XC Roundup: Park Hill South girls make statement at Forest Park; PC sweeps Oak Grove titles

Park Hill South’s girls made the first big statement of the season against big-time competition this season.

In the Forest Park XC Festival this past weekend in St. Louis, the Panthers’ team of returning state qualifiers finished third in the Green Division at Forest Park in St. Louis. There were 31 teams from five states with 239 teams in the field competing on a muddy track Saturday, Sept. 10.

Park Hill South finished with three medalists and totaled a team score of 173, just five back of second-place Fatima and 20 behind winner Blue Springs South.

For the Panthers, junior Marti Heit led the way in 20th with a finish of 20 minutes, 59.10 seconds. Jasmine Crawford, a senior, also medaled in 23rd, coming in at 21:04.70 in a bunched finish for the final podium spots given to the top 30.

Park Hill South’s Lexi Maddox was 31st and just missed the final medal. The Panthers’ top five also included freshman Olivia Roth (52nd) — one of only two runners in the top seven without prior state experience.

On the boys side, Park Hill South finished a strong ninth, just seven points out of seventh, but did not have a medalist. Eli Guzman led the Panthers with a 54th-place showing.

Oak Grove Invitational

Platte County’s boys put all of their top five runners in the top 10 on Thursday, Sept. 8 in Oak Grove, Mo., part of a team sweep for the Pirates.

Jackson Letcher, a sophomore, finished second behind Hardin-Central’s Riley Gorham, one of two runners in the top 10 without enough teammates to qualify for team standings. Letcher came in at 18:18, while sophomore teammate Keegan Cordova was third at 19:02.

Platte County’s Evan Edwards (sixth, 19:20), Nick Bjustrom (ninth, 19:40) and Evan Mcpahatter (10th, 19:44) rounded out the top five. The Pirates finished with a team total of 23, half that of second-place Pleasant Hill’s 46.

On the girls side, Rebekah Geddes and Erin Straubel finished 1-2 for Platte County, which totaled 30 points and finished 17 in front of second-place Smithville. Geddes won in 22:13 with Straubel at 22:21, leading four in the top 10 for the Pirates.

Jessica Clark (fifth, 23:26) and Lauren Johnson (10th, 24:33) also medaled for Platte County.

Raymore-Peculiar Invitational

Park Hill’s girls placed seventh out of 15 teams Saturday, Sept. 10 in Raymore, Mo. behind Madison King’s 16th-place finish. The Trojans placed two in the top 25 with Grace Fink at 23rd, helping them to a 188 total that was well back of the top six in the field.

Park Hill South’s JV came in 14th in the field of 15 teams.

On the boys side, Park Hill South’s JV was also 14th while Park Hill came in 15th — 16 points back of the Panthers. Park Hill’s Parker Canfield was the top local finisher, coming in 20th.

In the small school competition, West Platte’s Max Davies improved his time on the course by 18 seconds from last year, despite muddy conditions. His 12th-place showing helped the Bluejays come in fifth as a team with a 146 points, two in front of Humansville and six better than KCI Conference rival Lawson.

Davies came in at 19:10.40, while Andrew Cicha in 20th was at 19:52.50 for West Platte, taking the division’s final individual medal. Phillip Pattison, a freshman, just missed a third medal for the Bluejays and finished 23rd. 

West Platte did not have any runners on the girls side.