Perfect cross country weather and great competition led to some fast times for the Mustangs at the Octoberfest Invitational at Great Meadow Park in The Plains last Saturday. Almost 60 Mason runners were entered in seven of the day’s eight races at the invitational, where they ran against several 6A, 5A and 4A schools. The much smaller 2A Mustangs achieved some great team and individual results against the tough competition.
To start the meet, the girls’ varsity A ran a strong race with junior Blaise Sevier first for Mason in 18th place with a season’s best time of 19:53. Freshman Logan Funk was steps behind Sevier in 28th (20:11) and freshman Estelle Timar-Wilcox placed 42nd (20:36) while achieving a personal record. Freshman Linnea Skotte also achieved a personal record and senior Kate Atkeson achieved a season best time while adding to the Mustangs’ point total (64th, 21:04, and 125th, 22:05, respectively).
The girls’ ninth place finish was their best since 2011 (when they also finished ninth). They beat a top 6A school, Osbourn Park, by one point. Virginia Beach’s 6A Ocean Lakes High School came in first, while the 5A, Falls Church school George Marshall High School placed third and Bishop O’Connell High School placed seventh.
The boys’ varsity A team came bounced back from their 60th place finish at the Oatlands Invitational with a 34th place finish last Saturday, finishing immediately ahead of Chesapeake’s 6A Western Branch High School, 4A Charlottesville High School and nearby 5A school J.E.B. Stuart High School.
In the second race of the day, senior James Pala crossed the line first for the Mustangs in 128th place with a personal record of 18:08. Senior Beamlak Hailemariam and junior James Schneider finished next (173rd, 18:32, and 175th, 18:33, respectively) after working together most of the race – Schneider’s time last Saturday was a personal record. Seniors Jonathan and Timothy Gilmour also earned points for the team placing 215th (18:58) and 229th (19:14). Jonathan Gilmour’s time was also a personal record.
Both boys and girls varsity B teams showed Mason’s depth with their seventh and eighth place finishes. The boys were led by the return of senior Jackson Jost, who finished in 13th place with a season’s best time of 18:08. He was followed by freshman Griffin Warner in 65th place (19:45) and sophomore CT Dodge (76th, 19:59) – both of Warner and Dodge’s times were personal bests. Next in for Mason were senior Clay Furleigh (20:00), who achieved a season’s best, and freshman Neil Menon (20:07), who achieved a personal record.
The girls varsity B’s eighth place finish was achieved by sophomore Anna Sawyer’s 32nd place run in 22:13, a personal record, junior Aisha Rupert’s 56th place run in 22:57, a personal record, and Ana Abel’s 58th place run in 23:03. Freshman Sophie Matton (67th, 23:23) and sophomore Lucy Hoak (24:09) rounded out the scoring for Mason. Hoak’s time was a season best.
In the JV underclassmen girls’ race all three girls achieved personal records – freshman Cara McFall (24:31), sophomore Valentina Anfinogenova (25:53) and freshman Katie Pala (26:59). In the JV underclassmen boys’ race, the first two boys to finish for Mason led with great times: sophomore Ryan Calabrese achieved a season’s best with a time of 20:34 and sophomore Zach Ellis achieved a personal record with a time of 20:57. In the JV upperclassmen boys’ race, junior Justin Divecha, back from an injury, ran a strong race and achieved a season’s best time of 20:58.
The Mustangs ran against Manassas Park and Strasburg High Schools in a meet at Manassas Park, but results of the race were not available at press time. They run in another invitational at Bull Run Regional Park this Saturday.