Photo: Karl L. Moore Runners start the race during the Boys Championship at the Coach Wood Invitational 2011 in Gainesville on Saturday.
OAKWOOD -- It was another strong showing for Gwinnett County cross county as the Brookwood boys claimed the team title and Collins Hill's Chloe Whitworth took home the girls' individual title at the ninth annual Coach Wood Invitational.
Running on the campus of Gainesville State College, the Brookwood boys solidified their hold on the top ranking in the state with a strong showing by placing five runners in the top 13 and running away from the competition with a score of 42 points -- finishing 98 points ahead of second-place Lakeside, Evans.
Morgan Malanoski led the way for the Brookwood boys with a second-place finish and a time of 16:08.
Malanoski was joined by Gabriel Gomez in eighth place (16:30), Kevin Marsh in ninth (16:33), Matthew McClintock in 10th (16:34) and Kisean Smith in 13th (16:35.5) to round out the scoring for the Broncos.
Smith finished three-tenths of a second ahead of Austin Veith, who finished 14th with a time of 16.35.8.
"I think we ran well, collectively," said Brookwood head coach Ben Dehnke of the two-time defending state champions. "There are always days when guys have good times and guys who were off a little. We put eight guys in the top 22 and considering how strong the field was, I thought that was good. This (meet) is sort of a state preview because so many of the good teams are here, so it gives us a good indicator of where we stand this late in the season.
"Morgan Malanoski had a real strong showing today and Kisean Smith was our fifth guy and had a good day finishing 13th. But I'm really pleased with everyone."
Junior Josh Brickell of Peachtree Ridge, the defending state champion, won the boys' individual title with a time of 15:57.
"I ran OK today and this was a tougher course than last week (ASICS Invitational)," Brickell said. "I wasn't feeling that great today and guys were catching me coming toward the two-mile mark. Then I kicked it into another gear. I've never run this course before and it was a narrow course, but it was a good meet to run because eight of the top all-class teams were here."
Other Gwinnett County schools in the meet included Mill Creek in fifth place with 179 points, Norcross in sixth with 229, Peachtree Ridge in seventh with 231, Collins Hill in 10th with 258, North Gwinnett in 17th with 485, Grayson in 23rd with 663 and South Gwinnett in 26th with 1,033.
Along with Brickell and the four Brookwood runners in the top 10 individually, Mill Creek's Eric Westog placed fifth with a time of 16:18.
In the girls' championship race, Whitworth -- also a defending state champion -- claimed the individual crown with a time of 19:11, nine seconds ahead of Sarah Bowles of Lakeside, Evans.
"I was surprised and happy to win today," Whitworth said. "It was sentimental running in my last Coach Wood Invitational since I'm a senior. Cross country is one of those sports where we all know each other from other teams and we run races together. I actually ran sort of slow today because it seemed to be more of a tactical race with everyone waiting to see what everyone else was going to do. But I just stayed patient and tried to be there at the end."
Creekside High School out of St. Johns, Fla., took home the girls' team title with 92 points as the Knights placed three runners in the top 12.
Walton was second with 96 points and was followed by Brookwood in third with 107 points.
Senior Caroline Kissel paced Brookwood with a fifth-place finish and a time of 19:31.
QuanDra Shanks came in eighth with a time of 19:44 and Payton Wilson was 18th with a time of 20:13.
Rounding out the scoring for Brookwood was Elyse Renshaw in 29th (20:39) and Laurel Sumner in 47th (21:05).
Katherine Yost of Norcross joined Whitworth, Kissel and Shanks in the top 10 with a time of 19:40 and a seventh-place finish.
Remaining team scoring for Gwinnett County schools included Parkview in fourth (168), Peachtree Ridge in sixth (194), Collins Hill in 11th (293), Norcross in 14th (414), Mill Creek in 15th (443), Grayson in 22nd (675) and South Gwinnett in 24th (837).