Saturday’s J. Alan Peoples Invitational track and field meet in G.M. Tennant Stadium had a bit of a nostalgic feel.
There was Peoples’ custom 1970s Volkswagen van, parked near the track entrance. There was the official meet T-shirt, sporting a ’60s theme. And there was Grimsley head coach Seth Peoples, the former Polk County standout who brought his squad to compete in the event.
So perhaps it was appropriate that Polk County’s girls 4×800-meter team opened the meet with an effort that nearly broke one of the school’s oldest records.
Polk’s quartet of Lindsey Jenkins, Karsyn Huskey, Tori Thompson and Olivia Overholt posted a time of 10:00.61, just a few thousandths of a second off the meet record and just four seconds off the school mark of 9:56.38 set in 1991.
That performance served to highlight the day for Polk County, which placed fifth in both the girls and boys competition. West Henderson swept both divisions, with Grimsley, Swain and R-S Central finishing 2-3-4 in both as well.
The meet formerly was the Times-News Invitational, traditionally one of the area’s largest meets and a fixture on the area scene for more than 50 years. With the Times-News not sponsoring the meet this year, Peoples stepped up and did so himself, and competitors from 13 boys teams and 14 girls teams took part.
Overholt had the day’s lone other win for the Polk girls, holding off R-S Central’s Brooke Hope to win the 800 meters in 2:29.10.
Wolverine Braxton Edwards set a personal record with a time of 2:02.28 to win the boys 800 meters, then teamed with Bryce Jergenson, Cole Periera and Vincent Twitty to take the 4×400-meter relay in a time of 3:34.41.
The time delivered by Polk’s 4×800 team is the 13th fastest in the state this season among all schools and the fastest by almost 28 seconds for any 2A squad. The Wolverines battled Swain almost step for step through all four legs, with the Maroon Devils eventually finishing with a mark of 10:02.10.
Polk County’s teams are scheduled to compete again Saturday in the Odell Williams Invitational at East Burke High School.