Herald-area runners and teams will compete at the State Cross Country Meet on Saturday at the Sandhills Research Center in Columbia.
Fort Mill's girls go into the Class AAA race ranked third behind Hilton Head and Daniel. Hilton Head won the Lower State race last weekend. Daniel was the Upper State champ with Fort Mill finishing second.
Nation Ford's girls are ranked ninth and could be in the mix as well.
Yellow Jackets' senior Taylor Miller ran a season PR last Saturday. Her 19:34 was just enough to beat Daniel's Sinead Haughey to win the race.
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Kevin Ketner leads the Nation Ford boys in Class AAA. Ketner has the fastest time of any Herald-area runner this season. He posted a 16:11.98 in mid-September at the Lake Murray Invitational and won the Upper State meet Saturday in Simpsonville with a 16:27.
No. 6 Nation Ford and No. 7 Fort Mill could challenge for a championship.
In Class AAAA Rock Hill's boys have enjoyed their best season in decades and are ranked fourth. Senior Bo Hutchison and freshman Christian Ruppe are peaking at the right time. They finished eighth and ninth, respectively, on the Sandhills course on Saturday in the Mid-State race.
Clover's boys jumped into the state rankings this week at No. 9. Thomas Honeyman, Alex Flores and Austin Highfill have led the Blue Eagles charge.
There are two newcomers to the state meet. Lancaster's girls may be making their first appearance. Freshman JeNae Jones was 15th in the Mid-State qualifier, helping the Bruins to a third-place finish.
Rock Hill's girls finished fifth at the Mid-State Meet to qualify for State. Like Lancaster, the Lady Cats' may be running in their first state championship. Sophomore Alex Mosely crossed the line second in the Mid-State race with a time of 19:53.05.