Polk County’s girls cross country team is heading to the state championships.
For the first time since 2006, the Wolverines qualified for state meet competition, earning a spot in next week’s 1A championship with a third-place finish Saturday at the 1A West Regional in Newton.
Olivia Overholt’s sixth-place showing led the way for Polk County as the Wolverines placed five runners in the top 35 to finish behind Lincoln Charter and Hayesville.
The state 1A meet is set for Saturday at Ivey Redmon Sports Complex in Kernersville. The girls meet will begin at 10:30 a.m.
Overholt finished in a time of 20:35.25, with Highland Tech’s Lauren Tolbert winning the regional championship with a time of 19:19.44.
Taytem Johnson came home 25th in a time of 22:44.48, with Emma Brunell taking 33rd in 23:16.96, Lindsey Jenkins in 34th in 23:16.96 and Syler Purtill in 35th in 23:23.51. All five Polk County finishers are sophomores and juniors.
Sophomore Tori Thompson placed 52nd in 24:35.04 while senior Anna McFadden took 62nd in 25:47.84. Teams are limited to seven runners at regional and state meets.
Polk County finished fifth in the 2006 state meet, led by Elisabeth Elliott’s eighth-place effort. Also on that team were Rachel Wheeler, Michelle Glynn, Sarah Barlow and Kelli Elliott.
The Polk County boys placed seventh in Saturday’s meet, led by Braxton Edwards’ 24th-place showing in 18:49.55. Mark Teague followed in 26th with a time of 18:52.86, with Chris Rickman in 43rd in 19:53.09, Kiyon Staley 49th in 20:14.18 and Grant Wooton 72nd in 21:30.53.
Gus Maass (78th, 22:10.15) and Ridge Burnett (79th, 22:13.76) rounded out the Polk County contingent.
Lincoln Charter won the boys regional title, placing five runners in the top 10, followed by Murphy,Hayesville and Christ the King Catholic School.