Today, let's check out one of the market's sweetest spots -- mid-cap growth funds.

Over the past 12 months, the average mid-cap growth fund is up more than 20%, dusting the

S&P 500

by more than 22 percentage points, according to

Morningstar

. These highflying funds typically invest in stocks of companies with market caps between $1.5 billion and $9 billion. They get the "growth" label because they typically invest in companies that are growing their earnings faster than their peers -- often buying shares at steep valuations.

But plowing money into these funds just because of their recent returns isn't a good idea because they can be volatile, losing 7.5% over the last three months, for instance. But if you don't already have mid-cap growth exposure and you're looking to get into the game for the long term, we've done some scouting for you.

We've screened the 230-fund category to single out the funds that beat their average peer over the last one- and three-year periods, according to Morningstar. Here's a top-10 list, ranking the funds by their one-year returns. We've also screened these leading funds' portfolios to pick out their collective top-10 stock picks, but first the funds.

Here you've got a who's who of highflying, tech-heavy growth funds. Consider that the

(PBHEX)

PBHG Select Equity,

(BRAGX) - Get Report

Bridgeway Aggressive Growth and

(POGSX) - Get Report

Pin Oak Aggressive Stock funds averaged more than a 126% gain last year.

In addition to the funds on our list, you might look at other high-octane options like the

(JAENX) - Get Report

Janus Enterprise fund or the

(FIDYX)

Invesco Dynamics fund. If you're looking for a less aggressive route to mid-cap exposure, check out the

(RPMGX) - Get Report

T. Rowe Price Mid-Cap Growth fund or some mid-cap blend funds, which typically hold both growth and value stocks.

If you're wondering how much tech are in these leading funds, consider that nine of their cumulative top-10 holdings are tech companies with strong Internet ties like networker

JDS Uniphase

(JDSU)

(set to soon swallow

SDL

(SDLI)

), online security concern

VeriSign

(VRSN) - Get Report

and data storage shop

Network Appliance

(NTAP) - Get Report

.