WINSTON-SALEM – Three top-three finishes, including a state championship, and Sean Doyle was just as happy Saturday about the award he didn’t win on the track.
The Polk County senior capped a busy day at JDL Fast Track by earning one of two sportsmanship awards presented to competitors in the state 2A/1A indoor track championships.
Doyle’s trip to the awards podium to receive that honor was his fourth of the day. He and teammates Jacob Wolfe, Mitchell Brown and Jeremy Allsbrook won the 4×800-meter relay, the second straight year that Polk County has won the event. Doyle then placed second in the 1000-meter run by 15 hundredths of a second and third in the 1600 meters.
“It’s definitely not easy,” Doyle said of his meet schedule. “Running three different events in a 40-minute span was tough. I gave it all I had. I’m happy with the results.”
Looking to add an individual state title to his resume, Doyle came ever so close in the 1000 meters. He trailed Surry Central’s Daniel Alvarez-Orlachia by a step entering the final lap, with Alvarez-Orlachia then briefly opening a small lead on the backstretch.
But the duo came off the final curve side-by-side, setting up a sprint to the finish in which Doyle appeared to briefly surge ahead, only to see Alvarez-Orlachia pull ahead in the final few feet before the finish line. Alvarez-Orlachia set a meet record with his time of 2:36:35. Doyle finished in 2:36.50.
“(Alvarez-Orlachia) got out of the mile to concentrate on the 1000,” Doyle said. “I was right there, but he beat me at the last minute. It was a great race. I’m not going to be upset about that.”
Doyle finished the 1600 in 4:30.63, a second behind Shelby’s Justin Tucker and .17 behind Forbush’s Dakota Mendenhall. He then returned to help the boys 4×400-meter relay team place sixth, securing the team runner-up trophy.
Doyle had a hand in 27 of Polk County’s 38 points.
“We may not have won as many individual titles as we would have liked, but we were the second-place team. With only eight guys, I’m very happy with that,” Doyle said.
“And I got the sportsmanship award. That probably means a little more to me than anything to win that.”