Photo: Bernie Connelly Runners take off during the start of the Gwinnett County Cross Country Championships on Saturday in Duluth.
DULUTH -- While neither team had an individual champion, the Brookwood boys and girls cross country teams rolled to convincing team titles at the Gwinnett County Cross Country Championships at the River Green Complex course.
Brookwood's boys won their fourth straight county title with 26 points and posted five runners in the top eight, including a second-place finish by Morgan Malanoski with a time of 15:36.
The Broncos also got top 10 finishes by Gabriel Gomez in third (15:50) followed by Drew Vander Wood in sixth (16:05), Matt Barudin seventh (16:05) and Matthew McClintock eighth (16:06) to complete the scoring for the defending state champions.
In fact, Brookwood placed all nine of its runners in the top 20 -- including Austin Veith in ninth (16:06), Kevin Marsh 11th (16:10), Kisean Smith 12th (16:14), Joseph Buda 16th (16:18) and Chad Seder 20th (16:28).
Peachtree Ridge's Josh Brickell, the 2010 state champion, took home individual honors on the boys side with a time of 15:30 as the Lions came in second place with 96 points.
"I wanted to win and I accomplished that, but I had a faster time in mind," said Brickell. "The pace was off for me some of the time and I was running alone some, but I know that I can run better. My goal is to be ready for state (championships) and qualify for the Foot Locker nationals, so there's still some time to improve."
Top-five finishes also went to Mill Creek's Eric Westog (15:54) and Arman Rehmann of Norcross (16:04).
Mill Creek came in third with 104 points and the Hawks were followed by Norcross (106) and Collins Hill (174).
"The state meet is our primary focus, but the county meet is certainly one of our secondary goals," said Brookwood boys coach Ben Dehnke. "We do gear up for the county meet because so many of the best teams are from our county, so it's a good measure of where we stand and where we need to improve. So I'm happy about our finish today and how we compare to the other good teams."
The story was much the same on the girls side as Brookwood placed three runners in the top 10 -- including Caroline Kissel in fourth (18:59), QuanDra Shanks sixth (19:34) and Ashley Buda ninth (19:41).
The Broncos got consecutive finshes in 13th and 14th place from Elyse Renshaw (19:57) and Payton Wilson (20:00) to secure the team title.
Laurel Sumner (20:00) in 15th and Danielle Jarnagin (22:03) also had solid efforts for the Broncos.
Collins Hill's Chloe Whitworth, defending state champion from 2010 and a fourth-place finisher at last year's county championships, had a personal-best time of 18:37 en route to the individual title.
"The last couple of races, I really haven't finished as strong as I wanted to," said Whitworth. "So I trained hard and set my mind to having a solid finish today and get a (personal record). I did that and it feels good. The weather was perfect today and the course setup was good, so I'm just glad it worked out."
Peachtree Ridge girls team came in second place with 81 points, led by a third-place finish by Lauren Kelly with a time of 18:46.
That time was two seconds behind the second-place finish by Katherine Yost of Norcross, who came home with a time of 18:44.
Tayler Tuttle of Providence Christian finished fifth with a time of 19:28.
Brookwood and Peachtree Ridge were followed by 2010 team champion North Gwinnett (108), Parkview (142) and Norcross (151).
"I'm real happy because we have some real hard working guys and they kind of knew they had a chance to win it today," said Brookwood girls coach Chris Carter. "So I'm happy with the way they handled it. We still have some things to work out, but we're satisfied with the results today as a team and some individuals."