SMITHVILLE, Mo. — West Platte simply came out and took care of business to extend the state’s most impressive active record.
Four runners finished in the top 10 of the Class 1 District 8 meet Saturday, Oct. 28 at Smith’s Fork Park, and West Platte easily took the team title. The Bluejays have now won a record 18 straight district championships and can set sights on the bigger goal — returning to the top four at this week’s Class 1 Missouri State Cross Country Championships.
“Boy, did they come out and run well today,” West Platte coach Mike Lowe said. “It was just fantastic to see them come out and do it. It was a tight race, but they did what they had to do and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
West Platte junior Max Davies claimed his first individual district title, blowing away his previous best. Despite running by himself for the majority of the race, he finished in 17 minutes, 12.81 seconds to win by nearly a full minute.
Princeton sophomore Preston Thomas finished second at 18:07.49.
West Platte sophomore Phillip Pattison came in right behind in third (18:09.56), while seniors Andrew Cicha (seventh, 19:05.84) and Justin Howard (ninth, 19:18.55) were also all-district finishers. The trio provided the needed support behind Davies, who was second at districts last year and has won six races this season as the unquestioned top runner in the lineup.
“There is no one I would rather have in front,” Cicha said about Davies. “He’s such a good guy, and it’s so much fun hanging out with him during practice and running behind him.”
West Platte’s 17 previous trips to state include 12 top-four finishes and state titles in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2012. The last state trophies came in 2012 and 2013 (third).
In the three years since finishing third, West Platte has been 11th, 10th and seventh with Davies earning all-state honors a year ago (11th). Cicha will be a fourth-time state qualifier, while Davies and Howard have been on the last three state teams for the Bluejays.
Pattison and junior Matik Heskin went to state last year, while sophomore Coy Taylor (21st at districts) and Drake Stelljes will make their debuts.
“Being in the top, there certainly there is a lot of leadership that goes involved,” Cicha said. “All of the younger guys certainly look up to us. With such young leadership that we got this year with Phillip just a sophomore and Max is only a junior, it kind of puts us in a funky situation, but they’re doing good job of leading the team.”