The George Mason High School cross country team rounded out an impressive season Saturday, as the girls team placed third overall in the state meet on the Great Meadows Course at Loudon County High School.
The Mustangs battled the lingering effects of three inches of rain that blanketed the course the night before and earned their second impressive performance at states in as many years. Last year, the Mustangs finished second in team competition.
“It was amazing. Simply amazing,” Mason Coach Julie Bravin said, who earlier was named the Bull Run District coach of the year. “It’s all about the girls. Their success to determination and hard work really came out that day.”
The top three teams in the Region B Championships repeated their finish at Loudoun — Clarke County High School on top followed by Altavista High and Mason.
Mason finished just 24 points behind Altavista and 10 ahead of fourth place Radford High. The top three teams received trophies for their performances.
Leading the pack for the Mustangs was junior Susanna Sullivan, who earned All-State recognition by placing third overall with a time of 19:53. Sullivan finished 24 seconds behind race winner Mariah Hagadone of Buffalo Gap High School, and 15 seconds behind District rival Sophia Holmes of Clarke County.
Also placing for the Mustangs were freshman Courtney Ready, who finished in 25th with a time of 22:12, junior Karina Robarge, senior Elizabeth Fortenberry, and junior Lydia Fairfax, who finished 28th, 29th, and 50th, respectively, out of the field of 123 runners.
Senior Emma Goetz was hampered by a swollen ankle but managed to finish 60th in a time of 24:26. Goetz had been the number two runner for the Mustangs the entire season.
Although Bravin considers it a great season, next year could be even better.
“Throughout this year, we were plagued by injuries,” Bravin said. “The top seven was constantly changing. Next year we’ll be getting a lot of ninth and 10th graders back, so it looks good.”