Lowcountry teams well represented in recent state cross country polls

You can find the usual local state powers in the latest state cross country poll.

On the boys side, defending SCISA state champ Porter-Gaud is No. 1, while Pinewood Prep checks in at No. 2.

The Cyclones are seeking their third straight state title, and coach Hugh Knight is optimistic.

“The combination of strong senior leadership, solid work ethics and great team camaraderie has made this year’s group a great bunch of kids to work with,” Knight said. “We are hoping to crack the top 10 in the state overall.”

Academic Magnet and Bishop England are 1-2 in the Class AA poll of High School League teams, while Wando is No. 4 in Class AAAA.

The local girls teams dominate the top spots in team standings. In the poll of High School League teams, Bishop England is No. 1 in Class AA after finishing sixth in the state.

James Island is No. 1 in Class AAA after competing in Class AAAA last fall.

Defending Class AAAA state champ Wando holds down the top spot in Class AAAA after winning the Coaches Classic for the fourth year in a row.

“We’re a really young team,” Wando coach Marie Domin said. “We lost four of our top eight runners, so that’s basically half our team. We have a lot of new faces. They’ve worked hard and it has paid off.”

Pinewood Prep’s Maryah Nasir is the top-ranked girl in the state, while Wando’s Georgia Compton is No. 9. Nasir had the best time at the recent Coaches Classic with a time 18 minutes, 38 seconds, which was 15 seconds better than the second-best time. Compton turned in a time of 19:23.

Porter-Gaud’s Brent Demarest is No. 7 in the boys’ individual poll, while Andrew Gawryluk is No. 10. Gawryluk finished eighth in the recent Coaches Classic with a time of 16:22, and Demarest was ninth in 16:25.

Dorman to host TOC

The Dorman Volleyball Tournament of Champions will be held this weekend, and the Lowcountry will be well-represented with four teams in the 16-team field.

The local teams include Porter-Gaud, Bishop England, Ashley Hall and Wando, programs that perennially are among the best in the state.

Porter-Gaud has won back-to-back SCISA state titles. The Cyclones play Aiken on Friday. Bishop England, which has won 12 straight state titles and 23 overall, plays Woodward Academy, a team that has won 10 Georgia state championships.

Ashley Hall is the SCISA state runner-up and a nine time state champion. The Panthers play St. Joseph’s and Musselman. St. Joseph’s won the Class A state title last year, while Musselman won the West Virginia state title in 2008.

Wando plays Rock Hill on Friday.

The Tournament of Champions was the brainchild of Pickens coach Peggy Anthony, who invited all of the state champs from South Carolina. The event has grown to include the top teams from the states that border the Palmetto State.

First-round action will begin on Friday and concludes Saturday with the championships.