The Polk County Wolverine cross country teams made a clean sweep Wednesday of the Western Highlands Conference Championships held at Jackson Park in Hendersonville.
“This is what we started preparing for in early June and hard work paid off,” said head coach J. Alan Peoples.
Peoples would be named WHC Coach of the Year following both the men’s and women’s team victories.
Freshman India Godlock would take a leisurely stroll to the front of the pack from the sound of the starting gun and would never be challenged along the 3.1 mile trek to capturing her first WHC prep title. Godlock ran 20:33 and was named WHC Runner of the Year. Senior Shea Wheeler and sophomore Hayley Kropp finished with all-conference honors in the top 10. Wheeler placed 7th in 22:23 and Kropp 9th in 23:00. Selena Chavez maneuvered higher up the team placement ladder to take 4th place on the Wolverine squad, racing a personal best over the hilly terrain. Chavez placed 14th in 23:51. Britain Hamrick rounded out the scoring drive with a 15th place finish and a personal best time of 24:14. Also running for Polk; Leigh Deaver 24:35, Shelby Wells 24:51, Nancy Silva 24:57, Leah Hardin 25:12, Jessica Bailey 29:13, Kathryn Johnson 31:34, Marissa Longshore 31:52.
Polk’s men also took home a golden trophy for their efforts. Senior Jacob Collins took 3rd and sophomore Sean Doyle grabbed the 4th place spot, with both named to the all-conference team for their top 10 finish. Collins’ 16:39 sprint shaved 47 seconds off his August performance on the same race course, while Doyle’s 17:02 glide cut his beginning of the season performance by more than a minute. Always a race horse for the Wolverines, sophomore Jake Russell moved up in team rank by finishing 3rd for the Wolverines. Russell ran 18:46 to a 16th place overall finish. Jacob Wolfe scored 17th overall in 18:53 and Eli Hall scored 19th overall in 19:24. Also racing for the Wolverines: Mitchell Brown 20:29, Will Sachse 21:35, Alex Franklin 23:01, RJ Weathers 31:44.
The Wolverines will assemble their top 7 male and female athletes for the 5K race at the 2A Regionals at Freedom High in Morganton on Saturday, Oct. 26. The top four teams and first five individuals not on a qualifying team with advance to the state championships at Beeson Park in Kernersville on November 2.
Boys Team Scores
1. Polk County, 59; 2. Hendersonville, 66; 3. Mitchell, 76; 4. Owen, 83; 5. Madison, 118; 6. Mountain Heritage, 128; 7. Avery, 143
Boys Individual Scores
Polk County top five
3. Jacob Collins, 16:39.46; 4. Sean Doyle, 17:02.38; 16. Jake Russell, 18:46.03; 17. Jacob Wolfe, 18:53.68; 19. Eli Hall, 19:24.52
Mitchell Brown, 20:29.36; Will Sachse, 21:35.50; Alex Franklin, 23:01.79; Ronald Weathers, 31:44.03
Girls Team Scores
1. Polk County, 46; 2. Owen, 51; 3. Avery, 70; 4. Hendersonville, 85; 5. Mountain Heritage, 135; 6. Madison, 144
Girls Individual Scores
Polk County top five
1. Karen Godlock, 20:33.51; 7. Shea Wheeler, 22:23.11; 9. Hayley Kropp, 23:00.50; 14. Selena Chavez, 23:51.14; 15. Britain Hamrick, 24:14.69
Leigh Deaver, 24:35.48; Shelby Wells, 24:51.09; Nancy Silva, 24:57.97; Leah Hardin, 25:12.31; Jessica Bailey, 29:13.50; Kathryn Johnson, 31:34.76; Marissa Longshore, 31:52.49