Cross country team-by-team preview


Archer Tigers

-- Boys coach: John M. McCormick

-- Top boys runners: Kyle Dodd, Kyle Boykin, Jerry Pattillo

-- Coach McCormick's take: "All of us at Archer are looking forward to a successful cross country season. The teams have been training consistently all summer and are ready to pick up the pace. We wish all teams the best and good luck."

-- Girls coach: Missy Johnson

-- Top girls runners: Taylor Dove, Sr., Sreyroat Yi, Sr., Katy Steele, Sr.,

Brandi Hawkins, Jr., Tyler Jones, Jr., McKenzie Knudsen, Soph.

-- Coach Johnson's take: "We have all but two runners from our top seven returning, so we hope to stay competitive again this season. With a solid combination of more experienced runners and some promising freshmen, we hope to finish strong in our Region and to make it to the state meet again."

Berkmar Patriots

-- Boys coach: Evan Pettyjohn

-- Top boys runners: Mickey Feyisa, Abraham Reyes, Sabastian Jara

-- Coach Pettyjohn's take: "Berkmar is looking to improve on last year's sub-par finish. Returning seniors Abraham Reyes and Sebastian Jara, had successful campaigns as distance runners for the track team last spring, Junior Mickey Feyisa, the team's top runner last year, returns after posting a couple of top 25 finishes last year and looks to improve his standing in the tough Region 8."

-- Girls coach: Jonathon Sykes

-- Top girls runners: Mayela Vazquez, Sr., Alejandra Barron, Soph., Sim Nguyen, Sr., Julia Simpson, Soph., and Jeanette Marquez, Soph.

-- Coach Sykes' take: "We are excited about the girls program this year. With a lot of young talent last year, I am expecting those underclassmen to step up and take leadership roles in the program this year and do great things. With our biggest turnout for summer conditioning in recent years, we are on the right track to make a move up in our region."

Brookwood Broncos

-- Boys coach: Ben Dehnke

-- Top boys runners: Matthew McClintock, Ryan Massey, Tarik Dennie, Nathan Massey, Jordan Hand, Jonathan Hanagriff, Pedro Caballero, Josh d'Aquin, Josh Ingalls, Tommy Templeman, Trevor Thorburn, Garrett Adams

-- Coach Dehnke's take: "We graduated six seniors from the 2011 team, but have one of the state's best to lead the team in Matthew McClintock. Behind him, we have a lot of young guys who are eager to compete at the varsity level. They have worked hard to fill the shoes of those who have graduated."

-- Girls coaches: Chris Carter, April Dezwart, Heather Cloward, Chrissy Woodson

-- Top girls runners: Payton Wilson, Sr., QuanDra Shanks, Sr., Elyse Renshaw, Sr., Ellen McCuiston, Sr., Claire Cashin, Sr., Claire Dunlap, Sr., Ashley Buda, Jr., Lauren Brennan, Jr., Nina Thomason, Jr., Allie Myers, Jr., Jessie Tankersley, Jr., Diana Lane, Jr., Alexis Jacob, Jr., Laurel Sumner, Jr., Holly Gunder, Soph., Caroline Sexton, Soph., Cameron Carson, Soph., Anna Bruce, Soph., Briana Dennie, Soph., Charlotte McCuiston, Soph., Maggie Rees, Soph., Lacy Martin, Soph., Ashton Askew, Fr., Sarah Parker, Fr., Lainey Anderson, Fr., Molly Brantner, Fr.

-- Coach Carter's take: "This is the deepest and hardest-working group I've ever had. I'm already proud and impressed by what these girls have accomplished. We will be one of the teams in the hunt for county, region, and state titles."

Central Gwinnett

-- Boys coach: John Selent

-- Girls coach: Chad Johnson

-- Top boys runners: Efron Rivera Soph., Aaron Martin, Soph.

-- Top girls runners: Brianna Rafferty, Soph., Danielle Lunde

-- Coach Selent's take: "We are in a reloading year this season as both the girls and boys graduated the top five for each. We will be expecting great things from all of our young runners."

Dacula Falcons

-- Boys coach: David Machovec

-- Top boys runner: Caleb Daymude, Soph.

-- Coach Machovec's take: "This should be an exciting year for the Dacula boys cross country team. Our goal is to make it to state this year. We have a great group of kids returning this year who are understanding the value of setting goals and working smarter to achieve those goals."

-- Girls coach: Cat Morgan

-- Top girls runners: Danika Weeden, Sr., Natalie Leonard, Jr., Sabrina Seibel, Fr., Courtney Pillert, Jr.

-- Coach Morgan's take: A mix of experience and new talent should serve to really drive the team this season. Our team goals include qualifying for state and placing in the Top 20 there."

