Chapin dominated the Midlands story at the Class 3A cross country Lower State qualifying meet on Saturday at Sandhills Research Center.
The Eagles boys team finished in second place behind top-ranked Hilton Head, while the girls team led all Midlands entries with a fifth-place effort.
Chapin ran very well in the boys division, scoring 50 points, but was still no match for the talented Seahawks who tallied a near-perfect team score of 17 points. HH runners occupied the top four positions at the finish line.
Still, it was a fine performance by the Eagles. Heath Lorick led the way with a sixth-place finish and a time of 17:04.20, followed by Jonthan Day (8th, 17:15.60), Carson Barnes (9th, 17:16.50), Thomas Fitzpatrick (11th, 17:18.25) and Hunter McGeeHee (16th, 17:21.75).
The Chapin girls’ tight pack featured Lauren Steedly (18th, 21:34.20), Shelby Green (19th, 21:34.50), Kathleen Mirgon (20th, 21:35.20), Samantha Kornig (22nd, 21:41.80) and Hayley McCoy (29th, 22:05.20).
Dreher and A.C. Flora provided the other big Midlands storylines.
Dreher qualified the boys and girls teams together for the 12th straight season. The Blue Devils girls finished in fifth place at the qualifier, while the boys placed seventh. Ashbrook Gwinn and Allyson Hill were the girls standouts. Gwinn finished third with a time of 19:37.80, while Hill checked in 16th at 21:22.30. Julian Scott (24th, 17:49.85) paced the boys team.
A.C. Flora took fourth place in the girls race, indicating the Falcons have a good shot at cracking the Top 10 at state for the first time since 2000. MaryAnn Riley was the Flora standout, finishing in fourth place with a time of 19:40.95. Riley received solid support from Lillian Tribble (26th, 21:57.40), Susannah Cate (28th, 22:04.50), Copeland Hanshaw (32nd, 22:38.90) and Ekei Eyo (42nd, 23:11.25).
Individually, Airport’s Megan Stahlberger was the Midlands standout with her second-place finish behind Sara Manesiotis of Hilton Head. Stahlberger clocked in at 19:35.90, 23 seconds off the pace of Manesiotis.
Airport finished sixth in the team standings. M.C. Driggers backed Stahlberger with a 12th place effort and a time of 21:14.60.
The Camden boys also made the grade – a big news day for the Bulldogs, who will run at state for the first time since 1992. Camden ended the postseason slump by finishing 11th with 344 points. The top 12 teams moved on to the finals. Davis Goodrich (25th, 17:50.45), Henry Deloach, Clark Joseph, Lucas Joseph and Doug Long were the runners who made it happen for Camden.
The Brookland-Cayce girls finished in a tie for 12th place, but lost out in the tie-breaking procedure to Wilson. The reason? Wilson had a sixth runner, while the Bearcats did not.