News: Falcon boys dominate at Regionals; girls second and advance to States
The NCHSAA 4A Mideast Regional cross country meet was held on Saturday, October 28, at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary. The regional meet is the second of the three important post-season meets for the Falcons. After two wins in the Tri-6 Conference meet ten days earlier, the Falcons were excited to see what they could do in the regional meet. The regional meet is always a pressure-packed race, though, as only five of the 19 teams in the region qualify and move on to the state meet.
The boys were the first to toe the line in perfect conditions Saturday morning. Coming off a great performance at the conference meet, the boys were the favorites to win the regional. As the race unfolded, they would leave no doubts as to who was the top team as the boys would dominate from start to finish. With roughly eight of the top 10 4A teams in the state represented in the Mideast Region, the boys sent a message by scoring an extremely low 22 points, easily beating 2nd place Cary (80 points). Peyton Barish cruised to the individual regional title in 15:28 as teammate Finn McBride finished in the runner-up spot (15:34). The two seniors led five GH runners in the top 8 with six Falcons finishing in sub-15:55. Ares Epps (15:40), Ryan Kemper (15:43), Reed Blackman (15:49), Daniel Vo (15:53), and Thomas Vo (16:09) all joined Barish and McBride on the 1st or 2nd team All-Region squad. This performance would prove to be the best in Falcons history -- and possibly the best in North Carolina history -- as six boys went sub-15:55 for a scoring average of 15:39.
The girls race had a bit of a different feel as Cardinal Gibbons has been the state’s clear-cut #1 team for the past three years. The GH girls showed a lot of progress in winning the conference title last week, but would need to take a huge step forward to compete with the Crusaders. It was not to be on this day. While off just a little from last week, the girls raced very well and easily brought home the regional runner-up trophy. This marked the 10th straight year and 13th time overall that the GH girls have finished either first or second in the Mideast Region. Leading the girls once again was Kelsey Vogel (18:53). She was followed by Zoey Davila (19:06), Tess Davila (19:20), Catherine Holbrook (19:37), Bailey Fowler (19:41), Natasha Abramowicz (19:46), and Alessandra Rodriguez (20:06).
Earning First Team All-Region honors for the Falcons: Peyton Barish, Finn McBride, Ares Epps, Ryan Kemper, Reed Blackman, Kelsey Vogel, Zoey Davila.
Second Team All-Region: Daniel Vo, Thomas Vo, Tess Davila, Catherine Holbrook, Bailey Fowler, Natasha Abramowicz
Both teams will look to improve on their regional performances as they move on to the NCHSAA 4A State Championship meet at Ivey Redmon Park in Kernersville on November 4. The boy race at 3:30 PM and the girls are featured in the last race of the day at 4:30 PM.