Grayson Rams

-- Boys and girls coach: Mac Bradbury

-- Top boys runners: Parker Davis, Christian Brook, David Atkins, Connor Stepps, Corbin McNett, Ty Spears, Pierce Mercier

-- Top girls runners: Mallory Traylor, Ally Patterson, Madelyn Reuter, Sarah Hossack, Katelyn Brook.

-- Coach Bradbury's take: "We look forward to the new season. A lot of changes have taken place and the runners are really excited about it. We had a very dedicated group this summer who worked hard and put in a good number of miles."

Parkview Panthers

-- Boys and girls coach: James Tigue

-- Top boys runners: Nicholas Schofer, Jr., Alec Harp, Jr., Alex Sullivan, Jr., Andrew Klassen, Jr., Luis Herrera, Soph.

-- Coach Tigue's take: "It should be a great season. While we still have a relatively young team, many of our guys put in the miles over the summer and I am looking forward to seeing their hard work pay off on the race course."

-- Top girls runners: Abby Criswell, Jr., Valerie Ward, Sr., Jessica Escorza, Jr., Katie Kenski, Soph., Elizabeth Trompeter, Sr.

-- Coach Tigue's take: I am looking forward to see the emergence of some of our younger runners as they break into our top seven for the first time. It is still going to come down to our veteran runners, however, if we want to improve on last year's sixth place state finish."

Shiloh Generals

-- Boys and girls coach: Tiiu Maavere

-- Top boys runners: Bryan Kamau, Jr.

-- Top girls runners: n/a

-- Coach Maavere's take: "Our goal is to work hard and continually improve."

South Gwinnett Comets

-- Boys coach: Matt Huffman

-- Top boys runners: Daniel Jackson, Jr., Sam Willis, Sr., Malcolm Benjamin, Jr., Henry Ramirez, Jr., Ethan Bryan, Soph., Alex Johnson, Sr., Gabriel Saldana, Soph.

-- Coach Huffman's take: "Having only lost one runner from last year's varsity squad we are optimistic about this year's season. These boys have worked hard all summer and I feel they are ready to compete".

-- Girls coach: Jennifer Almand

-- Top girls runners: Tasheanna Blair, Sr., Caitlin Brainard, Sr., Dazhane Mosely, Fr., Chelsey Lewis, Soph., Olivia Lowery, Jr., Julie Fields, Soph.

-- Coach Almand's take: "After the last couple years of building seasons, seniors Tasheanna Blair and Caitlin Brainard are ready to lead South Gwinnett's girls in an exciting 2012 season. The team has built up the mileage and experience that they need to compete with the tough Gwinnett County competition. They have a great summer of training under their belts and will be ready to start the season with PRs and get faster from there."


Collins Hill Eagles

-- Boys coaches: Andrew Hudson, Richard Ramsey

-- Girls coaches: Andrew Hudson, Jessica Mueller, Jeff Hoffman

-- Top boys runners: Fernando Cruz, Jr., Jonathan Moses, Sr., Zach Stephens, Jr., Daniel Ellis, Jr.

-- Top girls runners: Mariah Maring, Jr., Lacey Ellenburg, Soph., Kitty Moraes, Soph.

-- Coach Hudson's take: "The boys team should be better than last year. The girls return only one of the top five from last year's Region 7-AAAAA runner-up team. Both teams hope to qualify for state."

Duluth Wildcats

-- Boys coach: Steve Fairchild

-- Top boys runners: David Pitts, Jr., Dane Keller, Jr.

-- Coach Fairchild's take: "The Duluth boys are a very young team led by junior David Pitts. This group of guys are continually improving, and we all are looking forward to seeing where they are by the state meet in November."

-- Girls coach: Brooke Wright

Top girls runners: Sara Murphy, Soph., Maddie Whitley, Jr., Charis Wiltshire, Jr.

-- Coach Wright's take: "Both teams have been working hard this summer, and the girls are looking to Sara, Maddie, and Charis to lead them through a successful season."

Mill Creek Hawks

-- Boys coach: Andy Christie

-- Top boys runners: Eric Westog, Jr., Matt Tippins, Sr., Richard Fuller, Sr., Josh Arceneaux, Jr., Tyler Woodrome, Jr., Sven Hope, Sr., Britt Hatcher, Sr.

-- Coach Christie's take: "Last year was the best year in program history, with us winning our first region title and placing second at state. The boys have used last year's success as motivation for this year and worked really hard over the summer. We lost four of our seven varsity runners from last year, but this group is determined to build on our tradition and be competitive once again."

