What you won't see at this year's Herald/York County Cross Country Meet today at Northwestern is Lady Trojans' Mary Kate DuBard blowing away the field for another victory.
What you will see is one of the most competitive meets in quite some years and two new names at the top of the girls' leaderboard.
DuBard is gone, running cross country and track at Georgia Tech. Also gone is Fort Mill's Tiayonna Blackmon, who's running at N.C. State.
In their places are Rock Hill's Hannah Robinson and Blackmon's younger sister, Fort Mill's Quanika Blackmon, who are ranked among the top 10 runners in the state from all classifications. Robinson is No. 6 this week; Blackmon is at No. 7.
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Could it turn into an all-Blackmon day?
The state's top-ranked boy is Blackmon's brother, Fort Mill freshman Mark Blackmon. He won the Class AAAA boys' state championship last year as an eighth-grader. Northwestern's Tip Raburn is No. 10.
Northwestern coach Calvin Hudgins and the other county coaches started an effort this year to include all schools in The Herald's coverage area and make it a Tri-County meet. None of the other teams could make it because of scheduling conflicts, but Hudgins said the teams indicated they are interested in competing next year.
So the girls and boys team from each of the county schools will be on hand today attempting to walk away with first-place plaques. They are Clover, Fort Mill, Nation Ford, Northwestern, South Pointe and York.
"This will be one of our most competitive meets ever,'' Hudgins said. "Besides the other four runners that are ranked, Nation Ford has a couple that are pretty good runners, led by Kevin Coleman. We'll have the best free show in town at no charge.''
Fort Mill's girls are No. 2 in the latest Class AAAA poll. Fort Mill is No. 6 in the boys poll, and Northwestern is No. 7.
The meet starts at 4:45 with the varsity girls, followed by the varsity boys at 5:15 and the JV boys and girls at 5:45.
• MAC: Westminster Catawba will host the MAC Conference Cross Country championship today at Westminster Park on India Hook Road near the Catawba River Dam.
Both Indians' teams have a good shot at winning titles.
Westminster Catawba's girls are led by Caitlin Selle, who is going for her third straight individual conference championship.
The state championship is Oct. 24 in Cary, N.C.
• VOLLEYBALL: This week's PrepCountry.Com/High School Coaches Volleyball Top Ten Poll has Rock Hill ranked No. 5 in Class AAAA.
The Lady Bearcats are the only Herald-area team ranked in the polls.
1. Dorman; 2. Lexington; 3. Wando; 4. Hillcrest; 5. Rock Hill; 6. Mauldin; 7. Byrnes; 8. Aiken; 9. Blythewood; 10. Summerville
1. Pickens; 2. Daniel; 3. Eastside; 4. Hilton Head; 5. Wade Hampton; 6. Camden; 7. Riverside; 8. Woodmont; 9. St. James; 10. Blue Ridge
1. Bishop England; 2. Gilbert; 3. Broome; 4. Keenan; 5. Eau Claire; 6. Edisto; 7. Pageland Central; 8. Hanahan; 9. Walhalla; 10. (tie) Chesnee, Crescent
1. Landrum; 2. Southside Christian; 3. Ninety Six; 4. North Central; 5. Latta; 6. Johnsonville; 7. Christ Church; 8. Fox Creek; 9. Branchville; 10. (tie) North, Lake View
• VOLLEYBALL II: Westminster Catawba's Taylor Allen and Kylie Andert were named to the 10-member MAC All-Conference Volleyball Team.
The Lady Indians, 16-6, were second in the conference tournament. The state tournament is next Tuesday and Thursday at First Assembly Christian in Concord, N.C. The championship game is next Friday at Northside Christian Academy in Charlotte.
• WRESTLING: Fort Mill's Chris Brock has been chosen head coach of the Class AAAA North team for the 2009 All-Star Match in North Myrtle Beach on March 5-7.
The other North coaches are Brian Wilkins (J.L. Mann) Class AAA, Anthony Martin (Abbeville) Class AA. The North assistant is Ted Monroe, Lugoff Elgin Middle School.
The South staff is: Albert Spalviero (James Island) Class AAAA, Derek Ayers (Cane Bay) Class AA and Ray Adkins (Hanahan) Class AA.
The South assistant coach was Darryl Tucker, but he is ineligible because he is the new head coach at Summerville.
• FOOTBALL TICKETS: Clover at Northwestern football tickets are on sale at both schools through Friday.
They are being sold at Northwestern's athletics office and at Clover out of the main office. Tickets are $6.
• LATTA JERSEY: Kathy Brown of York won the Ivory Latta autographed York jersey at last Friday's home game against Gaffney.
She is married to York Assistant Schools Superintendent Matt Brown.
York girls basketball coach Paula Blackwell said the giveaway raised $175. The money will be used for basketball team expenses.
Blackwell said another jersey will be raffled on Nov. 7 when York hosts rival Clover in the final game of the regular season. All York sports teams will be selling tickets. The money raised will go to the each sport based on the number of tickets their teams sell.
Tickets are $5.