Arts & Entertainment

Sullivan Leads GMHS Track To 3rd Place Finish at States

Last weekend at the Single A state track and field tournament at Radford University, the George Mason High School girls’ squad came away smiling proudly, as they rang up an impressive third-place finish at the meet, behind two-event champion Susanna Sullivan. 

Sullivan, a junior, placed first in both the 1600 and the 3200m runs, with a personal record time of 5:08.19 coming in the 1600m.

Mustang Head Coach Julie Bravin commented on Sullivan’s grit and following the meet, noting that her star runner’s “drive and determination to succeed was amazing.”

In addition to Sullivan, fellow juniors Karina Robarge and Amelia Nystrom earned all-state honors. Robarge placed fourth in both the 100m and the 300m hurdles, while Nystrom placed seventh in the 100m hurdles. In her lone event, Nystrom set a PR time of 17.27.

Freshman Chantel Bailey and senior Ashley Thompson also came along for the meet, teaming up with Robarge and Nystrom in the 4x400m relay event, as they earned all-state merits by placing seventh with a time of 4:21.5.

“Karina had a great regular season but really excelled in Districts, Regions, and States,” said Bravin. “I am extremely proud of the ladies and we’re also very lucky to have a lot of these girls back next year.”

Only three male Mustangs made the jaunt down to the state tournament, but they still managed to rack up the points for Mason. Senior Derek Devore, running in his last meet in a Mustang uniform, went out in style at Radford. Devore placed third in the 110m hurdles to ring up all-state honors with a season-best time of 15.61.

While junior Yusof Becker competed valiantly, he did not earn an all-state finish. However, fellow classmate Josh Jenkins, scratched from the 200m race due to sickness, managed to run the 400m dash, placing third with a time of 49.87.

“Derek is an amazing athlete and has had a fantastic track and field career
at Mason,” mentioned Bravin. “After placing 11th last year at states, he definitely ended his career in a great way.”

While Devore will graduate very shortly, Bravin looks forward to having Jenkins tear up the competition again next year for Mason. Jenkins was not only dominant in the
Single A races but he was competitive among the runners in all classes
across the U.S., finishing third at the Southern Track Classic in early May.

Bravin, the Bull Run District Coach of the Year, was extremely enthusiastic about next year’s chances, as the only state runners to graduate will be Devore and Thompson.

“Both the ladies and the guys ran absolutely fantastic races. We are all looking forward to another amazing season next year.”