PREP ROUNDUP: Brickell bounces back to win state title

JEFFERSON -- Josh Brickell tasted a rare defeat during Thursday's boys track and field state championship.

The Peachtree Ridge runner came back with a vengeance on Friday.

Brickell won the 3,200-meter state title a day after taking third in the 1,600. He posted a personal record of 9 minutes, 10.40 seconds to beat second-place finisher Kenan Farmer from Walton by nine seconds.

"It's definitely a big difference," Brickell said of the two races. "I was pretty hard on myself last night."

The win gave Brickell his fifth state championship in his cross country and track career.

"He was disappointed in himself (Thursday) night," Peachtree Ridge coach Ron Clanton said. "I think he was upset with himself and wanted to prove to himself and his teammates he could do it."

Brickell is one of the state's most decorated runners. He's a two-time state champion in cross country and won the mile and two mile last year in track.

Brickell was the heavy favorite to repeat in the 1,600 on Thursday, but wasn't able to hold the lead on the final 100 meters.

It was a different story on Friday. The junior ran with the pack for the first mile and then made is move on the second mile and was never challenged down the stretch.

"I admire the kid," Clanton said. "When you have a bad race and come back the next day it reveals your character and how you bounce back."

Five of the top six finishers in the 3,200 were from Gwinnett. Brookwood's Morgan Malanoski was third (9:23.89), Peachtree Ridge's Kevin Mills was fourth (9:24.11), Brookwood's Matt Barudin was fifth (9:24.88) and Mill Creek's Eric Westog was sixth (9:25.43.

The 3,200 was the only scoring event on Friday. The rest of the day was filled with the qualifying heats in the running events. The state meet concludes today with the running finals.


Providence 2, Savannah Christian 0

SAVANNAH -- Providence scored two second-half goals to take a road playoff win at Savannah Christian 2-0 Friday in the Class A state playoffs.

With the win, the Stars advance to play at the winner of Our Lady of Mercy and Aquinas on Tuesday.

Providence, which out-shot Savannah Christian 14-7 on the game, broke open a scoreless game six minutes into the second half when Josh Platillero gathered a booming punt from keeper Evan Flowers and beat the last defender to give the Stars a 1-0 lead. Along with the assist, the goalie Flowers had five saves for Providence (12-8).

With 17 minutes remaining, the Stars added an insurance goal when Will Lowndes took a pass from Jake Freeman and found the back of the net.

Paideia 5, Hebron 1

ATLANTA -- A hard-fought game didn't go Hebron's way in a 5-1 playoff loss at Paideia in the Class A state tournament.

Cole Redman scored the lone goal for the Lions, who ended the season 13-7.


Wesleyan finishes as state runner-up

JONESBORO -- Wesleyan defeated Brookstone 4-0 Friday in the Class A semifinals, but lost to region rival Mt. Pisgah 3-0 in the state championship match. It was the third time this season that Mt. Pisgah beat the Wolves.

Wesleyan (18-6) swept the doubles matches against Brookstone, with Julie Rodriguez and Kaitlin English winning at No. 1 and Katie Van Laeke and Katie McLaughlin winning at No. 2. Megan Kelly (No. 1) and Savannah Strickland (No. 2) won in singles.


Milton 21, Mill Creek 3

MILTON -- Top-ranked Milton was as good as advertised Friday night in a 21-3 victory that ended Mill Creek's season in the Class AAAAA second round. The Hawks finish with a 17-3 record.

Mill Creek got its goals from Alexis Ordini, Emily Hallberg and Nicole Gump.