Entering the Region B meet with high hopes for many state qualifiers, the George Mason High School track and field team was not disappointed, as seven girls and three boys qualified as All-Region athletes and advanced to the state meet in Radford, Va. this Saturday.
As a team, the Mustang girls finished seventh overall at the meet, held at Monticello High School in Charlottesville. Leading the charge, as she has done throughout the year, was junior Karina Robarge. Robarge established herself as a state-title contender by placing second in the 100 hurdles and third in the 300 hurdles.
Junior Susanna Sullivan dominated her race, finishing as the region champion in the 3200 with a time of 11:11. Sullivan demolished the competition, beating the nearest runner by 22 seconds.
Other All-Region Mason athletes were freshman Chantel Bailey in the 400, juniors Lydia Fairfax in the 1600 and Amelia Nystrom in the 100 hurdles, senior Emma Goetz in the 3200, and the 4×400 relay team of Robarge, Nystrom, Bailey and senior Ashley Thompson.
“The ladies have worked so hard this season and it certainly paid off at Regionals,” said Mustang coach Julie Bravin. “This is the largest number of girls that we’ve ever taken to States.”
While their male counterparts did not have as many All-Region athletes, three dominating runners figure to contend at the state meet. A duet of juniors in Josh Jenkins and Yusof Becker, as well as senior hurdler Derek Devore led Bravin to say that the boys team is “small in numbers but big in talent.”
Jenkins did not run at the Region meet due to a back injury, but will be running in Radford due to his previous qualifying times in the 400m and 200m.
Devore was seventh in the 300m hurdles, just barely missing States by one place, but qualified in the 110m hurdles with a time of 15.78.
Becker will join Devore in the 110m, as he qualified during a district meet. In addition, Becker ran his best time of the year in the 300m hurdles at the Region meet, finishing in 44.22.
Senior Ed Hickey was in sixth place for the majority of the discus event, until the final thrower surpassed him, bumping Hickey into seventh and a near miss for the state meet.
“Both the boys’ and the girls’ teams are such a joy to coach,” Bravin said. “Not only are they fun to watch, but are extremely talented as well. We hope for both teams to be very competitive on Saturday.”