Varsity Boys blast off the starting line (all photos by Marc Logan)
The 44th Annual Gwinnett County Championships were once again held outside of the county at the Georgia International Horse Park course with 29 schools and over 1400 athletes lacing up their spikes on the moderately challenging layout. Cloudy skies kept the heat in check along with a little breeze until 11am when it began to get hot.
Chris Cherono of Grayson tries to stay with Myles Collins of Archer.
Myles Collins and Chris Cherono opened in 4:48 and Cherono actually took the lead around 2000m in, but then Myles threw the hammer down and set a new course record in 15:30! Ben Butcher of Dacula was able to break away from the chase pack to secure the runnerup spot posting a 16:21, while a heavily fading Cherono did just enough to hold off Tristan Autry to secure 3rd at 16:30 with Autrey settling for 4th place in 16:33
Collins ran away with the Overall title clocking a 15:30!
Ben Butcher from Dacula maintained a solid pace seizing Runnerup honors
Will Bray and Luke McNeil of Brookwood (c) sprint across the finish mats
Parkview's boys had the team race won until their 5th man collapsed just meters before the line allowing several athletes to take advantage and pass with Brookwood stealing the win by a point. Parkview's Trey Durden (who collapsed) showed extreme guts and determination to scrape himself up off the ground to still finish the race (watch the video) Hats off to Brookwood for bouncing back in a big way from last week. Will Bray and Luke McNeil spurred the Broncs' efforts as they finished in tandem taking 5th/6th overall both clocking 16:36's. Archer behind Collins and a sweet race by frosh Steven McCartney taking 7th overall at 16:38 were 3rd in the team tally.
Freshman Abi Debebe led Parkview to the Varsity Girls Team title
The 10th ranked 7A Parkview girls dominated from the start following the race strategy prescribed by their coach, "We wanted them to get out from the gun and force someone else to come get us. We held firm and came away with the W" The Lady Panthers hunt for the title was led by frosh Abi Debebe who had the race of her life taking 5th overall in a time of 20:30 Not far behind and packing it in were seniors Claire Mills in 10th at 20:54 followed by Elise Musser in 20:56. Hailey Prim (frosh) also ran well placing 16th in 21:06
Brooke Browning of Hebron Christian chases Sarah McCartney of Archer
Sarah McCartney of Archer took the lead from the gun, but was challenged by Brooke Browning of Hebron for most of the way before McCartney slammed the door late in the race taking the Individual win posting a 19:16 Soph. Browning ran a great race posting a 19:26 taking 2nd Overall. Reese Sadler was the top Bronco leading Brookwood to a 2nd place team finish at 20:04 and McKenna Kelzer of North Gwinnett placed 4th going 20:27 leading the Bulldogs to a 3rd place team finish.
Sarah McCartney added another win to her resume taking the Individual title
Parkview Senior, Brian Graham raced to the JV Boys Overall crown
Parkview swepth the top 3 spots in the JV Championship Boys race with Sr. Brian Graham turning in a winning time of 18:15 followed by runningmates Nahom Kibreab at 18:27 and Martin Robles 3rd in 18:39 Brookwood had more depth though taking the team win led by Sr. Evan Culbertson's 4th place effort also at 18:39
Freshman Sarah Chau of Mill Creek won the JV Girls Championship race
Mill Creek was the JV Girls team champ scoring 28 points led by freshman Sarah Chau, (who held off a late charge by Brookwood's Emma Rose) securing the Overall win in 22:22, with Rose a stride back at 22:23 Lux Corrona of Brookwood placed 3rd at 22:40 helping the Lady Broncs' to 2nd as a team.
8th grader Kadin McAlister of Brookwood Youth Running was MS Boys Champ
This was only the 2nd time in the recent history of the meet that a MS race has been contested due to schools not having official programs in Gwinnett County. In a 'mixed' 2 Mile race, Kadin McAlister of Brookwood Youth Running was the Boys champ recording an 11:54 leading his squad to the team win with Corbin Squires from Dacula MS a close 2nd at 11:56, Everett Griffin of Hebron Christian was 3rd overall going 12:40
Corbin Squires of Dacula MS (runnerup) and McAlister pose for a pic post-race while re-hydrating
Isabella Pacheco (1894) of 7th ranked Summerour MS took the MS Girls Overall win
Isabella Pacheco led Summerour MS to the team win on the Girls side placing 1st in 13:27 with team mates Kylie Dommert 2nd (13:47) and Alonna Timmons 3rd (14:03)