To kick off their spring break, the George Mason High School boys and girls track teams met at school at 5:45 a.m. last Saturday for an 80-mile bus ride to Handley High School in Winchester and a full day of competition. Twenty teams participated in the 73rd annual Handley Invitational; while Mason athletes recognized competitors from Clarke County and Strasburg high schools from their smaller 2A conference, the meet was also attended by several teams from the 5A and 6A conferences, with a majority of participants from 4A, including Handley, and many 3A schools represented.
“Both the boys and girls teams are looking impressive against the conference teams,” Mason Head Coach Alisa Harvey said after the meet. “Right now we lead the state 2A rankings in two events, and we’ve hit state-qualifying marks in 11 events. Every track meet seems to bring more quality performances. I couldn’t be more proud of the student-athletes at this halfway point in the season.”
Mason’s girls team finished in eighth place, with first place going to Loudoun Valley High School with 65 points, followed by Riverbend (64), Handley (60), National Cathedral (57), James Wood (52), Loudoun County (51), and Tuscarora (45) high schools. Mason and Sherando High School tied for eighth with 40 points apiece. The Mason boys were 10th overall with 20 points, with first place going to Tuscarora (96), followed by Handley (82), Loudoun County (61), Riverbend (60), Sherando (54), Liberty (46), James Wood (43), Loudoun Valley (37), and St. Albans (33) high schools.
The top girls team finishers for the day included Tara Holman (second in the 100-meter dash), Isabelle Kessler (fourth in the 800-meter run), Vicky-Marie Addo-Ashong (fifth in the 100-meter hurdles), and Blaise Sevier (fifth in the 1,600-meter run). Amy Fritsch took ninth in the triple jump, improving her best distance by five feet, and Addo-Ashong was 10th in the high jump.
Two of the girls relay teams finished fourth: the 4×400 team (of Sevier, Korinne Wills, Mia Sawyer, and Holman) and the 4×800 team (of Coral Gillette, Kaitlin Kutchma, Anna Sawyer, and Sevier).
For the boys team, the best finishes were by Truman Custer (third in the 800-meter run), Michael Addo-Ashong (fourth in the 300-meter hurdles and ninth in the 100-meter dash), and Alec White (seventh in both the 400- and 200-meter dash). R.J. Martinez placed ninth in the high jump, and Andrew Connelly improved his best distance in shot by an inch, while Austin Gogal threw more than three feet farther in discus.
The boys 4×400 relay team (of Preston Custer, Jacob Plata, White, and Truman Custer) placed fourth overall with little competition to work from in the second heat.
On Wednesday, athletes who are not away for break or on Mason’s France or Chile trips will travel to William Monroe High School for a meet.