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Kissel, Brookwood claim Region 8 track crowns

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Brookwood Jay Lawson, center, leaps during the 110 meter hurdles beside Chase Brown, right, and Grayson Ryan Nimely during the Class AAAAA Region 8 Track and Field Championships at Grayson High School in Loganville on Thursday. Lawson placed first with a time of 15.06.

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Brookwood Jay Lawson, center, leaps during the 110 meter hurdles beside Chase Brown, right, and Grayson Ryan Nimely during the Class AAAAA Region 8 Track and Field Championships at Grayson High School in Loganville on Thursday. Lawson placed first with a time of 15.06.

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Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Berkmar Elexis Guster leaps the last hurdle in the 300 meter hurdle race during the Class AAAAA Region 8 Track and Field Championships at Grayson High School in Loganville on Thursday. Guster placed first in 44.03.

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Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Brookwood girls 4X800 meter relay runners Danielle Jarnagin, center, celebrates with Payton Wilson, right, along side of teammate Briana Dennie during the Class AAAAA Region 8 Track and Field Championships at Grayson High School in Loganville on Thursday. The Brookwood girls 4x800 meter relay A team placed first in 10:12.10.

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Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Brookwood Caroline Kissel, left, leads the pack in the 3200 meter race during the Class AAAAA Region 8 Track and Field Championships at Grayson High School in Loganville on Thursday. Kissel placed first in 11:10.60 claiming her seventh track regional title since her freshman year.

LOGANVILLE -- Caroline Kissel crossed the finish line and turned around to see who was behind her.

It was a familiar scene for the Brookwood distance runner over the last four years.

In seven Region 8-AAAAA track and field championship races, Kissel never lost a race.

She won the 3,200-meter run on Thursday at Grayson to claim her seventh region title in track. It was a day after winning the 1,600-meter run. Including her two region crowns in cross country, she has won nine in her career.

"I never imagined this," Kissel said. "It's quite an accomplishment."

Kissel's win in the 3,200 and her teammate Ashley Buda taking second wrapped up the Region 8 team title for the Broncos with 137.50 points. The win snapped Parkview's three-year reign as champs as the Panthers took second with 124 points and Grayson was third with 109 points.

"It feels really good. It's nice that the whole team came together for this," Brookwood coach Kelly Swanson said. "We had a good effort from the field events, to the distance to the sprints."

The top four finishers in each event advance to the sectional meet next week at Tift County.

The Brookwood boys had a 23-point lead going into Thursday's running finals and walked away with a commanding region title. The Broncos scored 190 points to dethrone Parkview, who had 82 and South Gwinnett was third with 77.50.

The Broncos did their damage by winning six of the nine events on Thursday.

"That's pretty good. It doesn't happen very often," Brookwood coach Mark Kelley said.

Justin Martin took first in the 400, Jay Lawson won the 110 hurdles, Kisean Smith took the 800, Morgan Malanoski won the 3,200 and the Broncos also claimed the 400 relay and 1,600 relay.

"We accomplished what we wanted to, which was get to the sectionals," Kelley said. "Everyone put something into it."

The only events the Broncos didn't win were the 100, 200 and 300 hurdles.

Parkview's Micah Reed repeated as the region champ in the 100 and 200.

"It feels good doing it again," Reed said. "There was definitely some competition there."

Grayson's Christian Smith took the region title in the 300 hurdles.

Brookwood girls had a 9.5-point lead over Parkview going into the running finals. The Broncos not only had to fight off rival Parkview, but a strong Grayson squad.

"Parkview, they've got a great team," Swanson said. "They are tough."

The Rams won the 400 relay with a school record time of 46.56 seconds and set another school record in the 1,600 relay with a time of 3:52.52. Jasmine Abrams, the state's No. 1 ranked sprinter, won the 100 and 200.

"Hopefully, I can qualify for state and PR," Jasmine said.

Jasmine won the 200 by beating her sister Aliyah, who won the 400.

"She's just faster than me," Aliyah said.

Berkmar got a pair of wins in the hurdles with Moneice Watson taking the 100 hurdles and Elexis Guster won the 300 hurdles.

Grayson picked up its points the sprints, but Brookwood did its damage in the distance events. The Broncos won the 3,200 relay and QuanDra Shanks and Claire Dunlap went one-two in the 800.

Brookwood had an 11.5-point lead with two events left, but Kissel and Buda came through in the 3,200 to seal the team title.

"Kissel, she's one of the hardest workers I've had the privilege of coaching," Swanson said.

With the cool conditions just after 8 p.m., Kissel set a new PR in the 3,200 with a time of 11 minutes, 10.60 seconds.

"It's bittersweet," Kissel said. "It's sad because it's my last region race, but it's nice to end with a win."