2016 North Carolina 4A State Meet:
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Harriers try to take Manhattan
The Green Hope Falcons sent 12 boys and two coaches to New York City on an early-morning, Friday-the-13th flight to head north for the Manhattan College HS Invitational. The Manhattan Invitational is one of the largest and most competitive in the nation, but runs a 4K course instead of the usual 5K distance. The boys landed at LaGuardia at 8:30am and made the one-hour journey up to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. The course is narrow and very technical, and it appeared it would run much slower than courses the Falcons are used to, but the boys left very excited for Saturday’s two races. After running the course, the Falcons had a light lunch, relaxed some at the hotel, had dinner in Times Square, and ended the night with meetings about the races Saturday.
Saturday morning, the boys made the 45-minute subway journey back to Van Cortlandt. The first race of the day for GH was the JV boys race. Even with 30 teams in the race, it quickly became a two-team battle between the Falcons and national power Christian Brothers Academy (Lincroft, NJ). The finish took on the appearance of a dual meet as CBA went 1-3-5-7-10 and GH went 2-4-6-8-9, with CBA edging the Falcons by 3 points. Scoring for the Falcons were Thomas Vo, Spencer Cowley, Michael Biddle, Michael Taylor, and Liam McBride -- and all return next fall.
The big event of the day was the Boys Eastern States Championship race that included GH and several other nationally-ranked teams. The boys went out hard, but the unfamiliar course and unfamiliar distance took its toll on the team. The Falcons were in 4th or 5th as a team with 500 meters to go, but a strong push over the final stretch allowed the team to claim 3rd place behind Christian Brothers Academy (NJ) and Fayetteville-Manlius (NY). The finish was a little disappointing for the boys, but still a very good performance at Manhattan. Scorers for the Falcons were Peyton Barish, Ian Delgado, Reed Blackman, Ryan Kemper, and Daniel Vo.
Next up for the Falcons is the Tri-6 Conference Championship on Wednesday, October 18, at the WakeMed Soccer Park course.