Green Hope started the 2013-14 athletics year with a goal in mind – a fifth straight N.C. High School Athletic Association Wells Fargo 4A Cup, and a “drive for five” slogan to go with it.
The Falcons made it five straight, the NCHSAA announced last week. The Wells Fargo state cup competition awards points to the top eight finishers in each sport. A state championship is worth 50 points.
Green Hope, which won state titles in boys swimming and girls cross country, totaled 475 points.
The team close behind them is right down the road.
Apex’s 457.5 points came in second. The Cougars won the state title in boys basketball.
Panther Creek (275), which won a girls tennis title, tied for 11th.
In 3A, Cardinal Gibbons’ streak of eight straight cups came to an end, finishing runner-up (697.5-622.5) to Marvin Ridge High in Waxhaw.
N&O Cup: Apex and Panther Creek finished tied for second in The N&O Cup competition, which awards points based on the final rankings in nine team sports, three from each of the athletics seasons: volleyball, boys soccer, football, boys basketball, girls basketball, wrestling, baseball, softball and girls soccer.
The Cougars and Catamounts each had 51 points, well behind champion Millbrook’s 71.
Apex took first in the final boys basketball rankings, while Panther Creek was second in girls soccer. Holly Springs was first in wrestling.
Last year’s champion, Green Hope, finished tied for 14th with 28 points. The Falcons’ highest finish came in boys soccer and baseball, where they were second.
Cardinal Gibbons was tied for sixth with 43 points.
N&O Awards: Cary resident Morgan Reid has been named one of The News & Observer’s area athletes of the year.
Reid was the leading scorer for Cardinal Gibbons’ girls basketball team, which went to the third round of the 3A playoffs, and was the N.C. Soccer Coaches Association and N.C. Gatorade player of the year.
The southwestern Wake area was well-represented in the athletes of the year competitions.
Other winners, by sport, were as follows: Athens Drive’s Emilia Migliaccio (girls golf), Cary’s Azura Stevens (girls basketball), Apex’s T.J. Evans (boys basketball), Apex’s Drew Pedersen (boys track and field), Apex’s Sydnei Murphy (girls track and field), Green Hope’s Hannah Moore (girls swimming), Holly Springs’ Colin Ellington (boys swimming), Cardinal Gibbons’ Gannon Morrison (boys lacrosse) and Shelby Scanlin (girls lacrosse), and Green Hope’s Troy Maslowski (baseball).
Our own awards: Space permitting, end-of-year high school awards by The Cary News and Southwest Wake News will run in Wednesday’s edition.
Categories include: male athlete, female athlete, coach, game, moment, milestone and photo. The team of the year category has been split into one award each for a boys team and girls team.
The area has expanded to include one more school westward (Cardinal Gibbons) and eastward (Wake Christian) since last year. All schools in the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference are eligible, as are Cary Christian, Cary Academy and Raleigh’s Grace Christian.
New Balance Nationals: Apex High rising senior Sydnei Murphy was surprised when she learned she had finished second in the triple jump and third in the long jump at the New Balance Nationals track and field championships at N.C. A&T during the weekend.
Murphy was second in the triple jump (41 feet, 7.25 inches) and third in the long jump (19-8). She also was 18th in the 100 meters (11.91 seconds).
“I was extremely caught off guard by placing that high,” she said. “I came into it not expecting much, just hoping to maybe get a new personal best.
“In triple jump, I bested my personal record by over a foot and a half. I was on cloud nine, I couldn’t believe it. I don’t pay attention to what everyone else jumps, so I was really surprised when I found out I ended up third in the long jump. It was an incredible weekend, by far the most fun national meet I’ve been to.”
Murphy won the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A titles in the long jump and the triple jump this year.
Apex’s Drew Pedersen, who won the NCHSAA 4A pole vault championship, was fourth (14-8.5).
The Cary High girls, running as Imp nation, had three top-five relays at the same event.
Rising sophomore Susie Ngwe and rising seniors Desirae Rowell, Lakeisha Warner and Layla White were fourth in the 4x100 and 4x200 and fifth in the Swedish 1,000 relays.
Cary High: If you have a recommendation for the Cary High Sports Hall of Fame, now is the time to be heard.
You can stop by the office and pick up a form, or go online to goimps.com. Nominees must have graduated in 2007 or before.
New times: As someone who has to deal with tight deadlines on Fridays in the fall, I rejoiced to learn the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference was moving up its football start times to 7 p.m. this year.
The SWAC is the next-to-last Triangle conference to move up the game times. Of the six 4A and 3A conferences in the area, only the Two Rivers 3A still starts at 7:30 p.m.
Final soccer rankings: Panther Creek girls soccer ended the year ranked No. 11 in the nation by StudentSports.com. Cardinal Gibbons was No. 38.
Blake: 919-460-2606; Twitter: @JMBpreps