JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Rebekah Geddes stayed patient and let the results follow.
Already a record holder, the Platte County sophomore turned in three medal-winning performances in what turned into a grueling two days for the long-distance specialist. She opened with a third-place finish in the 1,600-meter run on Friday, May 27 at Adkins Stadium and finished the Class 4 Missouri State Track and Field Championships with three school records.
The 1,600 ended up Geddes signature moment. She finished the first of four laps in last place but eventually sprinted her way to third place.
“I’m not here to place,” Geddes said of her mindset. “I’m here to run fast and get the school record so that was my main goal. Placing was just going to be a bonus if it happened.”
Geddes trusted her plan but still lingered in 15th out of 16 at the halfway point. By the end of the third lap, she was eighth before making her final charge to finish in a school-record 5 minutes, 4.24 seconds to break Ashton Stubbs’ previous mark by about 7 seconds.
Scheduled to run in four events, the schedule called for ample time in between, which helped Geddes run her best after conserving energy the previous week in the Sectional 4 meet.
“I felt pretty good because it was just nothing all day and then I just went to run the mile,” Geddes said.
Geddes started the state meet with only one school record but ended up with three.
The meet didn’t go as planned after weather postponed the 4x400 relay preliminaries, forcing their cancellation. That left Geddes with three races to run Saturday in what turned out to be a hot, humid endurance test for runners in multiple events.
In the morning 4x800, Geddes ran the opening lap to put Platte County in a solid place, and junior Ava White followed with a 2:27.27 split before handing off to Jessica Clark. White felt confident with the Pirates in sixth at that point, and Clark nearly matched her split before senior Rachel Gilbert turned in a 2:24 closing lap to keep them in sixth.
Platte County finished in 9:44.64 to shatter the previous season best and take the school record, set at 9:53.77 in 2000. This year’s lineup featured a newcomer to the team in White, and Geddes joined the 4x800 for sectionals last week.
“We didn’t have an exact 4x8,” Gilbert said. “We just put in different girls each meet, and we finally found the four girls who could run really good times. We just ran our hearts out, and now, we’re here.”
After the 4x800, Geddes took a nearly six-hour break before the 3,200. She ended up medaling in the event for a second straight year, running faster this year and improving from sixth to fifth.
Like the 1,600 the day before, Geddes lingered in the back half of the pack at the beginning before slowly moving up. She finished in 11:13.51 to break her previous school record set at state last year by about 4 seconds.
The 4x400 of White, Gilbert, Sage McGehe and Geddes were unable to grab a medal in the meet’s final event. After sneaking into the state field, the Pirates were 15th out of 16 teams in two timed finals with Geddes running the anchor about two hours after the two-mile race.
Platte County won a total of four medals and ended up 12th in the final team standings.
Tianna Daniel-Dalton grabbed the other top-eight finish in her state debut. She cleared 5 feet, 2 inches in the high jump to come in a three-way tie for third, coming up 2 inches short of her season best.
However, Daniel-Dalton ended up fifth on tiebreakers — a result the relaxed sophomore enjoyed while not putting any extra pressure on herself as expectations increased late in the season.
“It’s like this is just practice for me,” said Daniel-Dalton, who never participated in track and field prior to this season. “It’s an experience for me to get better from, so next year I’m just going to do better. That’s all I can do. It can only get better from here.”
Platte County senior Hilary Mathurin just missed a medal in the final race of her career. She finished just off the school record she set last week in the 300 hurdle preliminaries on Friday.
Coming in fourth in the first heat, Mathurin put up a 46.98 and wound up about a quarter of a second out of the top eight.
Jaycie Stubbs, a freshman and Platte County’s final qualifier, participated in the javelin exhibition — the first of its kind in Missouri since the 1930s. She finished 14th out of 15.
Platte County’s boys ended up with just one medal out of four events, and the Pirates waited until the end.
The 4x400 team of seniors Lloyd Lockett, David Fulk and Tyler Clemens and sophomore John Watts ended up only able to run one race. The washout of the 4x400 preliminaries meant the medals would be decided by two timed heats at the end of the second day.
Seeded in the faster of two heats, Platte County ended up well off its best time of the year set last week in Sectional 4 competition. The Pirates were about 0.70 off the coveted school record coming into state but ran 3:27.60 and finished fifth in their heat.
That left the group to sweat out whether the 4x400 would win a third straight state medal.
Platte County ended up seventh, but all four runners were clearly disappointed to not run their best. Difficult handoffs in a crowded race slowed the Pirates and other teams, but the reshuffled lineup’s all-state finish spoke to perseverance.
Clemens came out for track for the first time since his eighth grade year, while Watts continuously improved to earn his spot. Lockett, the team’s unofficial captain, ran at state for the second straight year, while Fulk moved into the anchor role this year after a leg injury sidelined TJ Guillory prior to the District 8 race two weeks earlier.
“I told the boys before the race that no matter the outcome I was proud of them and proud of what we’ve done this year,” Clemens said. “We came close to breaking an amazing record, and there’s nothing but pride that we can have for this season. It was a great, great year.”
Platte County’s 4x800 team of Fulk, Jared Maksudian, Keegan Cordova and JD Crawford finished 13th after running 11 seconds slower than the previous season best set last week in Sectional 4 competition. The Pirates wound up with an 8:22.55 time and would have needed to set another season best by more than 2 seconds to medal.
Xavier Keith’s breakout season ended with a 14th place effort in the shot put.
After setting personal bests at more than 50 feet each of the previous two weeks, the hulking freshman threw 47-6 in preliminaries Saturday and didn’t make finals. He would have had to go better than 51 feet for the first time in his career to earn the final three throws of the competition.
Keith was the only freshman in the field.
Jackson Letcher, another freshman, placed 13th in the 3,200 at 10:15.68, about 2 seconds off his season-best set last week at Sectional 4. He was the top freshman finisher in the event.