Polk County's girls cross country team, from left: Olivia Overholt, Lindsey Jenkins, Tori Thompson, Syler Purtill, Anna McFadden, Lauren Dotson, Emma Brunell and Taytem Johnson

There were a lot of smiles Friday afternoon about the long bus ride that awaited Polk County’s girls cross country team.

For the first time since 2006, the Wolverines boarded an entire team and hit the road for the state 1A cross country championships, set for Saturday in Kernersville. Polk will compete in the 1A meet set for 10:30 a.m. at Ivey Redmon Sports Complex.

The Wolverines took third in last week’s Western Regional, and head coach Alan Peoples thinks the team is poised for a strong showing at the state level.

“We’re seeded 12th, and I think really we’re 10th,” Peoples said. “I know some of the teams peaked at the regionals. We did not peak. We can run faster.

“Some teams may have three that peaked and four haven’t or something like that. I don’t think that as a team, we’ve peaked this year.”

Polk County sophomore Olivia Overholt has led the team this season, and Peoples expects Overholt to have a shot at being the Wolverines’ first all-state qualifier since India Godlock.

“I’d like to see Olivia on the stage and be all-state,” Peoples said. “I’d like to see the team finish in the top eight and get some Wells Fargo Cup points. And I’d love to see everybody get a PR.

“How can you not feel good about going to state for the first time since 2006? That makes it nice.”