Hobbton track stars sign with schools

By: By David Johnson - Sports Writer

It was a big week for Hobbton High athletics, which had four track athletes sign their letters of intent over the past couple of days. On Thursday, standouts Josh Polk and Janet Thompson signed to run at the next level, and Krystal Martinez and Yocelyn Rivera followed suit Friday.

Hobbton track star Polk signed a letter of intent Thursday to run at North Carolina Central University. Polk is a three-time state champion. He will be on a full scholarship.

Polk had been recruited by Western Carolina, Campbell and University of Mount Olive. Polk told those attending that NCCU was a better fit for his goals as the track coach at NCCU is a former Olympian and was a successful coach.

His coach Charles Robertson, a Campbell alum, was pushing Polk to consider Campbell; however, he agreed with Polk’s choice of NCCU, saying it was probably a better fit. Robertson said the letter of intent guarantees a spot on the track team. It will be up to Polk to make it happen.

Lady Wildcat track star Thompson signed a letter of intent as well to participate in track at Howard University, selecting the Washington, D.C.- based school over others.

“After visiting Howard and talking with the coach and students, I felt like this is where I need to be,” said Thompson. “I’m not looking to go to the Olympics; however, I feel like Howard’s academics and the track program will get me where I want to go in life.”

“With the credentials of Howard’s coaching staff and the academic side, I think she made the right choice,” replied Robertson.

Thompson’s is also a full-ride scholarship.

Surrounded by family and school administrators, cousins and distance runners Martinez and Rivera signed letters of intent for track scholarships Friday afternoon. Martinez is headed to William Peace University and Rivera is going to Central Carolina Community College.

“With Josh Polk and Janet Thompson, recruiting was easy because they were well known and actively pursued. With these young ladies, we had to work a bit harder to get them where they wanted to be,” said Robertson, in his introductions.

“Both were interested in going to the same school; however, Rivera decided a two-year community college program was better for her goals, so after talking to Central Carolina she decided to go there,” he continued. “I first thought they were sisters when I started coaching them; however, I soon learned they were cousins and very different people.”

“After talking to William Peace coaches and visiting the school I decided that was where I wanted to go,” stated Martinez. “In a meet in Apex during cross country, the coach from Meredith was on the starting line and I got nervous and didn’t have a good run. Peace seemed to be a better fit.”

She thanked the coaches as well as family, school officials and teammates for making her high school career a success.

“When I started out as a freshman, I was running 5Ks in over 25 minutes. My last one was 24 minutes,” she concluded.

Rivera also thanked Robertson, her family, teammates and school officials for their encouragement and support during her high school career.

Josh Polk, seated, signs his letter of intent to North Carolina Central University to participate in their track program. Pictured with him, from left, are: Assistant Principal Curtis Daughtry, Principal Jennifer Daughtry, Nyla Polk, mom Jennifer Polk, dad Edgar Polk, Audrianna Faison, and coaches Charles Robertson and Evan Murray.
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_Josh-Polksign.jpgJosh Polk, seated, signs his letter of intent to North Carolina Central University to participate in their track program. Pictured with him, from left, are: Assistant Principal Curtis Daughtry, Principal Jennifer Daughtry, Nyla Polk, mom Jennifer Polk, dad Edgar Polk, Audrianna Faison, and coaches Charles Robertson and Evan Murray.

Janet Thompson signs her letter of intent for Howard University. Pictured with her, from left, are: Assistant Principal Curtis Daughtry, Principal Jennifer Daughtry, Coach Charles Robertson, Kennedy Stokes, Kameron Stokes, mom Kimberly Williams, Athletic Director Russell Jones and Coach Evan Murray.
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_Janet-Thompsonsign.jpgJanet Thompson signs her letter of intent for Howard University. Pictured with her, from left, are: Assistant Principal Curtis Daughtry, Principal Jennifer Daughtry, Coach Charles Robertson, Kennedy Stokes, Kameron Stokes, mom Kimberly Williams, Athletic Director Russell Jones and Coach Evan Murray.

Yocelyn Rivera, left, and Krystal Martinez sign their letters of intent. Standing behind them, from left, are: Athletic Director Russell Jones, Principal Jennifer Daughtry and track coaches Charles Robertson and Evan Murray.
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_Martinez-and-Riveriasign.jpgYocelyn Rivera, left, and Krystal Martinez sign their letters of intent. Standing behind them, from left, are: Athletic Director Russell Jones, Principal Jennifer Daughtry and track coaches Charles Robertson and Evan Murray.
Successful program sends four more to collegiate level

By David Johnson

Sports Writer