In what was arguably their best meet of the season, the George Mason High School varsity girls track team rose to the challenge of the Bull Run District meet, as nine ladies posted personal records. Although the Mustangs fell to eventual champion Clarke County High in Thursday’s meet at Manassas Park, Mason will send many all-district runners to this week’s regional meet.
Leading the way for Mason were juniors Karina Robarge and Susanna Sullivan. Both rang up two first place finishes, while Robarge added a school record time to her impressive day. Robarge took first in the 100 and the 300 hurdles, with her record time coming in the 300 (48.13).
Sullivan, fresh off the disabled list, won in both the 1600m and the 3200m with times of 5:14 and 11:27:38. Other top finishes for the lady Mustangs were senior Ashley Thompson, who took third in the 100m dash and second in the 200m, as well as running in the second-place 4×400 relay team with Robarge, junior Amelia Nystrom and freshman Chantel Bailey.
Nystrom finished second to Robarge in the 100 hurdles, and fourth in the 300 hurdles, posting personal records in each event. Bailey took home a pair of second place finishes, earning all-district honors in both the 400m and the 100m, in which she finished with a personal record time of 13.59.
Senior Elizabeth Fortenberry placed second in the 800m, with her own record time of 2:34.67, while fellow classmen Emma Goetz took third in the 3200m.
Field competitor junior Meredyth Duncan continued her impressive season as well, with a third place finish in the long jump, as well as finishing sixth in the triple jump. Fellow classmates Sushmita Gorhandas took third in the 200m and fourth in both the high jump and the triple jump, with personal record times and jumps coming in all three events.
The 4×100 relay team of Duncan, juniors Minh Le and Laura Allan, as well as freshman Adeyianka Bowman-Johnson finished second, while Allan posted a personal record in the 200m, finishing sixth to earn all-district honors.
Rounding out the all-district athletes for the Mustangs were sophomore Melissa Benn in the discus, Bowman-Johnson in the high jump, junior Lydia Fairfax in both the 800m and the 1600m, fellow classmen Nate Smartt in both the 100m and the 400m, sophomore Koly Isenbarger in the 400m and senior Kirsti Price in the 3200m.
Although the boys squad did not fare nearly as well, a pair of junior sprinters established the Mustangs as a force to be reckoned with come the regional and state meet.
Yusof Becker took first in the 110 hurdles, while posting a state qualifying time of 16.18, and also earned all-district honors by placing fifth in the 300 hurdles. Mason’s Josh Jenkins won the 100m dash with a school-record time of 11.09, and also placed second in the 200m.
Senior Derek Devore had a pair of second place finishes, falling to Becker in the 110 hurdles, and coming up just short in the 300m hurdles. Senior Ed Hickey won the discus with a throw of 129’8”.
Five other runners posted their best times of the year. Juniors Kyle Nette and Will Douthitt ran their best races of the year in the 200m and 3200m, respectively, while freshmen Sam Parker and Drew Garrison, as well as sophomore Jon McHugh, finished strong to round out the meet for Mason.
In addition to the plethora of all-district runners, Mustang coach Julie Bravin was named Bull Run District Coach of the Year, for her efforts guiding the girls team to an undefeated season.
The Regional meet will take place this Friday, May 25, in Charlottesville, with States coming the following Saturday at Radford University.
“[The coaches are] so proud of the team’s accomplishments this season,” said Bravin. “It was great to see so many personal records at the District meet and we are certainly looking forward to Regionals.”