High school athletes compete in final sports contests of the year
The end is near. The end of the high school athletic season, that is.
The South Carolina High School League holds its weekend of champions, which commences Friday at various venues around the state and concludes Saturday.
The baseball and softball State Championship Series will commence next week.
The biggest event of the weekend, based on participation, is the Track and Field Championships. The meet will be held at Spring Valley’s Harry Parone Stadium.
Bishop England and Hanahan will be well-represented in the Class AAA championship, while Philip Simmons has a contingent that will compete in the Class AA meet.
Hanahan’s Quincy Mitchell was the star of last year’s state meet with gold medals in the 100-, 200-dashes while claiming another gold medal in the 4x100-meter relay. He also added a silver medal in the 400-meter dash.
But he struggled at last weekend’s qualifier. He finished second in the 100 and third in the 200. He did not race in the 400 and the relay team didn’t place.
Bishop England’s Sam Boykin is poised for a big effort Saturday after winning gold in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs in the state qualifier with respective times of 4:33.97 and 10:17.21.
The Bishops’ Jacob Wilkins will also attempt to keep the momentum going this weekend after placing first in the discus with a heave of 159-7.
In last week’s girls’ Class AAA qualifier, Hanahan’s Autumn Bladen, Hanna Johnson, Tiara Daniels and Jaleigha Fleming won the 4x400-meter relay with a time of 4:18.09. Teammate Alanna Herndon won the triple jump to qualify for this weekend’s meet.
Bishop England’s Emma Albano qualified for the shot put and discus for the second consecutive year.
Philip Simmons’ Najhyjai Watson and Noah Ward had Iron Horses’ best efforts at last week’s state qualifier.
Watson, only an eighth-grader, qualified for the girls’ 100- and 400-meter dashes. The freshman Ward placed second in both the 800 and 1,600 to qualify for Saturday’s meet.
The Bishop England girls’ soccer team advanced to Saturday’s state championship with a 1-0 double-overtime thriller over Swansea. The Bishops scored the only goal of the match with about two minutes left in the second OT.
The Bishops have outscored foes 21-1 in four playoff games and enter the title match on a roll with 11 victories in their last 12 matches. The Bishops are 14-2-1 overall.
The Bishops will play Indian Land at noon Saturday at Irmo High School. Indian Land advanced with a 6-0 victory over Woodruff.
In boys’ Class AAA soccer, Bishop England hosted Bluffton in the Lower State championship Tuesday night. The winner will advance to Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. state championship against the winner of the Seneca-Pendleton Upper State championship.
The Bishop England baseball team was scheduled to host Gilbert Wednesday for the Class AAA Lower State championship. Gilbert needed to beat the Bishops two times Wednesday night, while the Bishops needed a single victory. The Bishops entered the game with a 28-1 record.
The Hanahan and Bishop England boys’ tennis teams were scheduled to play for the Class AAA Lower State championship on Wednesday. The winner will advance to Saturday’s Class AAA state championship, which will be contested at noon Saturday at the Cayce Tennis Center.
The Hanahan softball team is alive and well in the Class AAA playoffs. The Hawks are in the Lower State championship and will be at home Friday, needing to win a game to advance to the State Championship Series. The State Championship Series begins Monday.
The Bishop England boys’ golf team’s bid for a fourth straight Class AAA remains alive after and impressive performance at the Lower State meet.
The Bishops won the event, which was contested at Diamondback Golf Club in Loris. The Bishops scored a 309. J.J. Keene and Austin Scott earned co-medalist honors, with scores of 76. Sam Manning carded a 77, and Luke Walmet carded an 80.
The team travels to Seneca’s Cross Creek Plantation for the AAA State championship. The match begins Monday and concludes Tuesday.