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Wolverine words: Athletes share thought on state performances

Polk County senior Mitchell Brown only began competing in the 1000-meter run two weeks ago.

WINSTON-SALEM – Michaela Nelon hasn’t felt well for several days, battling a nasty case of bronchitis.

But the Polk County junior looked the picture of perfect health after the girls shot put competition at Saturday’s meet.

Nelon broke the school record she set earlier this year with a throw of 34 feet, lifting her to a sixth-place finish in the event. That throw would also tie the school outdoor track record in the event.

Though short of the 35-foot tosses she and teammate Tameeia Brown had notched in practices leading up to Saturday’s meet, Nelon still left JDL Fast Track with a large smile.

“I came in ranked seventh, and I just wanted that to hold up,” she said. “I ended up in sixth place and set a school record, so that feels pretty good.

“It was a little tougher than I expected. I had a rough day. But I had one or two good throws and one happened to be over the previous record.”

Mitchell Brown runs the opening leg of the 4x800-meter relay at Saturday's state indoor track championships.

Mitchell Brown runs the opening leg of the 4×800-meter relay at Saturday’s state indoor track championships.

Polk County senior Mitchell Brown only began competing in the 1000-meter run two weeks ago.

Thus Wolverine head coach Alan Peoples nearly didn’t let him run the race at Saturday’s 2A/1A state indoor track championships at JDL Fast Track, pondering giving Brown ample opportunity to rest before the 3200-meter run, Brown’s specialty.

But Peoples left Brown in the shorter race, and the senior rewarded that decision by placing sixth, picking up three key points in the team competition.

“I didn’t start running the 1000 until two weeks ago, so I guess that’s kind of a big deal,” Brown said. “I just wanted to get in there and try my hardest. I knew we needed some points, so I wanted to do my best.”

Running in the first of two heats, Brown won the heat with a time of 2:46.07.

Jacob Wolfe, left, takes a handoff from Jeremy Allsbrook during the 4x800-meter relay.

Jacob Wolfe, left, takes a handoff from Jeremy Allsbrook during the 4×800-meter relay.

Jacob Wolfe was more than ready Saturday afternoon to head back to Columbus.

“I’m pretty tired. I’m not going to lie,” Wolfe said.

But the Polk County senior had two medals to show for his efforts, helping the boys 4×800-meter relay team repeat as state champions and finishing fourth in the 1000-meter run.

The medals represented another step in Wolfe’s comeback from a devastating case of mononucleosis late last spring.

“I thought it was going to be a lot harder (Saturday) than it was, actually,” Wolfe said. “I guess this is validation of all the work we’ve put in. It makes you feel all of that practice is worth it.”

Emma Wagoner scans the competition during the girls 4x800-meter relay.

Emma Wagoner scans the competition during the girls 4×800-meter relay.

Emma Wagoner had quite the busy Saturday morning.

Wagoner and her teammates on the 4×800-meter relay team opened the state meet with a second-place finish in the day’s first event. Wagoner was then immediately scheduled to compete in the long jump, where she placed 15th, and soon after the triple jump, where she placed 10th.

“It was a little stressful, running the 4×8 and then having to go long jump and then jump right into the triple jump,” Wagoner said. “I’m really happy with the day. It was a really good meet.”

Wagoner than ran in the final event of the day, the girls 4×400-meter relay, in which Polk County placed ninth.

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