long jump for a long time.
During the Class 4 District 8 competition, the Pirates’ senior finally hit the mark she long ago proved herself capable of reaching. She went 17 feet, 3½ inches to just edge out Shelley Laures for the best distance in program history.
Farr peaked late in the season, nearing 17 feet in the Oak Grove quad and finally breaking the barrier Saturday, May 13 at Park Hill District Stadium.
Despite the record-setting effort, Farr still ended up third behind Smithville senior Trace Mosby (17-11¼) and Center sophomore McKenzie Pearson, who went 17-4 late to move into second.
“It felt so good,” said Farr, who had scratched on jumps near 18 feet during the season. “I’m not disappointed (by third) at all. I didn’t think I’d have to jump that far to advance, but it is what it is.”
Farr ended up qualifying for this week’s Sectional 4 meet in four events, although one more unexpected than the others. She came in second in the high jump after she finished in a three-way tie at 5-0 with Mosby and Smithville junior Kalli Hartmann, who won the jump-off for the title.
Farr’s big day helped Platte County score 136 points, coming in just 23 back of Kearney.
“All year, we haven’t beaten Kearney so we knew it would be a tall task,” Platte County coach Gabe Middleton said. “As the meets get tougher, we’re better. We’re not as deep, but as a whole, our best are as good as anyone else’s best.”
Platte County scored some key points in other field events with senior Liz Peterson taking an individual title in the shot put (36-4). In addition, junior Grace Lewis came in third in the pole vault at 9-0, while freshman Hayden Walls snuck into the sectional field with a fourth-place showing in the javelin.
Also making the finals of shot put but not qualifying, Walls threw 103-5 — just 1 foot back of second place — and just edged teammate Jaycie Stubbs for the final sectional spot. Battling an elbow injury, Stubbs threw 101-3.
“For the most part, most of the things that were surprises were in a good way. We didn’t have a lot of letdowns,” Middleton said.
Platte County also qualified three of four relays despite taking it easy in two of them.
The 4x800 (Rebekah Geddes, Jessica Clark, Mycah Schmitt and Lexi Elmore) went through by coasting to third place in a field of just five teams. The other two relays to qualify for Sectional 4 competition overcame some adversity.
Just ahead of the 4x200 race, senior Keyondra Butler tripped while practicing handoffs and suffered severe facial lacerations after falling to the turf of Preston Field. Middleton summoned senior Amanda Sullivan — eating lunch at the time — to the track, and she teamed with Farr, Isabelle Geddes and Karleigh Wise on a makeshift team.
The 4x200 went on to set a season-best time by nearly 2 seconds, edging Center at the line by .06 of a second. The Pirates finished in 1:47.17.
Coming off a school record performance a week earlier in the Suburban Conference Blue Division Championships, Platte County’s 4x400 took it easy and placed fourth in a field of four. Farr subbed in for Butler and teamed with Isabelle Geddes, Clark and Rebekah Geddes.
“The team’s super supportive of everything,” Farr said, “so even if it’s been a weird day, they had confidence in me — maybe more confidence than I have in myself and that’s fine.”
Rebekah Geddes and Isabelle Geddes also advanced in four events.
Bookending her meet on the two longest relays, Rebekah Geddes — a junior set to graduate early and in her final season at Platte County — won the 800 and 1,600 but again just missed the school record in the 800, finishing in 2:20.39.
Rebekah Geddes added the 800 late this season, dropping the 3,200, and seeks to knock off Elizabeth Robbins’ 17-year-old mark set in a run to a 2000 Class 3A state title.
Isabelle Geddes, a freshman, qualified on the two middle-distance relays and also moved on in the 100 and 300 hurdles. In the shorter race, she held her third seed from preliminaries but ran slower in the finals, coming in at 16.81 after being at 16.53 in the morning.
In the 300 hurdles, Isabelle Geddes was the clear second-place finisher to Center’s Pearson, who won going away in 45.82. Isabelle Geddes’ time of 48.44 was about 2 seconds off her school record time of 46.46 set at the Capital City Relays in mid-April.
“They’re not your typical sisters,” Middleton said. “They’re good friends. They get along great. They come from a great family. These girls just work great together.
“They’re great kids. They’re happy for each other, and I’m sure they enjoy running together.”
Clark (third, 800) and freshman Mishell Simms (fourth, 300 hurdles) gave Platte County multiple qualifiers in those two events, while junior Erin Straubel and Elmore — a freshman — were third and fourth in the 3,200 for the Pirates.