At Sandhills Researh Park on Saturday, 10 teams will compete in one of the last big meets of the regular season.
The field for the Sandhills Invitational, hosted by Spring Valley, features Rock Hill, Emerald, Dutch Fork and Airport among others. Several of the state's top runners - Samantha Hughes (Dutch Fork), Ridge View's Joe Keitt and David Jennings among them - are registered to compete.
Region meets and state qualifiers are set to begin on Oct. 19, three weeks ahead of the Nov. 7 state finals, which also will be run at Sandhills.
This weekend's races begin at 9 a.m. with the girls varsity competition. Boys varsity follows at 9:30 a.m.
At the Pelion Invitational on Sept. 30, Lexington's girls edged Dutch Fork 51-55 to win the 15-team event. Lexington had five runners finish in the top 15, with Haylee Love leading the pack in fourth and Meri Henage in at sixth.
Despite the victory, the Wildcats slipped from sixth to seventh in the SCTCCCA Coaches Class 4A rankings. The Wildcats, in their first season under coach Catherine Lempesis, are ranked 10th in the coaches association's all-class poll.
Dreher hosts Brookland-Cayce on Tuesday in a Region 5-3A match .
Coach David Kleinfelder's Dreher Blue Devils are a young team on the rise. Led by four sophomores in their top singles spots, the Blue Devils are 6-4 (3-2) and have a shot at one of two region playoff spots.
April Horne and Brookland-Cayce are the Blue Devils' last major obstacle to that end. The 11-1 Bearcats defeated Dreher 6-0 on Sept. 21. But Kleinfelder feels his team is much improved since then. If Breeland can upset Horne at No. 1 singles, the Blue Devils have a chance to win.
Hundreds of high school swimmers from across the state will hit the pool at Clemson and South Carolina on Saturday in search of state championships.
The S.C. High School League Class 4A swim finals are set for 11 a.m. at USC's Sol Blatt pool.
With top-seeded relay teams, Dorman, Spartanburg and Mauldin are likely to fight for the title on the girls side. Spring Valley is the leading local contender, with Sarah Boyle and Caroline Spinek leading the Vikings' efforts. Boyle is seeded second in the 100-yard backstroke and fourth in the 100 butterfly.
On the boys side, Spring Valley will be in the hunt along with Wando, Spartanburg and Dorman. The Vikings' Hunter Bagnal is seeded third in the 500 freestyle and could challenge for the title. Dorman's Jared Gentry and Jay Warner could be major point winners for the Cavaliers.
The Class 3A competition at Clemson looks to be a race between Riverside and J.L. Mann on both sides. Riverside has Haley Lips seeded first in the 500 freestyle and 100 butterfly events, and is seeded first in the 200 medley relay. Mann is the top seed in the girls 200 and 400 freestyle relays. In the boys 200 medley relay, the top-seeded Patriots have a 0.11 seconds advantage on Riverside, which should make for an exciting race.
Meanwhile, Chapin senior Walker Layne is going for his third consecutive title in 100 backstroke. He is seeded first in that event, four seconds ahead of the No. 2 seed. Layne also is the top seed in the 100 butterfly.