The state of Polk County’s indoor track program has head coach Alan Peoples smiling a lot these days.
Record turnout for this year’s team. Talented staff of assistant coaches in place.
Not to mention that when the Wolverines depart Columbus on Friday afternoon bound for Saturday’s state 2A/1A indoor championships, a record number of qualifiers will be on board.
Peoples will be driving the bus to Winston-Salem, smiling all the way.
“It’s a very good feeling,” Peoples said.
Action in Saturday’s meet at JDL Fast Track will begin at 9 a.m. with the field events and the 4×800-meter relays. Polk County enters as the defending champion in the boys relay and is the top seed this year. Peoples thinks both girls and boys have a shot at titles in the event.
“The two 4x8s have a good chance to win,” Peoples said. “Sean (Doyle) probably has the next best chance in the 1600 and the 1000. But no one’s going to give up easily.”
Doyle has the fastest qualifying time in both the 1000 and 1600 and is also scheduled to run on one or two Polk relay teams. The Wolverines have one other top-two seed, Anamarie Gunderson in the pole vault. The top four athletes in each event earn medals.
With a lack of sprinters and hurdlers, Peoples doesn’t foresee either the boys or girls squads winning the state team title, but both should be among the top contenders.
“Based on what I’ve looked at, the boys are ranked second, but about 35 points out of first,” Peoples said. “The girls are ranked seventh with 25 points, but fourth is 28 points. I think the girls could get as high as third depending upon how well we do.
“The coach’s worry right now is injury. We have done all we can do. I’ve turned it over to the assistant coaches to work with them. but every coach’s fear right now is injury.”
Peoples said is fortunate to have a group of coaches that include Jenny Wolfe, Amanda Simoncic, Scott Harding, Henry Weaver, Dewayne Elliott, Jim McGrane and Val Simoncic.
“Our coaches, what can I say?” Peoples said. “And I want to thank the community for their support.”