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Local runners shine at Peachtree
by Greg Oshust
July 10, 2014 09:29 AM | 2664 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A number of current and former local high school standouts came away with top 100 finishes among the 60,000 runners who participated in the Peachtree Road Race last Friday.

Leading the way among the local prep contingent on the men’s side was Blessed Trinity boys’ cross country coach Greg Johnson, who covered the 10K, 6.2-mile course that started at Lenox Square mall in Buckhead and finished at Piedmont Park on 10th Street in Midtown Atlanta in 32 minutes, 10 seconds to finish in 45th place overall and win the men’s 25-29 age group.

It was an improvement from Johnson’s Peachtree result of a year ago, when he recorded a time of 32:54.

Finishing not far behind Johnson was Roswell resident Will Murray, a former runner of his at Blessed Trinity and now a rising sophomore at Miami University of Ohio, who crossed the finish line with a time of 33:41 to finish 96th overall and 78th among the men’s competitors.

Roswell resident Ryan Doyle, a former cross country and track runner at Holy Spirit Prep in Sandy Springs and a rising junior at Wofford, ran 35:39 to finish 160th overall and 137th among the men.

Former Johns Creek runner Ryan Spetnagel, a rising sophomore cross country runner at TCU, finished with a time of 35:50 to place 179th overall and 149th among the men.

Milton’s Clay Marshall, a rising junior, finished with a time of 35:53 to place 178th overall and 148th in the men’s category.

Blessed Trinity rising junior Robby Gipson crossed the finish line at 36:27 to place 218th overall and 187th in the men’s division.

Roswell rising senior Brandon Tardif finished at 36:41 for a 228th-place overall and 195th among the men. On the women’s side, Milton standout Annie Kelly made a strong showing with a personal-best 10K time of 36:40 to finish 33rd among the women and 225th overall as well as winning the women’s 15-19 age group.

Kelly, who is now a freshman cross country and track runner at Colorado and who had achieved a super seeding at Peachtree this year, improved on her time of 38:16 that she ran a year ago. In the process, Kelly also got a measure of revenge over an old high school rival of hers as she finished ahead of former Johns Creek star Allie Buchalski.

Buchalski, a rising sophomore cross country and track runner at Furman who won state titles in girls’ cross country as well as in track in both the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs in Class AAAAAA – with Kelly finishing second behind her in all three races – in the 2012-13 season, ran 38:13 to finish 42nd in the women’s division and 341st overall.

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