Math Teacher Meets Lawn Mower

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Math Teacher Meets Lawn Mower

Anna Lamlein, Staff Writer

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Most Freedom students know Mr. Polhill as a Geometry and Liberal Arts teacher. However, his life outside the classroom is far from anything one might expect.

Three years ago, Polhill’s father invited him out to the race track. This wasn’t any normal race track though, this was Avon Park Mowerplex- a track designed especially for racing lawn mowers.

After a successful first trip, his father invited him back to the track- this time to race. He enjoyed the sport so much that by the end of his second race, Pollhill was ready to buy a mower and become a competitor himself.

“The body of the mower is kept intact, but the tires and sometimes the motor are modified for faster speeds,” Polhill described the transformation from a regular mower to one that is ready to race.  Even though his current mower maxes out at about 40 miles per hour, some can even reach speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.

Polhill racing with his signature number, 3.14 (Pi).

Despite these dangerously high speeds, Polhill explained, “The mowers don’t have seat belts.  I wear protective gear though, so when I have fallen I didn’t get hurt.”

The lawnmowers that competitors use are the same models that can be found at Home Depot or Lowes.  After they’re modified to race, though, they can no longer cut grass. Polhill uses the same mower throughout the season, but continues to improve upon the original design.

Polhill participates in races every second Saturday of the month at Avon Park Mowerplex, September through May.  He’s even placed in multiple heat races, and claims he plans on “Racing for as long as I can. I’m not quitting anytime soon.”