Swimming in what senior Jeff Williams referred to as “the best pool [they] would swim in all year,” the George Mason High School varsity swim team took full advantage of the opportunity presented to them, as the boys defeated AAA Falls Church and Wakefield last Friday night.
Competing at what was practically a home meet at Providence Rec Center, the 4×50-yard freestyle relay team qualified for states, surpassing the required mark by a mere one second, as seniors Andrew Breen and Kyle Nette, junior Carlos Clark and freshman Sam Butler led the Mustangs on the night.
In a small meet with just one heat per event, the Mustangs, they of the smaller student body, dominated the entire meet from the first event despite missing senior Colin Lauer. In the opener — the 200 yard medley relay — the Mason team, made up of Williams, Breen, Nette and sophomore Sam Parker, surged ahead early, setting the pace for their teammates.
Clark took home first in both the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events, while freshman Sam Butler narrowly bested Breen in the 50 yard free, winning by .01 second.
Nette and freshman Will Doty finished 1-2 in the 100-yard butterfly, while Williams won in the 100 freestyle. Doty and Williams, in addition, placed first and second, respectively, in the 100-yard backstroke.
The 4×100 freestyle relay team of Williams, Clark, Doty and Nette rounded out the impressive day for the Mustangs, in which they captured first in every single event except for the 200-yard individual medley and the diving event.
It was a special day for the girls squad, as well, as Friday marked the first time in George Mason High history that someone has entered the diving competition. While Falls Church and Wakefield specifically have coaches dedicated to diving, freshman Rachel Hassan nonetheless boldly entered and nearly came out on top.
Hassan led the ladies competition through the first five rounds, earning the only 7 from the judges, before a miscommunication as to what she was supposed to do on her last dive forced a no-score on the part of the judges. Hassan ended up in third place, though, benefiting her squad in the points standings.
The deeper Lady Jaguars bested Mason in the dual meet, who was without senior Jourdan Frankovich, a key member of the medley relay team. Nonetheless, a pair of sophomores in Karen Hamill and Kelley Frank did their best to carry the Mustangs.
Hamill placed first in the 100-yard butterfly and the 100-yard backstroke, two events she normally does not swim. Frank took home first in the 100-yard and 50-yard freestyle events, as well.
Hamill and Frank, in addition to seniors Krisie Southern and Sushmita Gorhandas — who swam in the absence of Frankovich — combined to form the winning 200-yard freestyle relay team, and also finished second in the 200-yard medley relay.
Eighth-grader Genevieve Jordan, who only swims as an exhibition competitor due to her grade status, did not let her youth get in her way, finishing first in the 200 yard individual medley and third in the 100 yard butterfly.
Mason will be back to full strength on January 11, as the school returns from winter break to take on Handley High School. Just two meets remain before the playoffs begin, as the Mustangs continue their march to the state meet on February 8 at George Mason University.