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(PHOTO | WWW.LEXINGTONWILDCATS.COM) The Lexington High School competitive cheer team.

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(PHOTO | WWW.GOFLASHWIN.COM) The River Bluff competitive cheer team.

The Midlands once again emerged as the top contenders for the SC High School League Class 5A competitive cheer title.

Lexington High School led a quartet of fellow Lexington and Richland County teams from Region 5-5A which placed in the top five of the Class 5A qualifiers held Saturday at Dorman High School.

The Lady Wildcats scored 320 to place first among the 12 qualifiers. It was followed in second place by River Bluff (309), defending Class 5A champion Chapin (307) in third, St. James (304) in fourth place and Dutch Fork (280) in fifth place.

“It’s a powerhouse region,” said Lexington head coach Leigh Watson, who’s led the program to back-to-back Top three finishes the past two seasons. “We are very strong in the Midlands.”

Rounding out the list of Class 5A qualifiers were Richland County schools Blythewood and Spring Valley, Dorman, Fort Mill, JF Byrnes, Summerville and Clover.

With Airport, Brookland-Cayce, AC Flora, Gilbert and Lugoff-Elgin qualifying earlier this week, a total of 11 Midlands teams will vie for state competitive cheer championships Dec. 19 at the Florence Civic Center.

Lexington is seeking its third state title since 2013, the same year River Bluff won its lone championship in Class 3A. Chapin is seeking its state-record 16th state title and sixth straight overall, while Dutch Fork looks to win its eighth championship and first since 2017.

Airport won its lone state title in Class 4A in 1996. More information on ticket purchases and seating rules will be released at schsl.org.

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