Wolverine pole vaulters go 2-3 to lead Polk contingent at state championship

Polk County's Troy Lieberman, right, and Jake Justice finished second and third in the pole vault at Friday's 2A state championship meet (photo courtesy Jenny Wolfe).

Polk County brought home a pair of medals and a pair of 17th-place team finishes in Friday’s state 2A track and field championships, held at North Carolina A&T State University.

Senior Troy Lieberman placed second and sophomore Jake Justice took third in the pole vault, leading a contingent of 11 Wolverines who competed throughout a long day that included a two-hour delay in the afternoon.

Both the girls and boys teams finished 17th in the overall standings, each the top Western Highlands Conference team. The competition marked the final official 2A athletic event for the school, which will return to the 1A ranks next season after eight years in 2A.

Here is a roundup of each event in which a Wolverine competed. All video courtesy Polk County assistant coach Jenny Wolfe.


Girls 4×400 Meter Relay
Polk County closed the day with a fifth-place finish in the girls 4×400-meter relay.

The Wolverines – Mariah Overholt, India Godlock, Sadie Allen and Izzy Jackson – posted a time of 4:11.29.

Croatan passed Lake Norman Charter in the final 50 meters to win the race with a time of 4:07.97.

Boys 800 Meters
Polk County sophomore Jack Derkach finished 10th in the 800-meter run, posting a time of 2:03.76.

Surry Central’s Daniel Alvarez-Orlachia nipped Brevard’s Noah Graham to win the race with a time of 1:56.81.

Girls 800 Meters
Polk County senior India Godlock placed 12th in the 800 meters, finishing in a time of 2:30.76.

Croatan’s Kaleigh Hanson won the race with a time of 2:19.28.

Girls 400 Meters
Polk County sophomore Izzy Jackson finished sixth in the 400 meters, running the event in 59.93. It marks just the second time that Jackson has broken the one-minute mark in the race.

North Rowan senior Payton Russell won the 400 with a time of 56.15, finishing almost two seconds ahead of the field.

Boys Long Jump
Polk County sophomore Justice, fresh off his pole vault competition, placed 15th in the long jump with a top leap of 18-4 3/4.

Justice entered the event with a season best of 21-0 in last week’s 2A West Regional.

North Brunswick’s Jayhlen Washington won the event with a jump of 23-3.

Boys Pole Vault
Lieberman matched his personal best of 13-6 and Justice did the same at 13-0 to give the Wolverines their first medals of the day.

Surry Central’s Tyler Fitzgerald cleared 14-0 to win the event, finishing ahead of Lieberman just as he did in the state indoor championships.

Boys 1600 Meters
Polk County sophomore Caleb Potter placed 13th in the event, running 4:46.86.

Brevard’s Noah Graham kicked past Forbush’s Dakota Mendenhall on the final turn and pulled away to win the race by more than a second in 4:23.52.

Girls Long Jump
Polk County senior Marissa Longshore earned seventh place and sophomore Mariah Overholt placed 11th in the long jump.

Longshore had a top jump of 16-4 while Overholt had a best leap of 15-2 in the competition.

Cumnings’ Kelsia Moore jumped 19-1 to win the event.

Girls Pole Vault
Polk County junior Lauren Ketwitz tied for fifth in the pole vault, matching her personal best with a vault of 8-6.

Parkwood’s Netanya Linares won the event with a vault of 10-0.

Girls Shot Put
Polk County junior Reagan Waddell placed ninth in the girls shot put, her best toss in the event a throw of 34-6. That set a personal record for Waddell.

Franklin standout LesLeigh Tabor won the event with a throw of 41-10.