High School Sports

HHH's Manesiotis signs with Clemson for track, cross country

One website ranked Sara Manesiotis as the best soccer player in the state this spring.

She's twice been named to the all-state track team, and three times been selected as an all-state cross country runner.

She was an all-region basketball player in the winter, her senior season at Hilton Head High.

Needless to say, Manesiotis did it all in her four years with the Seahawks, and she did it well. When she attends college next year, however, she will narrow her focus -- the four-sport star signed a letter of intent Thursday to attend Clemson on a cross country and track scholarship in the fall.

"I want to focus on one thing and see how good I can become," she said. "I got offers to play soccer, but it just turns out that I decided to run. I've grown to really like it."

She's grown to become successful with it, as well. Manesiotis has been the Seahawks' top runner for the past three seasons, which included two team state championships.

Success has been a common word at Clemson the past two years -- the Tigers won both the ACC's indoor and outdoor track seasons in 2010-11.

Manesiotis, who chose Clemson over offers from South Carolina and College of Charleston, among others, said she hopes to make a contribution during her freshman season, but she is ready to work her way into the lineup.

"I'm not going to be the one in the light, but that's fine," Manesiotis said. "I'll be at the bottom of the totem pole. That will be good for me. I can work my way up to the top again."

Name: Sara Manesiotis

High school: Hilton Head High

Sport: Cross country, track

High school coaches: Bill Wrightson, Blake Bishop, Max Mayo

College: Clemson

Probable major: Education or Physical Therapy

About Clemson: The Tigers won the ACC championship during the indoor season and the outdoor season. Lawrence Johnson is Clemson's director of track and cross country.

Why Clemson? "I just saw their progress for running and how well they were doing this year," Manesiotis said. "I wanted to go to a team that had the potential to do really well while I was there."

Other schools considered: College of Charleston, South Carolina, UNC-Charlotte, Dayton (Ohio)

Other high school sports played: Soccer, basketball

Accolades: Three-time all-state cross country, two-time all-state track, all-state soccer, Class 3-A Soccer Player of the Year for 2011, all-region basketball, two-time cross country team state champion, two-time soccer team state champion