WINSTON-SALEM – Izzy Jackson admitted she had a few bittersweet moments during Saturday’s state 2A/1A indoor track and field championships.
“It’s a sentimentl day, knowing this is the last time I would be here in this building,” Jackson said. “I knew I had to give it my all since it was the last time.”
Jackson’s all proved good enough to land her two medals for the second straight year, a third place in the 500-meter run and a fourth as part of Polk County’s 4×400-meter relay team.
Those efforts, plus Jake Justice’s championship in the pole vault, topped what Polk County head coach Alan Peoples a “very good, good day,” with the Wolverine boys placing 12th and the girls in 17th in the meet at JDL Fast Track. More important to Peoples was that the Wolverines were among the top 1A schools in each, perhaps setting the stage for big things to come during the outdoor season, during which 2A and 1A schools are split at the state meet.
- Jake Justice soars to his second straight state title in the pole vault
- Photos from Saturday’s competition
- Full results
Cummings easily won the girls team title, its 10th in school history, finishing 33 points ahead of Lexington. Croatan’s girls finished third, but its boys took home the state championship, finishing 14 points ahead of North Lincoln. Ashe County took third.
“We thought we might get a record, and we got a school record, a New Balance Nationals qualiifer and a state record. I’d say that’s a good day,” said Peoples, who also served as the meet director. “It’s been outstanding, especially considering what the weather did this year (affecting practice chances). We had an outstanding day.”
Justice’s mark of 14-10 set a new state record (those can only be set at a championship meet) and earned a spot in next month’s New Balance Nationals in New York City.
Also placing in the top eight, earning team points, were Luke Sellers in the shot put, where he finished seventh, and Caleb Potter in the 1600 meters, where he took eighth.
Jackson came to her final indoor meet also with hopes of a state championship in the 500 meters, where she placed third last year. While it’s an event in which Jackson excels, it’s not one of her favorites.
“It’s definitely a difficult race to run,” she said. “It’s not really a 400, but it’s also not an 800. You really have to run smart.
“I came out and tried to stay with the top runners. I heard my teammates and my dad yelling at me and encouraging me. When we had about 150 meters left, I knew I had to go. I kicked and gave it all I had. I was hoping for first, but I still thought I did my best.”
Jackson’s time of 1:20.08 left her two and a half seconds behind winner Samantha Payne of Ledford. Cummings’ Kendall Jordan, who was named the meet’s outstanding athlete, placed second in 1:18.60.
The 4×400-meter relay team of Madison Geddings, Reese Alley, Caelan Gaul and Jackson were out of a medal spot at one point, but steadily moved into contention and nearly had a third-place showing, with Payne barely nipping Jackson at the line on the anchor leg. Jordan led Cummings to a win in 4:13.45, with Croatan in second at 4:16.68 and Ledford (4:17.59) just ahead of Polk’s 4:!7.87.
“I thought we were going to get third in the 4×4, but all of sudden (Payne) came up on me,” Jackson said. “We all gave it all we had.”
As did every Wolverine.
2019 NCHSAA 2A/1A
INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS
POLK COUNTY RESULTS
16. Anna McFadden, 13-11 3/4
10. Reese Alley, 8-6
9. Polk County (Madison Geddings, Emma Brunell, Tana Harris, Caelan Gaul), 1:57.27
3. Izzy Jackson, 1:20.08
4. Polk County (Madison Geddings, Reese Alley, Caelan Gaul, Izzy Jackson), 4:17.87
7. Luke Sellers, 46-7 3/4; 13. Ryan Heider, 39-6
1. Jake Justice, 14-10 (state record)
9. Polk County (Matias Akers, Jack Derkach, Caleb Potter, Braxton Edwards), 8:49.37
8. Caleb Potter, 4:39.06
14. Jack Derkach, 1:12.02
15. Caleb Potter, 10:22.26
9. Polk County (Evan Miller, Jordan Bishop, Matias Akers, Braxton Edwards), 3:45.87