In two quick years, Green Hope’s expectations have risen greatly when it comes to boys indoor track and field. The Falcons, which won the 2015 championships, finished third this year at an N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A meet.
“I was expecting a state team title,” said senior William Hoffman. “A lot more kids are coming out. We’ve had very good athletes come out the last few years – sprinters and distance. ... I’ve just been lucky to come out, provide some more talent to the team.”
Hoffman won an individual title in the boys’ 500 (1 minute, 4.7 seconds) to help the Falcons’ third-place finish. Green Hope’s 30 points tied with Garner for third.
It was an exhausting day for Hoffman, who ran a new personal record to win.
“I didn’t even go to the podium to get pictures, that’s how beat I was,” he said.
The team was left wondering “what if” after Ian Delgado was tripped – but no disqualification call was made – in the 1,000-meter run. If Delgado had won the event, and he was near the top at the time of the trip, the Falcons would have finished second by one point and gotten the runner-up plaque.
But the future is still bright, especially for the 4-by-800 relay team of Delgado, Ares Epps, Matthew Kehn and Sean Petersen, who finished in 8 minutes, 11.52 seconds. All four are juniors.
They overcame a wild race with three restarts.
“I’ve never had a race where they restarted three times,” Kehn said.
Petersen, the first leg of the relay, showed resolve by not letting it affect his run.
“It was kind of crazy in the beginning,” Petersen said. “Myers Park took it out fast, I just stayed with them and made my move on the final lap.”
Epps took the baton from Kehn for the third leg.
“I was trying to increase the gap and make my teammates anchor to finish strong,” Epps said.
Then Delgado did the rest.
“Fortunately I was able to bring it home and execute coach’s game plan,” he said.
Green Hope’s Finn McBride was fourth in the 1,600. The girls team reached the podium twice: the 4-by-800 relay team was third and Samantha Kolor (3,200) was fourth.