TRACK: Huskey leads Polk efforts at conference meet

Published 12:15 pm Thursday, May 2, 2024

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Four races, almost four miles covered on a very warm May afternoon.

On a bittersweet afternoon for Polk County’s track and field program, Karsyn Huskey delivered a rather sweet performance.

The Wolverine junior won two races, took third in another and anchored a second-place relay team, headlining Polk County’s effort at Wednesday’s Mountain Foothills 7 Conference Track and Field Championships in G.M. Tennant Stadium.

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Polk’s boys team placed second behind a dominant Brevard team while the Wolverine girls placed a narrow third, just eight points behind Brevard and four and a half behind R-S Central. The Blue Devil girls clinched their conference title in the day’s final event, winning the 4×400-meter relay.

Huskey ran the final leg of that race, capping a day in which she won the 800-meter run and 3200-meter run while placing third in the 1600 by less than a second – all on an 86-degree day.

“I feel good,” Huskey said despite the long day. “My 16, I just wasn’t feeling it. I guess I didn’t warm up enough, but I’m glad I at least got into the top three.

“It’s really hot today, and it definitely was really hard (to do the four races). Sometimes I just had to get into the shade because I was getting drained by the sun.”

Leah Dotson soared to a win in the pole vault and Aaron Dickey delivered a victory in the long jump to provide Polk Middle its other conference champions. Watching them all, as always, was head coach Alan Peoples, who coached and ran the meet despite the loss of his wife, Harriet, on Tuesday, who passed away at the age of 76 after a lengthy battle with dementia.

An ardent supporter of Polk County’s track and field program, Harriet Peoples would have wanted her husband to be at Wednesday’s meet, he said. So he came, though he moved about missing a bit of his usual spark.

“Not good,” he said of his state. “Not good at all.”

The program held a short flower ceremony honoring Harriet Peoples and also recognized its seniors during the meet.

Polk County will now turn its focus to preparing for the 1A West Regional, set for May 11 at Montreat College.