PCHS Cross Country clinches state championship berths

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, October 30, 2014

After finishing a disappointing fifth place last season, one spot away from making it past regional finals to the state championships, the Polk County Men’s Cross Country team clinched a berth this season.

Polk’s Sean Doyle lead the team, recording a fourth place overall finish in 16:59 at the NCHSAA 2A West Regional Championships held at Freedom Park in Morganton, NC on Saturday, Oct. 25. The top four teams at each of the four regional meets earns a berth to the 2A State Championship Meet. Doyle was the first Junior to cross the finish line, edged only by Seniors Corbin Boyles of Maiden, Blanton Gillespie of Shelby and Noah Allison of Madison.

Polk’s Mitchell Brown and Jacob Wolfe would each race into the top 20 finishers to help lead Polk County Men’s Cross Country team to the state meet. Brown placed 17th in a time of 17:40 and Wolfe ran a personal best 17:54 to take the 20th position overall. Senior Mark Federman also ran a personal best 18:25 and finished 27th. Freshman Al Russell rounded out the top five scorers on the Polk squad with a 19:40 and 77th overall placement.

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Polk’s top five runners individual places added together gave Polk 140 points, enough for 4th place team finish to earn a trip to the state meet. Also competing for the Wolverines; Conner Holtz (21:10) and Luke Collins (25:06). The Polk men competed again without their two seniors sidelined by injury, Caleb Brown and Eli Hall.

Men’s Team Scores: Franklin 119, Shelby 132, Lake Norman Charter 139, Polk County 140, East Lincoln 165. Sixteen other schools competed; complete results available at www.ncmilesplit.com.

The Polk County girl’s squad finished fifth in the West Region for the second straight year, just missing a team berth. Individuals India Godlock and Emily Kocher were among the top five individuals who were not on a qualifying team and earned two spots at next week’s championship as representatives of the Individual Qualifying Team.

Sophomore Godlock placed seventh and earned her second straight trip to the state meet with a 20:26 performance. Kocher, a first-year senior, earned her first state appearance with a time of 21:17, finishing 14th.

Also competing for Polk were Selena Chavez (23:36), Leah Hardin (23:54), Hayley Kropp (23:54), Allison Swope (23:55) and Savannah Robbins (24:01). Swope, a first-year Senior and transfer student affectionately called “Miss Arizona” by her new teammates, ran her last race for Wolverine Cross Country. Her strong team spirit, leadership and respectful attitude will shine throughout the 2014-2015 indoor and outdoor Track seasons to follow.

Women’s Team Scores: East Lincoln 63, Smoky Mountain 66, Lake Norman Charter 75, Brevard 102, Polk County 169. Eight other schools competed.

The 2A State Finals will be held Saturday at Ivy Redmon Park in Kernersville, NC. The boys race is at 10:30 a.m., followed by the girls race at 11:30 a.m.