Polk men tie for 1st; women 3rd at WHKP track meet

Polk County's Landon White, a promising freshman, waits for the starter's gun in the men's 4X100-meter relay at the 55th annual WHKP Relays track and field meet, held Thursday, at North Henderson High School. (Photo by Mark Schmerling)

Polk County’s Landon White, a promising freshman, waits for the starter’s gun in the men’s 4X100-meter relay at the 55th annual WHKP Relays track and field meet, held Thursday, at North Henderson High School. (Photo by Mark Schmerling)

By Mark Schmerling

It was windy at Glen Marlow Stadium at North Henderson High School on Thursday, April 7, but that didn’t keep Polk County’s track and field teams from showing off their talent, as the men’s team tied for first and the women placed a close third in the 55th annual WHKP Relays meet.

That first-place tie (with 68 points) for the men was with McDowell, a 4A school (Polk is 2A). Polk’s women totaled 74.5 points, finishing just behind Hendersonville (78 points) and West Henderson (75.5 points). It was the 22nd annual women’s meet.

Polk’s men took first in the 4X400-meter relay (3:42), the 1,600-meter sprint relay (3:43.44) and the distance medley (11:49.87).

The Wolverine women were first in the 4X400 (4:25.44), 4X800 (10:46.87), long jump and shot put.

On Saturday Polk head coach Alan Peoples took runner Sean Doyle to the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation outdoor track meet in Columbia, SC. Doyle, who’d run hard as an anchor man to help the Polk men place first in two events on Thursday, still had enough left in him to place 12th among 200 runners in the 800-meter, at 1:59.

“I had to run him (Doyle) harder than I wanted to on Thursday,” Peoples explained. “I ran him hard on Thursday.”

Peoples said that Doyle ran the longest of anyone at Thursday’s meet; therefore spent more time than anyone else fighting the wind.

Polk’s Jaymes Wingo set a personal record of 20 feet, 10 inches in the long jump, placing him at number one in the Western Highlands Conference.

Next meet on Polk’s agenda is the April 19 Falcon Invitational at West Henderson High School. That begins at 4 p.m.

Peoples, who was just returning to earth after Saturday’s competition at Columbia, couldn’t hide his enthusiasm, and his pride in his teams.

“I love this stuff,” Peoples said. “I love it, I love it, I love it.”

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