Platte County continued to inch closer to full strength with a trio of medalists Saturday on a fast track at the Gans Creek Classic in Columbia. Fourteen of the 19 runners in action for the Pirates set a personal record.
“We wanted to run fast, and we did for the most part,” Platte County coach Chris Stubbs said. “The wind did slow the results a bit and the fact that we had a very hard workout on Wednesday. This was a great experience for everyone — practice for state.”
On the girls side, Platte County senior Maddie Klippenstein placed 12th in 20 minutes, 47.40 seconds, and freshman Carmen Gentilia turned in a season-best performance of 21:00.40 — 53 seconds better than her previous fastest time — to earn medals. The Pirates finished third overall with a team total of 119, just 12 behind Smithville and 16 back of team champion Liberty (Wentzville) in the Blue Division.
Medals were awarded to the top 15 in each division.
Gentilia hit a bump in her standout freshman season at the Platte County Invitational but immediately bounced back. Klippenstein has slowly rounded into form after starting the year with a nagging foot injury.
Platte County’s balance continued to be the strength with senior Jenna Jurgensmeyer in 25th (21:38.20) and freshman Lydia Dole right behind in 29th (21:46.90). Ryanne Rhude, another senior, rounded out the team score with a 40th-place finish.
On the boys side, Platte County senior Blake Bjustrom continued to lead the way, placing 14th in the Blue Division at 17:05.20 to take one of the final medals. Andrew Early, a junior, was 18th at 17:18.00 and was just 8 seconds out of the medal spots.
Platte County had a team total of 227 was ninth out of 16 teams. The results after the top two dropped off with junior Jace Trimble (59th), sophomore Kage Audas (73rd) and freshman Andrew Johnson (74th), who set a personal best by 35 seconds.
As part of the natural training schedule, Platte County gave the varsity regulars the day off last Tuesday in Smithville. The boys finished 13th out of 13 teams and the girls were fourth out of four, but there were strong showings for individuals experiencing an opportunity to compete at the varsity level.
Platte County sophomore Sloan Kassen led the girls with a 10th-place finish (23:23.20), while senior Taylor Lawver and freshman Julie Greco were back-to-back in 22nd and 23rd. Pirates senior Quinlynn Sanneman (36th) and freshman Lyric Dulin (39th) rounded out the team score.
On the boys side, Ethan Hall, a sophomore, placed 61st out of 98 runners for Platte County. Pirates freshman Scott Sellers was 66th, while senior Jose Tejeda was 72nd.