Wolverine girls take sixth, boys eighth at state indoor track championships

Published 3:52 pm Monday, February 12, 2018

A pair of top-10 finishes, a state champion and a handful of other medal winners.

No wonder Polk County track and field coach Alan Peoples kept breaking into a smile Friday evening.

The Wolverines made their presence felt at this year’s state 2A/1A indoor track and field championships at JDL Fast Track, finishing as the top 1A program in both the boys and girls team competitions and cracking the top 10 overall in each.

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Led by medalists Izzy Jackson and Reagan Waddell, Polk County’s girls placed sixth in the team standings. T.W. Andrews claimed its second consecutive state title, nipping Croatan by two points, with North Lincoln, Lexington and Cummings rounding out the top five.

Polk County shared sixth with Anson, two points ahead of Hendersonville.

The Wolverine boys earned eighth place, their day highlighted by the state championship of pole vaulter Jake Justice. The Wolverines also earned fourth-place finishes in the 4-by-800 and 4-by-400-meter relays, bookending the meet with podium-worthy efforts. Croatan easily won the boys state team title.

“This is one of the few times, maybe the only time, that we’ve had both teams in the top 10,” Peoples said. “We’re the highest 1A finishing team in both the boys and girls. They split 2A and 1A for (Wells Fargo) Cup points, so we earned 45, 50 points in each.

“Today was very good. We didn’t do as well as we expected in some events, but we did better than we expected in others. Just a great day.”

Polk County’s scoring variety also pleased Peoples. The Wolverine boys scored field points with Jake Justice winning the pole vault title and earned relay points as Justice, Jared Wolfe, Wyatt Derkach and Jack Derkach medaled in the 4-by-400 and Evan Dadson, Matias Akers, Caleb Potter and Jack Derkach placed fourth in the 4×800. The Wolverine girls had field points from Waddell and pole vaulter Lauren Ketwitz, who placed fifth, sprint points from Jackson with her third place in the 500 meters and relay points with the 4-by-400-meter relay team (Madison Geddings, Reese Alley, Sydney Waldman and Jackson) taking second.

“You couldn’t ask for more,” Peoples said. “We have good kids who get good results. We had such a broad base of finishes. We scored in the field and in the running events. The 500 is a sprint, so we scored in sprints, distance, relays and the field.

“The big thing for us is our assistant coaches. This proves again that if you get good people, and get out of their way and let them go, here are the results.”

– submitted by PolkSports.com