Rivalry forms between Westside, Laney runners
By Joey Jones | Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

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 joey.jones@augustachronicle.com.

From the Tuesday, September 29, 2009 edition of the Augusta Chronicle
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