High School Sports

Preview: 3A state cross country

Eight Midlands cross country teams will be on hand for the Class 3A state championship meet on Saturday at Sandhills Research Park.

At the top of the area list in Chapin, which will be shooting for Top 10 state finishes in both the boys and girls divisions once more.

The Eagles boys and girls teams both had sixth-place finishes at last weekend’s Upper State qualifying meet at Heritage Park in Simpsonville.

Heath Lorick (17th, 17:21.02), Carson Barnes (22nd, 17:30.33) and Hunter McGahee (24th, 17:30.83) were the leaders for the Chapin boys, who are ranked seventh in the latest coaches poll..

Lannon McCoy (9th, 19:53.17) and Julia Von Vollenho (20th, 20:38.66) led the way the for Eagles girls, who stand at No. 8 in the 3A rankings. Individually, McCoy will be out to gain a spot on the all-state team for the first team after placing 17th as a freshman last season and 20th as an eight-grader in 2007.

Chapin will have plenty of local company at the state meet. The other Midlands qualifiers include the Dreher boys and girls, the Lower Richland boys, and the girls teams from A.C. Flora, Airport and Brookland-Cayce.

Both Dreher teams have qualified for the 11th year in a row after turning in good showings at the Lower State qualifying meet last weekend on the state course at Sandhills.

The Blue Devils boys finished fifth while the girls checked in seventh at the qualifier. Sophomore Karina Colon, 16th, 21:32.77) and junior Quayshun Hawkins (18th, 18:39.19) led the respective Blue Devils squads.

A.C. Flora’s girls edged out Dreher for fifth place in the final standings (185-188). The Falcons have made the state cut for the 11th time in the past 12 seasons. Sophomore Carey Roth led the way with an 18th-place finish in 21:41.56.

Lower Richland made some new by advancing to state for the first time since their ninth-place performance in Class 4A in 1990. The Diamond Hornets got in just under the wire with a 10th place qualifying meet finish. Junior Ediberto Vergara set the pace for LR, placing 14th with a time of 18:14.32.

Freshman Megan Stahlberger was the Airport headliner, finishing second to Hilton Head’s Sara Manesiotis with a time of 19:14.66. Stahlberger is looking to move up at state after earning all-state recognition last season by placing 15th at the state finals.

Airport’s Jamie Sires and Joshua Williams will be on hand as individual qualifiers. Sires was third at Lower State with a time of 16:47.00, while Williams was eighth in 17:50.16.

Sires is a two-time, all-state runner. He was 15th as a sophomore in 2007 and jumped up to ninth a year ago.