WINSTON-SALEM – What Polk County’s boys track team didn’t take to Saturday’s state 2A/1A indoor championships – sprinters, throwers, jumpers and hurdlers.
But six of the seven competitors the Wolverines did take earned points, enough to propel Polk County to a runner-up finish in the state indoor meet at JDL Fast Track.
The Wolverines successfully defended their 4×800-meter relay title and earned three other podium finishes en route to a team total of 38 points, just ahead of the 36 points of third-place Forest Hills. North Brunswick won the state championship with 64 points.
Polk County’s girls finished fifth and delivered three podiums of their own, including second place in the girls 4×800-meter relay, and one school record.
It was a great day to be a Wolverine, indeed.
“On a scale from one to 10, this was a 12,” said Polk County head coach Alan Peoples. “The guys finished second, the girls finished fifth. It’s hard to ask for more than that.”
The day began with two stirring finishes.
Polk’s girls 4×800-meter relay squad competed in the day’s first event, and strong legs by Savannah Robbins, Haley Fowler and Emma Wagoner put Polk in third place as Wagoner handed the baton to anchor India Godlock.
Godlock blazed through the first 400 meters, passing Brevard’s anchor and closing on the lead before keeping Polk in second place, its time of 10:36.34 almost four seconds faster than its best time of the year. Croatan won the race with a time of 10:27.43.
“It was a close race. We really wanted to win, but the top four were all close,” Wagoner said. “Everyone ran such a strong leg, and that’s all you could ask for.”
Polk’s boys 4×800 team hit the track not soon after as the defending champion in the event, top seed and favorite, with three of the four runners from last year’s squad returning.
The group did not disappoint. Mitchell Brown ran a strong opening leg to put Polk just a step out of second, and team newcomer Jeremy Allsbrook passed both Murphy and Bunker Hill in the first 400 meters of his leg. That left seniors Jacob Wolfe and Sean Doyle, who steadily built a six-second final margin over Bunker Hill with a time of 8:33.49.
“We had Jeremy added on to the team this year after Caleb (Brown, the relay team’s lone senior last year) left,” Mitchell Brown said. “We’re excited to get Jeremy his first medal.”
Doyle later added a runner-up finish in the 1000 meters and a third place in the 1600, with Wolfe finishing fourth and Brown sixth in the 1000.
Troy Lieberman, the boys’ only field qualifier, placed sixth in the pole vault with a jump of 11-0 and Wil Rimer joined Doyle, Wolfe and Allsbrook to finish sixth in the day’s final event, the 4×400-meter relay.
Polk County had better field luck with its girls team, where pole vaulters India Branham and Anamarie Gundersen placed third and fourth, respectively, and Michaela Nelon set a school record with a throw of 34 feet to place sixth in the shot put.
“It was a great day,” Peoples said. “Hats off to all of my assistant coaches. If they didn’t do the work they do, we wouldn’t be here.”
Complete Polk County results:
15. Emma Wagoner, 13-11.75
10. Emma Wagoner, 32-1
6. Michaela Nelon, 34-0; 10. Tameeia Brown 31-4.25.
3. India Branham 7-6; 4. Anamarie Gundersen 7-6.
2. Polk County (Savannah Robbins, Haley Fowler, Emma Wagoner, India Godlock) 10:36.34
10. Polk County (Maranda Gosnell, Marissa Longshore, Haley Fowler, Izzy Jackson), 1:56.97
10. India Godlock, 5:55.78
13. India Godlock, 3:28.08
9. Polk County (Julianna Robbins, Izzy Jackson, Emma Wagoner, India Godlock) 4:31.90
6. Troy Lieberman 11-0
1. Polk County (Mitchell Brown, Jeremy Allsbrook, Jacob Wolfe, Sean Doyle) 8:33.49
3. Sean Doyle, 4:30.63
11. Nate Smart, 1:11.41
2. Sean Doyle, 2:36.50; 4. Jacob Wolfe, 2:42.82; 6. Mitchell Brown, 2:46.07
12. Mitchell Brown, 10:35.18
6. Polk County (Wil Rimer, Jacob Wolfe, Jeremy Allsbrook, Sean Doyle) 3:42.54
Top 10 only
1. Cummings 104; 2. T.W. Andrews 51.5; 3. Community School of Davidson 41; 4. Croatan 27; 5. Polk County 23; 6. Winston-Salem Prep 22; 7. Mount Pleasant 20; 8. Hendersonville, West Stokes, First Flight 18.
1. North Brunswick 64; 2. Polk County 38; 3. Forest Hills 36; 4. Bunker Hill 33; 5. Reidsville 30. 6; T.W. Andrews 24; 7. Monroe, Shelby 23; 9. Northeastern 21.5; 10. Shelby 20.