Parkview defended its title with 69 points, holding off a strong challenge from second-place Mill Creek (73). North Gwinnett was a close third at 82, followed by Brookwood (125) and Hebron (149) in the top five.
It was the sixth all-time county championship for the Parkview girls, who also won back-to-back titles in 1987-88 and 1996-97.
“Obviously, our goal was to come in and win the race,” Parkview coach Mike Demarest said. “The girls after said it was weird. Usually they’re trying to stick with runners. They’re used to running on girls’ shoulders, not having runners on their shoulders. They’re used to being the hunters and today they were the hunted (as defending champion). … It seemed like we had it after two miles. But Mill Creek had one heck of a third mile and almost took it from us. I give a lot of credit to (Mill Creek) Coach (Michael) Sexton and his team.”
Four runners in the top 11 made Parkview difficult to beat. Emma Geaney was third behind the Hebron runners in 20:04.13 in a top five that also included Brookwood’s Allie Wardle (fourth, 20:19.82) and Dacula’s Karsyn Rodney (fifth, 20:29.02).
“(Geaney) has just made an incredible jump this year,” Demarest said. “She’s always been a hard worker. Sometimes it just takes time with runners. You never know when it’s going to click.”
She was backed up by Abi Debebe in sixth at 20:32.73, Jaimie Chen in ninth at 20:52.32 and Haley Primm in 11th at 20:53.13. The important fifth spot on the team went to Abby Hall, whose 41st-place finish (22:42.93) clinched the title.
“I can’t give Abby Hall enough credit for what she did today to secure the championship,” Demarest said. “I talked to Abby (Friday) and told her, ‘Look, a lot of pressure falls on you to get it done.’ I’m just super proud of her.”