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Judging from mid-cap growth funds' performance this year, being stuck in the middle is not so bad.

On average the mid-cap growth pack is up 6.9%, compared with a 6.9% loss for the

S&P 500 through Monday's close. These funds typically feast on faster-growing companies with

market caps between $1.5 billion and $9 billion. In recent years investors had ridden hot big-caps, but this year mid-cap stocks have been the place to be. The

S&P MidCap 400 Index

is up 13.1% on the year, nearly lapping the mostly large-cap S&P 500 three times.

As usual, we've screened the category for the funds that beat their average peer over the past one- and three-year periods, listing the top 10 funds ranked by one-year return. On this list you'll find a slew of hot funds from go-go growth shops like




PBHG Select Equity),

Oak Associates



Pin Oak Aggressive Stock) and

Van Wagoner Funds

, whose


Emerging Growth fund made the cut but is closed to new investors.

They're a pretty pricey bunch. On average the 10 leading funds had 66% of their assets in tech stocks and boasted a 46.6

price-to-earnings ratio, compared with 42.9 for the average mid-cap growth fund and 24.9 for the S&P 500, according to



They also have more than 40% of their assets in large-cap stocks, typically the product of letting winning picks ride.

As you might imagine, the leading funds have been those that stuck with tech, but chose wisely. The leading funds' top three holdings have been well in the black this year: semiconductor shop



(181.3%), networker

JDS Uniphase


(17.1%) and semiconductor concern




For a look at these leading funds' other favorite picks -- all of which are in the tech or communications sectors -- check out the second table below.