News: Falcons sweep Tri-6 Conference races
The Falcons were excited to hit the Wake Med course for the first conference meet in the new Tri-6 Conference on October 18. Temperatures were a fairly mild 71 degrees at the start of the boy’s race with nothing but clear blue skies. It would turn out to be a nice day in more ways than one.
The boy’s varsity team toed the line a little unsure what to expect. The boys had spent the whole year ranked #1 in the state and in the top 10 in the nation, but had been a little up and down lately with excellent performances at Great American and Friday Night Lights, but so-so performances at Oatlands and the Manhattan Invitational. Facing two of the top 5-ranked teams in the state, the pre-race forecasts thought it would be a battle right to the end. The GH boys, however, went out and took command from the start. Peyton Barish won the individual title in 15:37, edging fellow senior Finn McBride (15:39). They were followed by fellow All-Conference performers Ryan Kemper (4th, 15:50), Daniel Vo (5th, 15:55), Thomas Vo (9th, 16:04), Reed Blackman (11th, 16:13), Ares Epps (12th, 16:13), and Spencer Cowley (13th, 16:22). This marked the 11th conference title for the boys in school history.
The girl’s varsity had not put together a really great performance all year for one reason or another, but this would be their day and hopefully the first of a couple good days to come. By the halfway point it was clear they had showed up to send a message, as GH runners sat in spots 2 through 6 after the crest of the big hill. They went on to win emphatically with only 26 team points and were led by sophomores Kelsey Vogel (2nd, 18:38), Tess Davila (3rd, 18:59), and Zoey Davila (4th, 19:27). They were joined on the All-Conference team by senior Catherine Holbrook (8th, 19:46), junior Bailey Fowler (9th, 19:47), sophomore Natasha Abramowicz (10th, 19:49), sophomore Sophia Veilleux (12th, 19:57), and junior Alessandra Rodriguez (13th, 20:00). This was the girls 10th straight title and 15th in 16 years.
The Green Hope boys have long dominated the JV race and were expected to do so once again as the depth of the boys team this fall has been second to none. Seven boys entered the race with a PR in the 17:00s and the team would not disappoint, as the boys brought home their 16th straight JV conference title. Sophomore Liam McBride ran a 17-second PR (16:48) to lead the JV boys and win the JV conference individual title. He was followed by sophomore Michael Taylor (2nd, 17:00), senior Alex Tomasi (4th with a huge 34-second career PR of 17:32), junior Andy Dawson (5th, 17:38), and sophomore Sam Eyerman (6th, PR of 17:39). The boys scored a race-day low of 18 points to easily beat second place Panther Creek (43).
The girls JV race was expected to be very close as Panther Creek has a growing number of young, talented runners. While the Catamounts closed the gap a bit on the JV Falcons, once again Green Hope brought home the title -- winning their 16th-straight JV conference title. Freshman Kylie Petee ran a great second half of the race and brought home the individual win with a blazing fast time of 20:39. She was joined by scorers freshman Rebecca Robinson (3rd, PR of 20:52), sophomore Akhila Krothapalli (4th, PR of 20:58), junior Meg Penaganti (5th, 21:14), and junior Julie Tonon (6th, with a 34-second PR of 21:19). The 19-point team score for the Falcons beat out 2nd place Panther Creek by 17 points in the closest race of the day.
So to sum up the day:
- 230 Green Hope runners competed.
- The boys and girls won the team titles (11th and 15th overall respectively).
- The JV boys and girls won their 16th straight conference titles.
- Individual titles were won by Peyton Barish, Liam McBride, Kylie Petee.
- 139 GH runners ran a PR (personal record), and 44 others had their best performance of the season.
Next up for the Falcons is the NCHSAA Mideast 4A Regional Meet at WakeMed Soccer Park on Saturday, October 28th. The boys race at 9:30 AM and the girls race at 10:30 AM. The top five teams in the regional meet will move onto the state meet on November 4th.