-- Girls coaches: Terry Brand and Leanne Foxworth

-- Top girls runners: Ashlee Varnson, Sr., Emily Giles, Sr., Emma Duncan, Sr., Lauren Hovis, Jr., Hannah Lopez, Jr.

-- Coach Brand's take: "The girls have worked hard running summer mileage and showing leadership qualities to get ready for the season. Our goal is to get back to state and we have our work cut out for us. We will be able to gauge for where the team is at the NEGA Championships. We are looking forward to working with this motivated group of girls."

Meadowcreek Mustangs

-- Boys coach: Matthew Werner

-- Top boys runners: Tumiso Tandoh, Soph., Serofin Aguilar, Jr.

-- Girls coach: Bradford Gilliam

-- Top girls runners: Angelica Sanchez, Soph., Elizabeth Prieto, Soph.

-- Coach Aimee Walthall's take: With our new cross country coaching staff, we are in a building year at Meadowcreek and look forward to getting out there to train and run well, compete well and have a solid team of committed runners to score in the meets. Those who came out this summer are hungry for a win for the team and for beating their own personal records. Meadowcreek runners hope that teamwork, responsibility, commitment, and hard work will make a successful season for the 2012 Mustangs."

Mountain View Bears

-- Boys and girls coach: Jordan Raettig

-- Top boys runners: Tim Lee, Sr., Pedram Esmaeelzadeh, Sr., Chris Tokaji, Sr., Zach Frangi, Jr., Robert Bevins, Jr., Drew Durden, Jr.

-- Top girls runners: Caitlin Brownlee, Sr., Rebecca Winslow, Jr., Bree Britton, Jr., Katie Wirl, Jr., Liz Dreggors, Jr., Katie Roller, Soph.

-- Coach Raettig's take: "This is going to be a great season for Mountain View Cross Country. This is the fourth year our school has been open and the seniors this year have been a part of the program from its inception. Not only are the runners extremely talented, they are also full of heart and ready to win. I am expecting unprecedented levels of success from this group of runners."

Norcross Blue Devils

-- Boys and girls coach: John Williams

-- Top boys runners: Arman Rehmann, Nick Delguercio, Sam Todd, Jacob Winters, Matthew Sutton, Jonathan Hooper, Miles Green, Austin Gusmerotti, Steven Chevrier, Chris Delguercio

-- Top girls runners: Katherine Yost, Eliza Antonowich, Gabby Gusmerotti, Wendy Rodriguez, Stephanie Stewart, Bianca Loza, Yasemine Lumpkin, Jessica Antwi

-- Coach Williams' take: "My goal for our team is to work hard everyday in practice and with that hard work, we can see big results."

North Gwinnett Bulldogs

-- Boys coaches: John Rowland and Scott Tinney

-- Top boys runners: Trevor Bradham, Sr., Spencer Bradham, Sr., Alex Hudgins, Sr., Tony Jones, Sr., Andres Littig, Sr., Will Varner, Soph., Cole York, Sr.

-- Coach Rowland's take: "The North Gwinnett boys team return the top six members from last year's team. The team will be led by seniors Spencer Bradham and Andres Littig and have a strong core of returners, including Trevor Bradham, Alex Hudgins, Tony Jones and Cole York. Will Varner and newcomer Jeramey Hampton are talented sophomores that are running well as we enter the competitive season. The team goal is to have the highest state meet finish in school history."

-- Girls coaches: Kim Wimpey, Ann Tindol, Lyndsey Gipson

-- Top girls runners: Courtney Czerniak, Jr., Jordi Harrison, Sr., Clarie Keyes, Soph., Alexis Raia, Jr., Natalia Raia, Jr.

-- Coach Rowland's take: "The North Gwinnett girls team will return three varsity members -- Czerniak, Harrison, Natalie Raia -- from last year's team that finished in the top 10 at the state meet. The team goal is to return to the podium at the state meet after last year's absence. This success of this year's team will rely on the following returning team members Kinley Brooks, Cassidy Houchins, Lizzy Kidney, Bridget Nabb, and Sarah Silva and newcomer Emma Highfield."

Peachtree Ridge Lions

-- Boys coaches: Ron Clanton, Mark Coughlin, Randy Adams

-- Girls coaches: Ron Clanton, Randy Adams, Jenny Pinkerton

-- Top boys runners: Josh Brickell, Sr., Kevin Mills, Jr., Mac Stewart, Jr., Andrew Bright Sr.,, Nathan Adams Sr.

-- Top girls runners: Addy Lippitt Jr., Paige Tucker Sr., Laurel Wilson, Jr., Lexi Shy, Sr.

