Last year's 3rd place finisher at the NCHSAA 4A State Championship, the Green Hope Falcons, come in as the No. 4 team on our boys' cross country pre-season countdown.
Graduation takes a hit into Green Hope's depth, as they lose their No. 3, 5, and 6 from the NCHSAA 4A Mideast Regional, where they finished 2nd. They do, however, return their top two in the form of Gavin Hansen and Luke Young.
Hansen was 4th at the regional finishing as the top dog for Green Hope. He went on to place 19th at the cross country state meet.
During indoor season, he took 9th at the NCHSAA Indoor 4A State Championship in the 3,200m. He improved on that performance in outdoor season, as he took 7th in the same event at the outdoor state meet. Hansen won the NCHSAA 4A Mideast Regional in 9:30.68.
Luke Young ran his 3,200m personal best of 9:37.65 at the SWAC Conference Championship where he took runner-up. He also ran 4:18.43 over 1,600m at the Carolina Distance Carnival.
Liam Young was right on their tail, he ran 9:41.81 for 3,200m and 4:33.98 for 1,600m. He was 15th at the cross country regional last year.
Their top three all sit in the top 30 3,200m returners in the state.
We only saw Andrew Vo run the 800m and down this spring, but he proved he was strong in the event. He ran 1:59.05 at the NCRunners Elite Tune Up.
Dax Mahone and Sebastian Percival Shim are heading into their junior seasons and the Falcons are going to call on them to really come into their own this season and turn into valuable scorers. Mahone ran 1:59.11 in the 800m and 4:32.83 for the 1,600m this spring, while Shim ran 1:57.98 in the 800m.
Although they lost some key seniors, the front pack of the Falcons have plenty of experience and leadership to get this team back to the top of the state, and even earn a podium finish at the state championship.