Hare and the Hound Invitational
Afterthe Adidas Invitational was cancelled due to Hurricane Florence, the Falconswere more than ready to race when they headed out west to Charlotte FridaySeptember 21st. They wouldrace in the ever-growing Hare and the Hound Invitational at McAlpine Park. The boys and girls endured the nearly 4 hourbus ride to the park Friday and got an easy run in before heading to the hotel for dinner. After a night’s rest and an early wake-up Saturday it was race time!
The1st race of the day was the Boys’ Championship race. The Falcons are still not fully healthy as top-5 runner Spencer Cowley is working back from an injury and yet to race, but the boys were ready to go. While theywere missing another top 5 runner, they still hoped to battle nationally-ranked Weddington for the trophy. Weddington proved to be a little too strong on this day, but the boys ran very well. Junior Thomas Vo set a new career personalrecord (PR) of 15:50. In doing so Thomas became the 12th Green Hope boy to break 16:00 and moved into 4thplace on the all-time junior class list. He was followed by Reed Blackman (15:57), Justin Polonio (PR of 16:37), Michael Taylor (PR 16:43), and Liam Mcbride. The boys managed a runner-up finish (out of 40 teams) and showed some positive signs for what may lie ahead.
The 2nd race of the day was the Girls’ Championship race. The girls were also up against a very strong fieldincluding North Carolina powers Weddington and Cuthbertson. It would not be the best of days for theladies, but there were some gutty performances. The girls finished 8th out of 29 teams and the team was ledby Bailey Fowler (20:03), Kelsey Vogel (20:09), Natasha Abramowicz (20:51),Tess Davila (21:09), Sophia Veilleux and Rebecca Robinson (both 21:22).
The Invitational Boys’ race followed the girls championship. This race includes some teams’ top 7 and other team’s 2nd 7 runners. The Falcons raced their 2nd 7 in the 2 invitationalraces. This was a chance for the runners to see how they would fare against other teams’ top squads. The boys expected to be in the mix once againfor the title, but were edged by Weddington again and the top 7 boys from WestForsyth as they finished 3rd out of a whopping 74 teams (536runners). Dillon Patel (17:09), NicholasPolsinelli (17:33), Seth Young (17:38), and Ben Cale (17:41) all set career PRsto lead the boys.
Nextwas the Invitational Girls’ race at 9:30am. The 2nd 7 Green Hope girls were matched up against most teams’top 7. They managed a 10thplace finish out of 53 teams. They wereled by Julie Tonon (21:16), Ana Cubillo (PR of 22:01), Katie Foppiano (PR of22:47), Tanvi Rudran (22:53), and Jocelyn Royall (23:17).
The final set of races of the day were the Open races. The races were delayed for over an hour so they eventually would go off in relatively hot weather compared to the earlier races. The Open Boys’ and girls’ races matched up the Falcons #15-24 runners against many other teams’ 2nd 7 runners. The depth of the GH teamwould be tested in these races. The boys raced great, though, and finished 2nd out of 50 teams (to Broughton’s 2nd 7 runners). Sanjay Kumar(18:23), Zander Selleseth (PR 18:23), Amir Yegani (PR 18:40), Jakub Kreauter(PR 18:41), and Brendan Adkins (18:44) led the Falcons.
The last race was the Open Girls’ race. The girls had waited all morning (and an eaxtra hour+ for a delay) to hear the gun go offand were ready to go. They looked very strong from the get-go and would be edged by Cuthbertson’s 2nd 7runners for the title, finishing 2nd out of 42 teams. Delaney Armstrong (22:48), Anna Tinglestad (PRof 23:30), Akhila Krothapalli (23:21), Arshia Haq (23:49), and Reagan McDaniel(PR of 23:54) were the 5 scoring runners.
Overall there were many more positive results than negative ones and it was a greatSaturday of racing. 7 out of 23 girlsand 12 out of 23 boys set career PRs (and this was after hot weather and then Hurricane Florence disrupted training the past couple weeks). The Falcons are very excited to see what thefinal few weeks of the season will hold. The last invitational of the year will be there Hagan Stone Invitationalon October 6th.