Parkview's Alec Klassen runs away from the field to win Saturday's Region 8-AAAAA cross country championship with a time of 15:44:76.
DULUTH — The two schools of Five Forks Trickum dominated the Region 8-AAAAA cross country meet Saturday at River Green Park.
Brookwood won the girls competition with Parkview second, and then Parkview returned the favor with a first place in the boys meet with Brookwood coming in second.
In the girls race, Brookwood used a one-two finish from Caroline Kissel and Anakaren Lopez to total 28 points, 15 better than Parkview. Kissel ran the 5K course in 19 minutes, 24 seconds, while Lopez turned in a time of 19:38. The Broncos also got a fifth-place finish from Payton Wilson, a ninth from Laurel Sumner and an 11th from Ashley Buda to complete their scoring.
“We just have a good bunch of runners this year,” Brookwood fourth-year coach Chris Carter said. “We wanted our top three runners to finish in the top five and we did.
“We knew that Parkview would give us a good run and they did. We will be in it next week at state but know that North Gwinnett and Collins Hill will be tough.”
Brookwood finished third at state last year and finished second to North Gwinnett in the county meet this year. Carter hopes to win his first state championship next week, and Brookwood’s hopes will ride on the shoulders of Kissel and her teammates.
“I ran a more controlled race today,” Kissel said. “I’m going to go all out and run with the pack next week and see if I can stay up and finish well.”
Parkview girls coach Melissa Johnson was also pleased with her team’s performance.
“We showed good depth today,” Johnson said. “We have run better each meet and hope to keep that going next week.”
The Parkview team had finishes of third by Valerie Ward and seventh and eighth by Rebecca Shane and Janet Detweiller. The additional depth was supplied by Sara Brown in 10th, Julianne Kurke in 15th, Elizabeth Trompeter in 18th and Laura Boswell in 20th.
Taking advantage of a top-six individual finish to advance to state was Tasheanna Blair of South Gwinnett with a time of 19:48 for fourth place.
Grayson finished fourth to qualify its team for state, as did first-year participant Archer.
Archer coach Lauren Horton was ecstatic.
“We were in AAA last year and felt some intimidation early in the season,” Horton said. “But we did well today and will just do our best next week at state. The girls are just thrilled to be going.”
Archer was paced by a sixth-place finish from Paige Selent while Grayson’s top effort was turned in by Rebecca Seasholtz in 14th place.
On the boys side, Parkview, looking for its first state championship since 2006, was led by senior Alec Klassen, who posted the best time of the meet with 15:44. It was not a personal best but some 14 seconds ahead of second place Jackson Wearn of Brookwood.
“I wanted the one spot to help our team,” Klassen said. “We hope this is an indication of how things will go next week at state.”
Parkview head coach James Tigue was pleased with Klassen but also cited depth as the key to Parkview’s win.
“Ultimately the team championship comes down to your fifth and sixth runners and all of our boys ran well today,” Tigue said. “Our third and fourth runners, Louie Roger and Joseph Weiler, and our fifth and sixth, Noah Tucker and Ryan McFall, stepped up and ran well.”
Parkview’s winning performance also included a third place finish from Steven Spevacek in 16:09 and a 20th place by its seventh runner, David Collier.
Brookwood’s boys team is the defending state champion but suffered more losses from graduation than Parkview.
“We just got beat by a better team today,” Brookwood coach Ben Dehnke said. “We will just try to run faster next week. The thing about the state meet is to just let it all out because it’s the last meet.”
In his seventh year at Brookwood, Dehnke coached the team to a state championship last year.
The final spot went to Dacula after the Falcons and Central ended the race tied. The Falcons won by a tie-breaker thanks to their sixth runner, Carson Webb, finishing 41st.