-- Coach Clanton's take: With our numbers growing this summer to over 100 for the first time in the program's history, it looks like both girls and boys teams will be much deeper than in the past. Both groups have worked hard over the summer to develop a sound base running more miles to prepare for the upcoming competition season and have set their goals fairly high. If both the girls and boys programs continue to develop, without major injuries, both teams should be in contention for a region title and a position on the podium at state. Our boys team is lead by two-time cross country state champion Josh Brickell and upcoming junior Kevin Mills, who is coming off a very strong track season. The girls team is lead by last year's region runner-up Addy Lippitt. She will be challenged by seniors Paige Tucker and Lexi Shy and junior Laurel Wilson."

Region 8-AAAA

Lanier Longhorns

-- Boys coach: Oji Perkins

-- Girls coach: Naomi Kirchner

-- Top boys runners: Ervin Martinez, Sr., Christopher Tromp, Soph., Collin Rusch, Soph.

-- Top girls runners: Marly Alcide, Sr., Morgan Henderson, Jr,, Azaria Irvin Jr,

-- Coach Kirchner's take: "Our program continues to grow as our school increases in size. We expect our senior leaders will break into the top 10 at region and help our team compete for a Region 8-AAAA title."


Buford Wolves

-- Boys and girls coaches: Drew Eager and Kristie Beverly

-- Top boys runners: Josh Thompson, Jr.

-- Top girls runners: Lane Crawford, Soph.

-- Coach Eager's take: "We are looking forward to a new region alignment and new teams to compete against as we move into the 2012 season. We will also have a youth movement in our program. We graduated a lot of runners in the past two years on both the girls and boys teams, so we will look very different. However, if we can get some good leadership and get some of the younger runners to buy in and trust our workout system then we could be in the hunt for a qualifying spot for the state meet. I expect Josh and Lane to have a really good year not only in terms of time, but leadership as well. Even though they are young runners they have the right type of skills and desire to make themselves and their team better."


GAC Spartans

-- Boys and girls coach: Brad Kinser

-- Top boys runners: Jake Shumard, Jr., Ben Hensley, Jr., Godfrey Torrance, Jr., Miller Kettle, Soph.

-- Top girls runners: Megan Malone, Sr., Jen Capers, Jr.

-- Coach Kinser's take: The GACS cross country teams will look a lot different as they graduated 13 seniors from the program. The team will be rebuilding and looking for new leaders to emerge. The team will be staying in Region 6-AA Region, which is always a strong region for cross country. The season will kick off for the Spartans on Aug. 25 at the Stage races in Duluth.

Wesleyan Wolves

-- Boys and girls coach: Chad McDaniel

-- Top boys runners: Robert Kunce, Sr., Austin Schanen, Sr., Jake Morris, Sr., Cort Coxhead, Jr., William Lee, Soph.

-- Coach McDaniel's take: "Our boys team will have a number of new faces in the top seven this fall, and our coaching staff is excited about this year's group of seniors. The challenge of running against the excellent competition in Class AA has helped the team to focus this summer in order to be prepared for the season ahead. We are honored to coach them and look forward to the time spent together this season.

-- Top girls runners: Caroline Reed, Jr,, Taylor Panther, Soph., Jordan Zimmerman, Soph., Mallory Macgill, Sr., Madison Jones, Sr.

-- Coach McDaniel's take: "This team is a joy to coach and they are diligent, focused and competitive. However, selflessness is the trait that defines this team best and our coaches are thrilled for the opportunity to work together with them for the 2012 season."


Hebron Lions

-- Boys and girls coach: Bob Gardner

-- Top boys runners: Andrew Hutto, Sr., Colson Hagan, Soph., Trent Johnson, Soph., Drew Murphy, Soph.

-- Top girls runners: Stephanie Murphy, Sr., Kate McMillan, Sr., Rachel Boyd, Sr., Tatum Williams, Soph.

-- Coach Gardner's take: "I am very excited about the upcoming cross country season and our season goals for both teams is to make state. We have a young boys team this year, but I have high expectations for the boys team, led by Andrew Hutto. Our girls team last year, led by Stephanie Murphy, went to state for the first time in school history. We hope to continue to build a tradition of going to state."

Providence Storm

-- Boys and girls coach: Charlene Preg

-- Top boys runners: James Watkins, Sr., Jonathan Duffie, Sr., Owen Chasteen, Jr.

-- Top girls runners: Tayler Tuttle, Jr., Ellie Thomas, Jr.

-- Coach's comment: "Providence runners are anticipating a new season together moving to Region 8. I have been blessed to watch the senior boys and junior girls grow and mature in their friendships and as a team. Keep an eye on Tayler and the Providence Storm racing through Gwinnett County.