They don’t call them Hilltoppers for nothing. Polk County cross country raced Wednesday at R-S Central against seven other schools on a marked hilly five-kilometer course. Not even cooler temperatures could mask the gruelling hilly terrain.

The Lady Wolverines were paced by senior Emily Kocher, who is finding her race stride and going with it. Kocher, a first-year runner, won the Hilltopper Invitational in 22:20. Polk’s next four scorers were Savannah Robbins (25:21), Selena Chavez (25:21.1), Ashton Capozzi (25:28) and Haley Fowler (25:29), who in classic team fashion ran a pack-style race and crossed the the line in 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th place. Polk’s top five girls combined for 51 points (1,11,12,13,14) and were just edged by Shelby, who tallied 50. This was the closest point margin for the Lady Wolverines since the 2A state championships in 2005, where Polk placed second overall.

Also competing for the Lady Wolverines: Shelby Wells (25:43), Alli Swope (26:06), Leah Hardin (26:10), Karli Wood (27:21), Haven Dufford (27:23), Colleen Burke (28:37) and Jessica Bailey (33:34).

Polk’s top five male finishers lead the team to a second-place finish. Sean Doyle placed third overall in 18:11, followed by Mitchell Brown (18:58 4th), Jacob Wolfe (19:38 8th), Mark Federman (20:09 13th) and Eli Hall (20:22 14th), the top five combining to score 42 points. The boys trailed Shelby (35) by seven points. Also competing for Polk: Al Russell (20:37), Jake Russell (20:55), Will Sachse (22:41), Conner Holtz (23:01) and Luke Collins (30:36).

Team scores boys: Shelby 35, Polk 42, RS 97, Crest 114, Chesnee 120, Chase 154, East Rutherford 166.

Team scores girls: Shelby 50, Polk 51, RS 90, Crest 109, East Rutherford 139.

Polk County will race again October 2 at 4:30 p.m. at Jackson Park in Hendersonville.