Polk performs well at state track meet, but so did other schools

Published 10:54 pm Sunday, May 22, 2016

Call it peaking at the recent regional tournament. Throw in some fallout from drenching rains that left parts of the ground under water. In any case, Polk County’s men’s and women’s track and field teams performed well at Saturday’s (May 21) 2A state meet in Greensboro, but did not reap as many honors as head coach Alan Peoples had expected.

Polk freshman Jake Justice placed third in the men’s pole vault, with an effort of 12 feet, six inches. Troy Lieberman was sixth at 11 feet, six inches.

Polk’s fine jumper and runner Emma Wagoner was fifth in the triple jump at 34 feet, six and one-half inches. That’s her best, and also the school record.

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The women’s 4×400-meter team ran its best time of the year, at 4:16.72, but placed tenth. However, the women’s 4×800 relay team took fourth. Their time of 10:09 was their second best of this year.

The only problem for the Wolverines was, as Peoples observed, “Everybody came to states loaded and ready to go. Everybody else came hungry too.”

On Saturday morning, following heavy rains, the shot put circle was under water, Peoples noted. Preparing that area took lots of time and effort.

“The weather was horrible,” Peoples observed.

“I was the meet director,” Peoples added, “so my hair was on fire when I got there.”

In the men’s 4×800-meter relay, “We were leading with less than ten meters to go,” said Peoples. The Wolverines’ brilliant middle distance runner and event anchorman, Sean Doyle, seemed ready to cross the finish line first, but that didn’t happen. Instead, “I think gravity took over,” Peoples pondered, indicating that Doyle’s running posture possibly changed enough to cause him to stumble.

Doyle still had the grit to hold the baton, get up, and cross the line to give Polk a strong second-place finish. Polk’s time of 8:10.61 was second best in school history, and only some four seconds off the winning time. Doyle then ran a strong 800 meters (2:01.11), to place seventh.

In the women’s 400-meter run, Polk’s Izzy Jackson and Mariah Overholt, both freshmen, placed ninth and eleventh, respectively.

Polk’s Marissa Longshore was ninth in the women’s long jump, with a leap of 15 feet, ten inches. Teammate Micheala Nelon was ninth in the shot put, at 34 feet, one inch. India Godlock was 11th in the mile (1,600 meter) run, at 5:35.32.

“We had some excellent times yesterday,” Peoples remarked.

Overall, Polk’s men placed 11th, in a tie with St. Paul’s. The women were 22nd.

With rain delays, and the long driving distance, the Wolverines’ team bus finally pulled into the high school at about 3 a.m. Sunday.