Polk qualifies seven more for state in Polar Bear meet

Published 11:08 pm Monday, February 3, 2014

Erica Metcalf placed second in the 55-meter hurdles at Polk’s state qualifying Polar Bear meet.

Erica Metcalf placed second in the 55-meter hurdles at Polk’s state qualifying Polar Bear meet.

By Jenny Wolfe

With their backs against a wall, the Wolverine indoor track teams had to respond as they faced the last chance to post times or distances to make state finals.

Seven Wolverines, in Kool and The Gang rhythm, got their “backs up off the wall” and surpassed all expectations. Weather concerns pushed the event from Wednesday, Jan. 29 to Saturday, Feb. 1 at Polk County High School’s track.

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Three individuals and one relay team, combining for a “lucky seven,” will join other previously qualified teammates Saturday, Feb. 8 at the 1A/2A State Indoor Championships hosted by JDL FastTrack in Winston-Salem.

While weeks of hard work surely helped the Wolverine effort, nothing did more so than fair weather. One might even attribute the day’s success to the pressure of last chance competition, but one thing was for sure, the Wolverines were focused.

After season long attempts, Polk’s women’s 4×800 meter relay team needed an 8-second improvement from their best seed time of 11:38 to meet the state standard 11:30.

Leadoff runner Emily Kocher, racing a personal record 800-meter, set the pace with a strong first-leg. Shelby Wells and Savannah Robbins would race personal record 800s for both second and third leg exchanges, passing the baton on to senior Shea Wheeler who anchored the team to a 20-second improvement and third overall finish of 11:18.

Senior Jacob Collins would gain his coveted 1,600-meter state berth finishing third overall at 4:40, a season best. Senior JC Suddeth reached his goal by tying the qualifying mark of 36-06 in men’s Shot Put.

No one exceeded expectation more than Sophomore Jacob Wolfe in the 1,000-meter. With his best time this season at 2:59, reaching the 2:50 state standard seemed like a stretch.

A stretch is what it took, as Wolfe began a surging kick with 250 meters to go, he would move up from a ninth place racing position to cross the finish line in a shocking second place overall finish.  Wolfe’s 2:48 performance was a near 12-second improvement over his previous personal best.

Final results for the Wolverines:

Shot Put: Suddeth 36-06, Stephen Stimac 36-03.5 and Ryan Mollette 35-07.5

Long Jump: Andrew Suber-Brown 12-05

1,600-meter: Collins 4:40, Sean Doyle 4:47 and Mitchell Brown 4:58

500-meter: Jake Russell 1:18

1,000-meter: Wolfe 2:48, Doyle 2:55 and Collins 3:01

300-meter: Matthew Darden 37.80, Jackson Price 41.87

3,200-meter: Brown 11:39

4×400-meter relay: (Collins, Eli Hall, Gage Stone, Darden) 3:41

Final results for the Lady Wolverines:

Shot Put: Tameeia Brown 27-07

Long Jump: Lindy Desmaris 10-06

55-meter hurdles: Erica Metcalf 12.46

55-meter dash: Jennifer Girffin 8.94, Allison 8.97 and Joy Shanahan 9.40

1,600-meter: Leah Hardin 6:34 and Jessica Bailey 8:52

500-meter: Wells 1:37

300-meter: Griffin 50.95, Rhian Alley 53.14

4×400-meter Relay: (Autumn Miller, Wheeler, Elese Cash and Robbins) 4:40

Teams competing: AC Reynolds, Brevard, Burns, Christ School, East Henderson, Hendersonville, Mitchell, Murphy, North Buncombe, Pisgah, Shelby, Smoky Mountain, TC Roberson, Tuscola and West Henderson.

Team scores (Women): TC Roberson 151, East Henderson 73, West Henderson 38, North Buncombe 37, Shelby 36, Tuscola 36, AC Reynolds 36, Polk 26, Burns 14, Pisgah 14, Hendersonville 14 and Smoky Mountain 11.

Team scores (Men): TC Roberson 115, North Buncombe 58, Polk 52, East Henderson 49, Shelby 36, Christ School 30, AC Reynolds 29, Murphy 25, Hendersonville 23, West Henderson 18, Burns 12, Mitchell 10, Pisgah 10, Brevard 2 and Tuscola 2.