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Detweiler's drive makes him one of state's best

Not long after the Class AAAAA boys state cross country meet, Brian Detweiler was upset.

The Parkview runner had stayed with eventual state champion Taylor Lord of Chapel Hill for most of the race before Lord pulled away for the title.

Detweiler was mad at the time because he finished 10 seconds behind Lord and was state runner-up.

But a week later, after some time for reflection on the season and the state meet, Detweiler realized he had nothing to be upset about.

"I'm really happy I broke 16 (minutes) actually," Detweiler said. "He's one of the best runners in the nation, so I'm guess I'm happy where I finished."

The Daily Post's Runner of the Year was consistently one of the top runners in the county all year, despite an early-season injury.

Detweiler finished in the top five in five of the six meets he competed in this season, including fifth at county and first at the Region 8-AAAAA championships. His worst finish was at the beginning of the season at the Carrollton Invitational, when he took 17th after coming off an Achilles injury.

"He could have performed better early in the year, but I wanted to hold him because of his injury," Parkview coach James Tigue said. "We talked earlier in the year about wanting him to be his best at state and that was sort of our plan for him.

"I think he would have liked to have had a state championship, but breaking 16 at Carrollton is quite an accomplishment."

Detweiler was third at the Furman Invitational, where he was 21 seconds behind Lord and never really seriously challenged him.

Three weeks later he won the Region 8 title, holding off state favorites Mike McClay of Dacula and Kirubel Erassa of Grayson while setting a personal record of 15:49.

It was the confidence boost he needed to try to challenge Lord. In his final race in Parkview orange, he finished with a time of 15 minutes, 58 seconds to take second and fall just short of his goal. But in perspective, taking second to a nationally ranked runner isn't all that bad.

"I never thought of it like that," Detweiler said. "It's pretty neat actually."

Added Tigue: "I knew going after Taylor was going to be a pretty tough task. I thought he did quite well."

Just two days after the state meet, Detweiler was back to training. He ran 12 miles as he began his training for the Southeast Regionals next weekend.

"He wanted to run Sunday and I told him to take a day off and regroup," Tigue said. "He's driven."

The senior has lofty goals of finishing in the top 20, which is not unrealistic considering his work ethic.

"Brian just kind of goes about his business very quietly, doesn't say anything," Tigue said. "He just goes out there and runs as hard as he can. He's just driven."

Detweiler continues the legacy of great runners at Parkview. He joins Josh Pinson and Alex Erickson as Panther runners to be named the Daily Post's Runner of the Year.

"I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Coach Tigue," Detweiler said. "He knew how to push me hard and when not to give me hard workouts. He's been a really good coach to me and has gotten me to where I am now."

SideBar: Boys All-County team

Runner of the Year: Brian Detweiler, Parkview

State runner-up in Class AAAAA, Region 8 champ,fifth at county

Coach of the year: Ron Clanton, Peachtree Ridge

Led Lions to first state championship

First team

· Niall Longobardi, Peachtree Ridge, Sr.

Third in AAAAA, Region 7-AAAAA champ, 11th at county

· Kirubel Erassa, Grayson, Jr.

14th in AAAAA, third in Region 8-AAAAA, county champ

· Mike McClay, Dacula, Jr.

Seventh in AAAAA, Region 8-AAAAA and county runner-up

· Tyler Anyan, Brookwood, Jr.

26th in AAAAA, eighth in Region 8-AAAAA, third at county

· Doug Kalmbach, Brookwood, Sr.

10th in AAAAA, sixth in Region 8-AAAAA, fourth at county

· Robert Fensterer, Peachtree Ridge, Sr.

Sixth in AAAAA, second in Region 7-AAAAA, seventh at county

· Andy Gonzalez, Collins Hill, Soph.

20th at state, seventh in Region 7-AAAAA, eighth at county

Second team

· Carlos Galindo, Collins Hill, Jr.

· Michael Sexton, Brookwood, Sr.

· Alex Kellams, Collins Hill, Soph.

· Chris Duvall, Wesleyan, Jr.

· Brandon Ramsey, Wesleyan, Jr.

· Nganda Gatei, Collins Hill, Jr.

· Tommy George, Brookwood, Jr.