One to go: Godlock set to end stellar career at state 2A meet

Polk County's India Godlock

The voice has graced Polk County High School talent shows and sporting events, and many who have heard India Godlock sing on those occasions have marveled at how such a strong voice could originate from one so small in stature.

Others are not as surprised, given that Godlock has worked to succeed at everything she has tried since she first set foot on Polk County’s campus.

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Much of that excellence has come as a runner, cross country and track, and it is on the track where Godlock will end her Wolverine career on Friday, competing in the state 2A track and field championships in Greensboro.

A qualifier in the 800-meter run and part of Polk County’s 4×400-meter relay team, Godlock will make her 10th and final state championship appearance (four cross country, two indoor track, four outdoor track), But the senior isn’t focused on looking back – just as she always is on the course or track, she’s concentrating on the task at hand.

“I haven’t thought about it much,” Godlock said. “But it’s not really hard to believe.

“I want to go and place high at state and get a PR (personal record).”

That focus and determination has helped Godlock also handle the inevitable comparisons with her aunt, Karen Godlock, who won 17 state titles at Polk County and was recognized by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) as among the top 100 administrators, coaches or players in the organization’s 100-year history.

India Godlock has never been bothered by any expectations of those around her because of her family ties.

“I haven’t felt the pressure,” she said. “When others find out my last name, they’ll ask if she’s my aunt or she’s my mom. They want to know if I’m related to her or not. But I haven’t felt any pressure because of that.”

“She’s done well given that a lot of people have been unfair to her, because of her last name, in what they expect,” said Polk County head coach Alan Peoples. “I think she’s done OK with that.

“One thing I’ve like about India is that academically, she has been very strong. If there’s something where she feels like she’s not doing well, she’s standing at the teacher’s door at 3:05. She’s come to practice often over the past four years late because she’s at that teacher’s door.”

Her family connection didn’t lead Godlock into a running career; a standout performance in elementary school actually spurred her into seriously beginning to run.

“In fourth grader, we had to run a mile in PE class,” Godlock said. “When it was over and I had done well, the teacher sent a letter home to my parents asking if he could put me in a race.

“I like running. It can be stressful sometimes, but it also relieves stress when I’m really stressed out.”

Godlock plans to continue her running career at UNC Greensboro, competing in both cross country and track, and she’s already looking forward to being a Spartan. “I’m ready to explore somewhere different,” she said.

Peoples expects his standout to continue to succeed, at UNCG and beyond.

“When she runs in college, the 5,000 meters and down will be her better events, where her aunt was better at the longer distances,” he said. “She’s a great turner, she’s got great speed and she’s got great endurance.

“She’s feisty. I think she’ll do well.”

And no doubt continue to surprise a few souls along the way.