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Lambert's Schwind, West's Green notch top-10 finishes in Carrollton
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West Forsyth's John Green walks to the podium after finishing eighth in Class AAAAAA at the GHSA Cross Country Championship on Saturday. - photo by Brian Paglia

GHSA State Cross Country Championships - Class AAAAAA boys

Team Results

1. Marietta – 72 points (3+12+17+19+21), 17:00 average
2. Brookwood – 164 points (15+27+38+40+44), 17:29 average
3. Mill Creek – 169 points (11+20+28+49+61), 17:26 average
4. Milton – 170 points (9+16+23+54+68), 17:23 average
5. Etowah – 189 points (10+30+33+43+73), 17:30 average
8. West Forsyth - 219 points (8+18+42+63+88), 17:33 average
9. Lambert - 236 points (5+41+56+65+69), 17:38 average
11. South Forsyth - 282 points (31+32+62+72+85), 17:48 average

West Forsyth
8th. John Green – 16:49.91
19. Brian Skoglind – 17:08.35
44. Will Harper – 17:41.14
65. Daniel Sexton – 17:56.61
90. Tristan Harding - 18:09.63

5th. Jonathan Schwind - 16:42.66
43. Tyler Fox - 17:40.98
58. Christopher Sharp - 17:50.20
67. Hank Grogan - 17:57.59
71. Parker Fredrick - 18:01.62

South Forsyth
33rd. Ryan Peppenhorst – 17:27.14
34. Trevor Kane – 17:27.80
64. Zach Coleman - 17:56.00
74. Reed Vaughn - 18:02.28
87. Matt Patterson - 18:08.66

CARROLLTON – Lambert junior Jonathan Schwind and West Forsyth junior John Green made late charges in Carrollton on Saturday afternoon to secure top-10 individual finishes in the Class AAAAAA boys state cross country championships.

For the second year in a row, Schwind, the Region 6-AAAAAA champion, led all Forsyth County runners at the state meet, this time placing fifth in 16:42.66 (more than 45 seconds faster than his 2013 race). Green was eighth overall with a 16-minute, 49.91-second run.

West and Lambert finished eighth and ninth as teams, respectively, and South Forsyth was 11th. Ryan Peppenhorst (17:27.14, 33rd) and Trevor Kane (17:27.80, 34th) led the War Eagles.

“It went a lot better than I was expecting,” Schwind, who finished 39th last year, said. “The first little bit of it was easy so I wanted go faster. It started to get hard really fast. But I realized this was my last race [this season] and just gave it everything I had.”

Green and Schwind both were in the middle of a jumbled pack after the first mile and remained distant of the leaders after the first of two loops on the rolling hills of Carrollton High School’s course—and that was perfect position. Schwind and Green conserved energy, trying to keep the lead pack within striking distance and waiting to make their move.

“The race went out super hard and I knew I couldn’t chase them,” Green said. “I had to wait and get them later. I did pretty well with that…Going up the hill on the second loop, kids started falling back and I knew I was going to have to go.”

Peppenhorst ran close to the lead pack through the first loop and was among the top 20 runners through one mile, which he ran in 5:08—four seconds faster than his intended 5:12.

“I felt pretty good after the first mile but it was a little too quick,” Peppenhorst said. “After that, I think I lost my focus a little bit and let the guys I was trying to chase get away and fell off the pace.”

Still, the South senior improved on his 2013 time by 18 seconds and finished 31 spots higher in the field.

Lambert coaches had been waiting all year for Schwind to notch a first-place finish, and he finally did so last weekend to win the Region 6 meet in Suwanee. Evidently, he saved his best work for the end of the season.

“Winning region gave me a lot more confidence,” Schwind said. “It helped me realize I could go against the top guys … I was shooting for a top-10 finish [at state], but fifth is even better.”

Green, easy to spot with his mess of hair, tried to chase his county rival down over the last 350 meters.

“Coming around the second loop I saw him 50 yards ahead of me and I was like, ‘he’s up there,’” Green said. “So when he came back around I could see him and said, ‘I got to go get him.’ And I was reeling him in but didn’t quite get him. [50 yards] feels like an eternity.”

Davis Stockwell of Lakeside-DeKalb won the individual title in 16:33.77, just ahead of Mountain View’s Tyler Barber (16:33.85). Marietta, the No. 1-ranked team in the state and the heavy favorite to win the team title, did just that, placing all five runners in the top 21.