Last Friday night, George Mason High School varsity swim team shook off the rust from a near month-long layoff from competitive meets. However, facing the combination of an excruciatingly long bus ride, a shortened meet and a bout of sickness plaguing the squad, the Mustangs had a less than spectacular showing against John Handley and Clarke County High.
The boys have lost just two duel matches on the season, both of which have come at the expense of AAA Handley. This past Friday, the Mustangs fell 83-70 to the Judges, but still managed to rebound against the Eagles, besting their Bull Run District rival 86-67.
Despite approximately one-third of their team sitting out due to illness, the 4×50 meter freestyle relay managed to continue their impressive season, as seniors Andrew Breen, Jeff Williams and Kyle Nette, in addition to freshman Sam Butler, combined to win by nearly five seconds.
The Mustangs’ vaunted 200m medley relay team of Williams, Nette, Breen and sophomore Sam Parker has dominated the competition throughout the season. However, the state-ranked John Handley relay team bested Mason for the second time this season, as the Mustangs finished in second.
Other top finishers for the Mason boys included Butler and Breen in the 50m freestyle, who finished second and third, respectively. Nette placed second in the 100m butterfly, Williams followed suit in the 100m freestyle, as did junior Carlos Clark in the 200 and 400m freestyle.
Due to time constraints, they were unable to finish the meet, as the 4×100 freestyle relay was not held.
On the girls' side, Mason narrowly fell to Clarke County, 72-70, but was overmatched against the Judges, losing 109-42.
The 200m medley relay team of sophomores Karen Hamill and Kelley Frank and seniors Jourdan Frankovich and Krisie Southern narrowly lost to the Handley relay squad by .66 seconds.
The same four girls combined to win the 200m freestyle relay, albeit by a much wider margin of victory. Frank was the only individual winner on the night, taking first in the 100m breaststroke.
Frank also finished third in the 100m butterfly, falling by less than a second. In addition, Frankovich finished second in the 200m freestyle to round out the top finishers for the lady Mustangs.
With less than a month left until the state tournament on February 8, only one district meet remains for Mason to rack up more state qualifying times. The team took on Clarke and Strasburg this past Wednesday, but results were not available at press time. The Region B meet on January 26 kicks off the postseason for the Mustang swimmers.