New personal records were broken, and while the George Mason High School cross country team posted arguably the best meet of its entire season, it was a familiar story line which ultimately ended their campaign.
The girls squad, who finished second to Clarke County at the district and region level, the Mustangs were unable to dethrone the balanced Eagles, despite an incredible race from senior Susanna Sullivan who finished second individually.
Their male counterparts finished sixth overall in their first state meet since 2003.
Grouped together, the boys all finished within a minute of each other, shattering many personal records.
“We went into states with high goals and both teams stepped up perfectly,” said Mason coach Julie Bravin. “They had their best races at states, and ending that way was just perfect.”
Leading the way for the boys were sophomore Miles Butler (34th) and junior Daniel Benn (37th). A pair of seniors in Andres Ramos and Will Douthitt was next, finishing in 53rd and 56th respectively, with times of 18:07 and 18:09. Finally, Carlos Clark, Louis Henninger and Teddy Rueckert placed 70th, 72nd, and 73rd just behind their teammates.
In the girls race, Mason continued their incredibly successful season at the Great Meadow Course in Great Plains, Va. Leading the way, as she has done throughout her stellar career as a Mustang, was Sullivan.
After winning the Bull Run District meet and the Region B meet, Sullivan fell just short of the final and most competitive trophy, but nonetheless placed second overall in an enormous field of runners. Following the meet, Sullivan was honored with her third straight All-State selection.
Grouping together for Mason were the next four runners, with freshman Mollie Breen finishing in 32nd, sophomore Courtney Ready in 38th, fellow classmen Karen Hamill in 42nd and senior Karina Robarge in 51st.
This race marks the end of the high school cross country career for seven seniors, all of whom were praised by Bravin after the meet. Sullivan, Robarge, Lydia Fairfax and Liz Rose, whom Bravin labeled “an incredible captain,” ran their final race for the girls team. It was likewise the last competition for Ramos. “He’s absolutely, always has the team’s best interest in mind,” Bravin said.
Douthitt and Breen are the boys team’s other seniors.