Reindeer Games a success for Polk County, on and off the track

Published 3:37 pm Friday, December 15, 2017

The real winner in Thursday’s 9th Annual Reindeer Games? Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry, which received more than 3,300 cans of food from the spectators and athletes gathered for the annual indoor track meet.

There was also the on-track competition to consider, and Polk County’s girls and boys teams had a pretty good day there as well.

The Wolverine boys won the holiday-themed meet, finishing 35 points ahead of runner-up Franklin, while the Polk girls took fifth place and produced a school-record performance during the day.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Some 600 athletes converged on G.M. Tennant Stadium for this year’s Reindeer Games, Polk County’s annual meet and food drive for TBOM.

By 5 p.m., TBOM executive director George Alley had loaded the old pickup truck that he brings each year to haul away the canned goods that serve both as entry fee and entrance fee for the event, with Polk County High’s student body also collecting cans for the event.

Were the success of the food drive not enough, Polk County’s athletes also thrived on a chilly afternoon and evening brightened by the holiday decorations scattered around W.J. Miller Field and the festive attire worn by many competitors.

Reagan Waddell started the day with an impressive performance in the shot put, setting a school record with her throw of 35-2 and taking second place in that event behind Murphy’s Carly Hopkins, who unleashed a toss of 38-6.

Lauren Ketwitz took top honors in the pole vault with a leap of 8-6 while Izzy Jackson took second in the 500 meters with a time of 1:22.19.

West Henderson won the girls competition, followed by T.C. Roberson, Franklin, Hendersonville and Polk County.

The Wolverine boys had just one individual event winner, with Jake Justice clearing 13-0 to win the pole vault, but won the 4×400 and 4×800-meter relays and had several top-five performances.

In the field events, Holden Owens delivered a third place in the shot put, just behind teammate Luke Sellers, and placed second in the high jump, with David Horton and Gaige Lewis placing third and fourth.

Justice also finished second in the long jump with a leap of 21-1 and Avery Edwards took fourth with a jump of 19-6 1/2, good enough to qualify him for the state indoor championship meet in February.

Jack Derkach placed third in the 1000-meter run, Grayson Jones took fourth in the 300 meters and Caleb Potter and Evan Dadson finished 2-3 in the 3200 meters for the Wolverines.

– submitted by