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Nike Southeast Regional

The final race of the cross country season for many Green Hope runners is always the Nike Southeast Regional at Wake Med Park the Saturday following Thanksgiving.  It is a long time after the conference championship race which for many runners was the last 5K they ran.  The long break from racing can impact times sometimes so we never know what to expect.  This year not only was there the long break, but conditions were awful for the races, as the temperatures were in the low40’s with a steady rain all day.  The conditions made for a muddy and slightly slower course which meant it would take a great effort to set personal PRs. 

The first race of the day was the boys Rising Stars race made up of 9th and 10th graders.  The Falcons (racing as the Western Cary Track Club) entered a big group of runners and earned a 2nd place finish making them one of the top groups of younger runners in the southeast. Leading the boys was Ben Cale who finished as the top 9th grader in the race with a 4th place finish and PR of 16:54.  He was followed by Nicholas Polsinelli (15th,tied his PR of 17:33), Zander Selleseth (20th, PR of 17:49), Jakub Kreuter (tied his PR of 18:08), and Jacob Kurak (PR of 18:25).  Many others in the race also set personal PRs.  The future of the boys program looks bright. 

The second race of the day was the girls Rising Stars race.  While the field was relatively large, there were only 4 complete girls teams and the Falcons finished in 3rd place.  The girls were led by Delaney Armstrong (27th, PR of 22:07), Reagan McDaniel (30th,22:12), Regan Glass (31st, PR of 22:22), Anna Tinglestad (40th,PR of 22:32), and Lauren Sims (51st, PR of 23:00).  Four of the seven girls set career PRs which was more and more difficult as the conditions of the course worsened throughout the morning. 

The Boys Open Race included 11th and 12th graders not racing in the main event.  The scoring runners were Brandon Morton (17:27), Brendan Adkins (PR of 17:41), Amir Yegani (PR of 17:56), Jarrod Seifert (PR of 18:28), and Hiromu Koyama (19:06). 

The Girls Open Race also had 11th and 12th grade girls racing.  By the time this race began the course was a sloppy mess and the rain had picked up considerably making for very tough conditions.  Julie Tonon ran avery good final high school race finishing in 20:37 and she was followed by junior Tess Davila (20:56).  Rounding out the scorers for the Falcons were Akhila Krothapalli (23:00), Caroline Lessard(23:22), and Tanvi Rudran (23:23). 

The final race of the day involving a Green Hope full squad of runners was the Championship race.  The race always attracts most of the top 10 teams from the southeast region of the United States and this year was no different. National #1 and defending Champ Loudoun Valley High School as well as all of the other top teams were in Cary to vie for one of the two automatic bids to the Nike Cross Nationals in Oregon next weekend.  In 2017 the Green Hope boys finished 3rd,but earned the Southeast’s first at-large bid. The boys knew it would be difficult to earn another trip to Portland,but they were determined to see if they could earn a top-10 regional finish.  At the end of the day they finished 14th in a strong region and were once again the 2nd NC 4A team (behind Cary and ahead of Panther Creek and Cardinal Gibbons).  Thomas Vo (16:00), Reed Blackman (16:11),Justin Polonio (16:19), Michael Taylor (16:33), and Spencer Cowley (16:55) were the scoring runners for the Falcons. 

The last race on the schedule was the girls Championship race and the lone GH girl entered was senior Alessandra Rodriguez. Ale ran in a driving rain and produced one of her best times in the last couple years at 19:46.  Overall it was another great day for the Falcons and a good way to wrap-up the 2018 season.  Best of luck to everyone who is running track and hopefully all of those returning in 2019 will put the work in over the offseason to even further the legacy of GHXC.