Polk County’s Caleb Potter and Olivia Overholt each earned spots in the state 1A cross country championships, qualifying with top-10 finishes at Saturday’s 1A West Regional meet in Asheville.
Potter, a senior, placed fifth in the 1A West boys meet with a time of 17:09.77 on the 5K course at Asheville Christian Academy. Lincoln Charter’s Drew Zink won the race with a time of 16:40.50.
Potter will be the first Polk County runner to compete in the boys state championship meet since Sean Doyle qualified and placed 11th in 2015.
Overholt, a freshman, notched a time of 21:16.59 to place sixth in the girls race, which was won by Highland Tech freshman Lauren Tolbert in a time of 20:06.55. She will be the first Wolverine to race in the state meet since India Godlock did so in 2016.
The four teams and top seven individuals not on a qualifying team earned berths in next Saturday’s state 1A championship meet at Ivey Redmon Complex in Kernersville.
Polk County sophomore Caelan Gaul helped Overholt lead Polk County’s girls to a sixth-place finish, coming home 18th overall in a time of 22:39.43. Gaul narrowly missed earning a state berth as the eighth highest finisher not on a qualifying team.
Also competing for the Polk girls were:
* Taytem Johnson, 23:31.10
* Amelia Nespeca, 25:10.55
* Madison Geddings, 26:07.53
* Ashlyn Ramsey, 26:25.92
Lincoln Charter’s girls captured the regional team title, followed by Mountain Island Charter, Highland Tech and Thomas Jefferson.
The Polk County boys placed seventh. Joining Potter for the Wolverine boys were:
* Mark Teague, 19:22.97
* Jack Derkach, 19:42.90
* Chris Rickman, 19:46.43
* Bryce Thompson, 20:03.76
* Kiyon Staley, 21:52.73
* Gus Maass, 23:55.90
Lincoln Charter also won the boys regional title, followed by Hayesville, Murphy and Swain.