Relay team sets Polk High record at state meet

Published 5:26 pm Friday, June 4, 2010

The Polk County Wolverines, competing at the 2A State Track championships on Saturday, May 15, realized positives accompany disappointments and one days performance doesnt always define a champion.
Several favorites expected to win would face disappointment and settle for cumulative championship seasons and careers instead of taking home 2010 State Honors. An athletes success cannot be measured in one days successes or failures. A champion faces challenging days with determination to overcome future ones with better results.
Coming off two victories at the 2A Regional Meet, Polk fielded large squads on both teams ready to compete at the state level. The Lady Wolverines 4×400 Meter Relay team ran a 9-second personal best to capture 2nd, despite having to run in the first, slower heat due to a slow Regional qualifying time. The team lead by Senior Maggie Conner, along with teammates Mary Kate Christiansen, Maggie Phipps and Rebecca Elliott set a new School Record with a 4:10.02 performance.
The previous record in the event, set back in 1991 had special meaning for me because I was on it. If you have to have your record go down, its more than fitting that you have coached the girls who have lowered your mark. My teams (Calista Nodine, Angela Curl, Pat McIntyre) record couldnt go to a better group of girls. They have worked hard and deserve this honor. I was more excited for these girls breaking the school record than I was when my team set it; it was a great coaching moment. It could have proven to be the race of a lifetime if these girls could have faced the Cummings team (1st place 4:08.64) head to head in the fast heat.
You expect athletes to step up their competition at the State finals and the Wolverines rose to the occasion. Amanda DeFisher had a personal record in Pole Vault 93″ to finish 2nd overall. Savanna Mitchell cleared 86″ to take 4th place honors. Conner would claim 5th place honors overall in the 100 Meter Hurdles in (16.04). The standout veteran contributor would also finish 5th in the preliminaries of the 300 Meter Hurdles in (48.51) just missing the finals. Cheyenne Miller finished 4th in High Jump (5) and 8th in Triple Jump (345″). Senior Letoya Twitty finished 10th in Triple Jump (335). Phipps, Savannah Deavor, Jamie Miller, and Tori Madigan finished 15th in the 4×100 Relay (54.90), and Elliott finished 10th in the 1600 Meter (5:57) rounding out the girls efforts.
Many expected Seniors Bryan Lieberman and John Spencer Wolfe to walk-away with several State titles. Expectations of Lieberman to sky above other vaulters would fade as the standout vaulter would reach “no-height” in Pole Vault, despite having reached 146″, enough to win, in previous competition. The 4×200 Meter Relay team (Ethan Rhodes, Robby Franklin, Juan Ornelas, and Cary Littlejohn) would fall to disqualification for running out of their exchange zone. Senior Valentin Santos finished 6th (54.26) in the 400 Meter preliminaries, missing the finals.
Everyone expected Senior standout John Spencer Wolfe to go out with a bang at his final championship event as well, but illness would harness his pursuits. Wolfe, who has already signed with the NC State Wolfepack, qualified for State in four events. After making finals in the 400 Meter preliminaries, Wolfe faded during the 1600 Meter to finish 6th (4:34). He would drop out of the 800 Run and 400 Meter final, having made a team oriented decision to save what he could for the undefeated 4×400 Meter Relay later in the day. Wolfe held on through the 400 Meter battle edging his team into a 3rd place medal victory in (3:28.63). Shortly after 4×400 teammates; Seniors Rhodes and Santos, and Sophomore Andy Conner ran over to congratulate Wolfe on a strong finish, Polk learned they were disqualified from the competition. An NCHSAA official called a “pacing on the back-stretch” violation on a Polk spectator serving as an infield volunteer worker. Their season-long preparation and arsenal of effort dissolved.
The Polk girls team would finish 7th overall with 29.5 points and the boys team finished 41st with only 3 points. The outdoor track teams will celebrate a successful outdoor season May 26 at its annual sports banquet at the Harmon Field Cabin at 6 p.m.

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