Individual rivalries are rare in high school sports, but one might be blossoming in Richmond County cross country.
Westside's DeAndre Smalley and Laney's Raheem Newton ran neck-and-neck in the county cross country meet at Diamond Lakes Regional Park on Wednesday.
Smalley, who barely pulled away at the end of the race, set a course record with a time of 16 minutes, 33 seconds.
The mark surpassed the previous record of 17:07 set by Newton a week earlier. Newton crossed the line in 16:40, 27 seconds better than his previous record.
The two will do battle again Wednesday at Diamond Lakes.
COLUMBIA-BOUND: The South Carolina Gamecocks signed another strong arm from the area last week. Left-hander Andrew Faulkner , from South Aiken, committed to be part of the 2011 class. The 6-foot-3, 165-pound senior will join former Greenbrier standout Nolan Belcher on the Gamecocks' roster.
Faulkner has been a part of a strong Thoroughbreds rotation, one that also featured Tucker Hawley, who is now at Alabama.
REGION CHAMPS: For the second consecutive season, Aiken Prep's boys soccer team finished its regular season undefeated. The Knights captured the SCISA Region 3-A title after going 8-0 and will take on Lowcountry Day in the state playoffs.
THOMSON SIZZLING: Thomson, by virtue of winning 10 of its past 12 games (including one tie), has moved into the sixth spot in the PrepCountry.com/GACA Softball Coaches poll. The Lady Bulldogs are 16-3-1 overall this season.
Greenbrier slipped to seventh in Class AAAAA, Evans inched up to eighth in Class AAAA, and Screven County is holding strong at No. 4 in Class AA.
Aiken is the only local school ranked in the South Carolina volleyball poll. The Hornets are in sixth in Class AAAA. Ridge Spring-Monetta and Fox Creek both dropped out in Class A.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS WEEK:
Today: Aiken Prep vs. Lowcountry Day, soccer
The undefeated Knights begin their SCISA Class A playoff run.
Today: Aiken at Lexington, volleyball
Region foes, both ranked in Class AAAA, meet for the second time this season. Lexington handed Aiken its only loss of the season Sept. 3.
Wednesday: Evans at Greenbrier, softball
The Wolfpack have dominated the rivalry in recent years. Evans wants a signature win to wrap up its regular season.
Reach Joey Jones at (706) 823-3304 or email@example.com.