With a clean sweep of the Western Highlands Conference this season, Polk County’s cross country squads had some things to celebrate.

The athletic department hosted an awards banquet Monday for all team members. The celebration capped a season that began with summer workouts in early June, then with the season opener held before the start of classes in late August.

Polk County’s girls and boys teams surpassed the field of competitors from Avery, Hendersonville, Madison, Mountain Heritage, Owen and Mitchell to capture both WHC championships. Freshman India Godlock won the girls event and Polk placed two others, senior Shea Wheeler and sophomore Hayley Kropp, in the top 10. Senior Jacob Collins and sophomore Sean Doyle made All-Conference, taking third and fourth place, respectively.

Both Polk teams advanced to the 2A West Regional, where both teams placed fifth overall. Collins, Doyle and Godlock represented Polk at the 2A NCHSAA State Championships. Godlock placed 11th, while Collins and Doyle finished in the top thirty.

Coaches recognized Collins as Most Valuable Wolverine, Doyle as Most Improved and Mitchell Brown with the Coaches Award. Godlock was named Most Valuable Lady Wolverine, Wheeler Most Improved and Kropp with the Coaches Award.

The cross country group is expected to lead Polk in the indoor track season.

Photo: Kneeling: Head Coach Alan Peoples; Front row, from left,  Assistant Coach Jenny Wolfe, Hayley Kropp, Alex Franklin, Eli Hall, Jacob Wolfe, Shea Wheeler, Jessica Bailey, Shelby Wells; Back row, from left, Assistant Coach Dewayne Elliott, India Godlock, Sean Doyle, Jacob Collins, Mitchell Brown, Jake Russell, Leah Hardin, Assistant Coach Jim McGrane