Staff Photo: John Bohn Ron Chapman, parent of Lexi Shy of Peachtree Ridge, gives a hug to Lexi after Peachtree Ridge won the team title in the Region 7-AAAAAA women's cross country race held at River Green in Duluth Saturday. At left, Peachtree Ridge runner Laurel Wilson hugs Katherine Yost of Norcross, the first place individual finisher of the race.
DULUTH As much as some things change, some things remain the same.
That was the case at the 2012 7-AAAAAA girls and boys cross country championships as both the team and individual champions repeated from last year.
On the girls' side, Peachtree Ridge defended its team title with a score of 30 points as the Lions placed four runners in the top six.
Laurel Wilson finished second with a time of 19:10.44 and she was followed by Lexi Shy in third (19:13.79), Addy Lippitt in fifth (19:18.00) and Caroline Williams in sixth (19:21.16).
Isabella Hoskins rounded out the scoring for the Lions with a 14th-place finish and a time of 20:13.03.
"I'm really excited for the girls," said Peachtree Ridge head coach Ron Clanton. "We've had a lot of ups and downs this season with injuries and sickness. But today they stepped up to the plate and hit a home run. So I'm really pleased for them."
Mill Creek placed two runners in the top 10 and came in second with 72 points.
Lexi Froh placed eighth with a time of 19:39.03 while Hannah Lopez came in 10th at 19:42.71 for the Hawks.
Rounding out the team scoring included Norcross in third with 80 points, Collins Hill fourth with 93, North Gwinnett fifth with 122, Mountain View sixth with 135, Duluth seventh with 208, Habersham Central eighth with 246 and Meadowcreek ninth with 288.
Individually, Norcross senior Katherine Yost defended her individual title with a strong race by pulling away from the field early to win by nearly a half-minute at 18:41.92.
"I talked to my coach about one strategy, but he convinced me to try something else," Yost said. "But I did get off to a great start and then ran my race. I feel like I need to get better every week and today was a good day. Now I have to get ready for state next week."
Lacey Ellenburg placed fourth (19:15.11) and Mariah Maring seventh (19:25.24) for Collins Hill while North's Courtney Czerniak finished ninth (19:41.75) to round out the top 10 individually.
On the boys' side, Mill Creek put four runners in the top eight and took home its second straight team title with 39 points.
Eric Westog placed fourth with a time of 16:04.76 and he was followed by Tyler Woodrome in fifth (16:14.54), Sven Hope seventh (16:21.85) and Matt Tippins eighth (16:27.63).
Jonathan Westog completed the Mill Creek scoring with a 15th-place finish and a time of 16:37.33.
"It's amazing to defend our region championship, because back-to-back (titles) was our goal," said Mill Creek head coach Andy Christie. "Tyler Woodrome ran an incredible last mile and then we challenged Jonathan Westog step up for us and he did. I'm really proud of this team and now we get ready for state."
Peachtree Ridge came in second-place with 50 points, led by defending champion Josh Brickell's winning time of 15:12.58.
"It feels good to come here one more time for my senior year and win it," Brickell said. "I ran well today and I was shooting for the course record of 15:02. But I was more focused on running a good race. I did that and now it's about getting ready for state next week."
The Lions also got a second-place finish from Kevin Mills, who clocked a time of 15:50.50.
Norcross came in third-place with 59 points, followed by Collins Hill in fourth with 86, North fifth with 110, Mountain View sixth with 204, Duluth seventh with 210, Habersham Central eighth with 215 and Meadowcreek ninth with 284.
Also finishing in the top 10 individually were Arman Rehmann of Norcross in third (15:57.35), Sam Todd of Norcross in sixth (16:18.44), Jonathan Moses of Collins Hill in ninth (16:30.35) and Daniel Ellis of Collins Hill in 10th (16:31.28).