Polk County boys set new 4×800 school record

Published 11:20pm Monday, February 10, 2014

NCHSAA legislation would separate 1A/2A from 3A competition for the 2014 Indoor Track season.

All 1A/2A schools in NC with qualifying individuals gathered at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem on February 8 for the NCHSAA Indoor Track State Championships.

Polk Mens 4x800 Meter Relay team composed of Jacob Collins, Mitchell Brown, Jacob Wolfe and Sean Doyle, team on right, set a new school record time at 8:31. (photo by Jenny Wolfe)
Polk Mens 4×800 Meter Relay team composed of Jacob Collins, Mitchell Brown, Jacob Wolfe and Sean Doyle, team on right, set a new school record time at 8:31. (photo by Jenny Wolfe)

Ranked fourth in 1A/2A Men’s 4×800 Meter Relay, Polk County’s team set its sights on striding into a top three finish. Polk’s lead-off leg sophomore Sean Doyle would set a jaw-dropping pace from the gun. As coaches, parents, teammates and spectators watched him sprint way ahead of the field, all were awed by his sub-55 second pace at the 400 meter halfway mark.

He got out in front and never looked back, the boldest pace-setting frenzy witnessed in my 41 seasons of coaching. The look in his eyes and a purposeful stride immediately transitioned all of my body language to “go for it, keep it rolling, you can do it” praise.

Doyle would post a personal best coming in at the 800 meter exchange just over the 2:00-minute mark, and comfortably pass the baton on to sophomore Mitchell Brown.

Brown held pace over his four-lap assault, coming through the second exchange in a close second. Sophomore Jacob Wolfe had strategic maneuvering to do as Polk and race leader Franklin High began to lap the rest of the field.

Wolfe’s last two laps found him holding off a kick from NC School of Science and Math racer trying to grab second. Wolfe would maintain second at the last exchange and post a personal best 2:08 on his way to a keeping team medal hopes alive. Senior Jacob Collins brought the Polk team baton through the finish line for a third place overall finish.

The medal ceremony recognized them as All-State top three performers. They are now locally recognized as new school record holders in the event.

The 2006 record of 8:38 held by Ben Hall, Noah Hall, Thomas Zieler and Colby Lynch was lowered by Doyle, Brown, Wolfe and Collins to 8:31.

Polk County’s 4×400 Meter Relay (Darden, Eli Hall, Collins, Gage Stone) would begin in similar fashion as Darden got out to an enthusiastic start with his first 200-meter split at 23 seconds.

Smooth baton exchanges, a stellar personal best performance sprint from Junior Eli Hall, and a solid anchor leg from Stone would send Polk on its way to another third place medal ceremony coming in at 3:38.

With NCHSAA state qualifying standards limiting the 1A/2A field to only a few competitors in all events and a rolling schedule format, runners in more than one event would face little recovery time. A few minutes after their 4×800 runs, Doyle and Collins represented Polk in the Men’s 1,600 Meter Run.

Doyle, the only sophomore to qualify in the event, placed 12th in 4:58 and Collins 13th in 5:02. Wolfe was the lone sophomore qualifier in the 1000 Meter placing ninth in 3:02. Matthew Darden raced the preliminaries of the 55 Meter Dash in 6.86. JC Suddeth finished 10th in shot put with a throw of 41-5.75.

The Lady Wolverine 4×800 meter relay team (Emily Kocher, Shelby Wells, Savannah Robbins, Shea Wheeler) would run a 10-second personal record to a sixth place finish 11:08. Current School Record holder, Charlie Bullock would grab seventh place honors in women’s shot put with a throw of 32-3.5.

Polk Men (12 points) would rank 15th out of 40 teams competing, and the Women (5 points) would rank 23rd out of 36 schools competing.

– article submitted
by Jenny Wolfe

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