The Green Hope Falcon

Second Super Saturday Preview

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Second Super Saturday Preview

The Green Hope track teams celebrate their accomplishments.

The Green Hope track teams celebrate their accomplishments.

Green Hope Track

The Green Hope track teams celebrate their accomplishments.

Green Hope Track

Green Hope Track

The Green Hope track teams celebrate their accomplishments.

Ryan Kemper, Sports Writer

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The weekend of February 10th, Green Hope takes on its next “Super Saturday” of the year with the Indoor Track and Field and Swim and Dive teams headed to their state meets at JDL Fast Track and Triangle Aquatic Center, respectively.  The teams have been putting in hard work all season, and are ready to reach the pinnacle of their competition period.

Swim and Dive heads into the meet with a lot of momentum, with the men’s team winning the 4A Central Regional last weekend, and the women’s team taking second place!  The men’s team was utterly dominant, winning the meet by over 200 points, and sending a message to the rest of the state in the process.  The women’s team narrowly lost to Page High School, but are still hopeful for the chance to compete once more.

Combined the two programs qualified 26 athletes for the Championship on the 10th, an impressive number, and many individuals have qualified for two events and relays each.  The men will be looking to follow up their dominant performance at the regional last weekend and are riding a wave of momentum headed into States this weekend.  The veteran squad will look to its experience from swimmers such as Seniors John Healy, Connor Dalbo and Michael Ivy in both individual events and relays to score big points for the team.  Senior Diver Walker Creedon will hopefully provide points in the diving competition to round off the day for the team.  Solid depth will hopefully lead to a repeat performance of the Regional last weekend and the team’s first state title since 2014.

On the women’s side the girls will again be chasing programs such as the aforementioned Page High School and will be in a tight battle with many other teams. In the same style as the men, the women’s team will look to a mix of experience and youth to try and chase their first state title this weekend.  Seniors Rebecca Ssengonzi, Katie Sanders and junior diver Sophia Ehlin will look to provide the spark the team needs to overcome its narrow loss last weekend.  Eleven points is a slim margin, and it is definitely possible to see the script flipped this weekend if a few things fall into place for the girls.  Preliminaries start at Triangle Aquatic Center at 8 in the morning on Saturday, February 10th, and Finals begin later in the day at 4 p.m.     

The Indoor Track and Field programs head into the meet with the same level of excitement.  Both the men’s and women’s teams have been running extremely well the whole season, securing a strong number of performances to qualify a whopping 26 athletes for the meet, many in multiple events!  After strong performances at many invitationals this season, expectations are high for both programs.  

On the men’s side, the depth of the distance runners and many of their projected top five finishes will be relied on heavily to carry the team to its first Indoor Track State Championship in two years.  After a narrow miss last year where the team was plagued with multiple unlucky events, the senior-heavy squad looks to follow up on their dominant performance from Cross Country.  Says senior Ian Delgado, one of those impacted very personally by an unlucky turn of events at last years meet, “We use last year’s successes, not failures, to set a foundation for what we plan to continue this year.  We use the failures and unexpected negative events to both motivate us and keep us prepared for any circumstances so we are able to win the team title.”

The men will be in a close team battle with the teams from Cary High and Garner Magnet High School, both of whom will be looking for coveted sprint event points where Green Hope will not be able to score.  Strong performances in the 1000m from Delgado and seniors Sean Petersen and Matthew Kehn will be a major key for how the meet will go.  A performer looking to have a breakout race will be sophomore Thomas Vo, after a monster performance in a meet last week he has jumped up to the 10th fastest 3200m in the 4A Classification! Look for him to establish himself as one of the best in the Class of 2020 this weekend.

The women will be looking to continue their strong season with their all-around depth.  Unlike the men’s team the girls have the ability to score in both short and long distance events.  The girls will be looking to build on their top 10 finish in the team standings last year.  The women from West Forsyth High School, Southeast Raleigh High School, and Ronald Reagan High School are the teams to beat and a good goal for the women to chase in the meet.  The girls also have a number of seniors that will be looking to cap off their Indoor Track career in the right way.

Fast performances from senior Lindsey Eastwood in the 500m and the 55m Hurdles as well as strong efforts from the 4x200m, 4x400m and 4x800m could allow the girls to make some noise in the upper half of the top ten finishers and surprise a number of teams in the process.  After a relatively quiet track season so far, look for sophomore Kelsey Vogel to have a strong race in the 3200m and round back into her Cross Country form, where she was 1st Team All-State.  The meet kicks off at 5 p.m at JDL Fast Track in Winston Salem on Saturday.

Be sure to wish members of both teams luck on Friday as they prepare for their big days on Saturday!

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Second Super Saturday Preview