Broncos' Anyan defends title

JEFFERSON -- After finishing runner-up to Grayson's Kirubel Erassa in the 1,600-meter run on Thursday, Brookwood's Tyler Anyan came back to beat him on Friday.

Anyan ran the second fastest time in Georgia history to win the Class AAAAA state title in the 3,200 at boys state track and field meet.

Anyan had a time of 8 minutes, 52.835 seconds to with the 3,200 for the second straight year.

"That's a great way to go out in your last race," Brookwood coach Ben Dehnke said.

Erassa finished second with a time of 8:56.460 and Peachtree Ridge freshman Josh Brickell was fifth with a time of 9:38.074.

Anyan and Erassa are two of the state's top runners and have battled the entire school year. Erassa won the state cross country championship in the fall and Anyan was runner-up. The two continued to go head-to-head during the track season with Erassa beating Anyan at region in the 1,600 and 3,200. Erassa's streak over Anyan continued on Thursday when he beat him by two seconds in the 1,600.

But in the final race for two of the state's top runners in recent years, it was Anyan that got the win.

"I think after (Thursday) night he wished he had gone after Erassa a little bit earlier," Dehnke said. "Certainly when a guy beats you the day before you want to come back and beat him."

Gwinnett County holds the top five placements in the team standings going into today's running finals. Dacula, which scored all of its points in the field events on Thursday, has 34 points. Peachtree Ridge (30) is second, Brookwood (19) is third, Grayson (18) is fourth and Mill Creek (16) is fifth.