Collins and Godlock lead fun for PCHS at cross country carnival

Published 11:26 pm Tuesday, August 27, 2013

by Jenny Wolfe

With a few solid performances at the Western North Carolina Cross Country Carnival Saturday, Aug. 24 at Jackson Park in Hendersonville, it was evident who prepared to race cross country early in the season, even before the start of school. Summer miles can bring August smiles according to how well team members prepare over the summer.

Almost 50 teams from Tennessee and North and South Carolina raced the gently rolling hills and muddy terrain. The carnival provides a great season preview of where teams are in the race to be the fastest in 2013. The Carnival features eight races for both boys and girls; championship 5K (3.1 miles), invitational 5K, individual 5K and the 3K.

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Freshman India Godlock led the PCHS Lady Wolverines, placing fourth overall (21:44) in the girls’ invitational 3.1 mile race. Unsure of what to expect from a freshman who moves up from racing only 2 miles to the 5K event, Godlock’s efforts were pleasing. She will be a Wolverine to watch.

Godlock came through the first mile in 6:35, a strong statement of getting out hard and gaining good race placement for the remaining 2.1-mile stretch.

Shea Wheeler ran 25:05, Britain Hamrick 26:21, Leigh Deaver 27:29, Nancy Silva 28:42 and Shelby Wells 28:16. The top five places of each team member are tallied for team score and low score wins. The Lady Wolverine squad placed 15th overall with an average time of 25:47. To be competitive, five ladies must race a 7:30 pace per mile and finish in the 23:00 range.

The Wolverine men’s team was sparked by senior Jacob Collins.

Collins averaged 5:38 per mile, finishing in 17:32, a 36-second improvement over last year’s performance on the same course. With ample preparation, Collins aims to better his 17:03 personal record from last season and lower his time to the low 16s. Sophomore Sean Doyle did not disappoint either. Doyle also bettered his 2012 Carnival position by 36 seconds to run 18:18. Newcomer Mitchell Brown held a 6:30 pace in his first 5K as a Wolverine to finish in 20:11. Jacob Wolfe finished fourth for the Wolverine squad in 20:48. Without five finishers Polk did not tally a team score.

The Wolverine men’s team lead by Collins and Hall, took four freshmen to the state championships last year for the first time in seven seasons and they plan to return bigger, faster and stronger with all returning and the addition of Brown. Polk will be looking for someone to fill the shoes of its 2012 graduate, Chip Collins, who ran in the low 17s. In 2012 Polk men finished seventh in the state among 2A schools and averaged 17:55 for their top five finishers.