Curvy Canton course latest challenge for Polk Middle runners

Polk County Middle School runners Olivia Overholt, left, and Sara Muse have been the team's top two runners this season (photo courtesy Tina Muse).

Polk County Middle School’s cross country team continued its regular season on Tuesday, competing in a Blue Ridge Middle School Conference meet at the Pisgah Sports Complex in Canton.

Tackling a curvy course that looped through a farm, the Wolverine boys placed ninth overall while the Polk girls took 10th.

Chris Rickman led Polk Middle’s boys, placing 22nd, while Olivia Overholt came home fifth for the girls team, earning a handmade pottery medal created by one of the Waynesville coaches that hosted the meet.

A week earlier, Polk Middle hosted seven teams for a meet on the Wolverine campus. The recent rains meant a change in the usual course, but the new track proved popular with runners as it took them through the woods behind the school’s football field, offering not only a true cross country experience but ample shade. The 3.1-mile course ended with a run around Laughter Pond and a climb back up the hill to finish on the football field.

Rickman placed 17th to lead Polk to a sixth-place finish. Next up for the Wolverines were Andrew Hostetler, ShyQuan Wingo, Cameron Horne and Grayson Smith. Also competing for the boys team were Wesley Royster and Carson Shacklock.

Overholt took fourth in the girls race to lead Polk to fifth place overall. Next up for Polk were Sara Muse, Melissa Suarez, Savannah Parris and Taytem Johnson, with Lacey Gosnell and Jylyn Barnes also competing. The Polk girls are missing last year’s top runner, Julia Griffin, who is recovering from knee injuries.

Polk Middle's Olivia Olverholt, top center, was among the area runners to earn a medal at Tuesday's meet in Canton (photo courtesy Cathy Elliott).
Polk Middle’s Olivia Olverholt, top center, was among the area runners to earn a medal at Tuesday’s meet in Canton (photo courtesy Cathy Elliott).