George Mason High School’s girls and boys swim teams came in first and second place, respectively, last Saturday at the Virginia High School League’s AA regional tournament at Wakefield High School. Mason, swimming against swimmers from nine Region AA schools, set ten new regional records, eight new school records and many more Mustangs achieved personal bests.
The girls team scored 158 points to Maggie Walker Governor’s School’s 133-point second place finish and Mason’s boys earned 140.55 points in their second place finish to Maggie Walker Governor’s School, who scored 155pts.
Out of Region Meet, the top ten swimmers from each event or the top eight relay teams advance to the state championships. Swimmers can also qualify for states by meeting state qualifying times throughout the season. The Mustangs are taking 27 swimmers and divers to the state championship in Christiansburg this weekend, several of whom qualified throughout the season and some who qualified at the regional meet last Saturday. The state diving championship will take place this Friday afternoon and the swimming competition will start early Saturday.
The Region AA meet got off to a record-breaking start with the Mason boys 200-yard medley relay team, with junior Miller Surette, seniors David Larsen and Jared Britton and sophomore Justin Britton, setting a new regional championship record (1:40.53). They were just a second off of Mason’s record time in 2013 with only Jared Britton in the same relay team. The Mustang girls’ 200-yard medley relay team, with freshman Hannah Rollins, senior Beth Cashin and juniors Francesca King and Erin McFall, followed suit with a first place finish and a new region record (1:54.46).
In the boys 200-yard freestyle, two swimmers qualified to move on to states, freshman Noah Surette (7th, 2:08.17) and junior Will Earman (9th, 2:11.88). Three Mason girls, McFall (2nd, 2:06.76), junior Sieglinde Thetard (5th, 2:20.63) and junior Celia Gieser (6th, 2:25.66), earned points toward the team total and qualified for states in the 200-yard freestyle.
Miller Surette swam to first place in the 200-yard individual medley, setting a new Region AA and team record (1:56.48). His teammates, freshman Sam Updike (7th, 2:32.27) and sophomore Nik Fickensher (10th, 2:40.67), will also head to compete in that event at states. King took first place by an arm’s length in the girls’ 200-yard individual medley (2:18.65).
The Britton brothers, Jared and Justin, finished 1-2 in the 50-yard freestyle. Jared set a new region and team record (22.33). Larsen placed 6th in the same event with a state-qualifying time of 23.95 and sophomore Daniel Reinfurt also qualified to go to states in 50-yard freestyle with his sixth place finish (24.27). The Mason girls team had a 1-5-7 finish in the same event for a total of 14 additional team points – Cashin was first with new Region AA and team record times (24.49), with juniors Julianne Kelly (27.37) and Blaise Sevier (29.21) placing fifth and seventh, respectively.
In the boys 100-yard butterfly Jared Britton was first, notching a new Region AA and team record time of 51.88.
After a break in the action on Saturday, Miller Surette coasted to first place, winning by over 15 seconds and setting another new Region AA record in the 500-yard freestyle (4:44.22). His brother Noah earned three more points for Mason with his sixth place finish (5:41.73) and freshman Christian Autor qualified for States by placing ninth (6:06.41).
The 200-yard freestyle relays continued to showcase the depth of Mason’s teams with both the boys and girls taking first place. The boys team of Larsen, Reinfurt, Justin Britton and junior Chris Markus set a new Region AA record (1:33.06) and the girls team of McFall, King, Kelly and Cashin did one better by setting a new Region AA and team record (1:44.18).
In the 100-yard backstroke, Markus placed third (1:00.33) and in the girls race Rollins placed first (1:05.86) and Thetard placed fourth (1:10.03). Three boys hit the mark for states in the 100-yard breaststroke – Larsen came in second (1:04.76), senior Nabil Osborn came in fourth (1:10.95) and freshman Jack West came in sixth (1:13.82). The girls had three swimmers qualify for states as well. Cashin came in first place and set a new Region AA and team record (1:07.67). Her teammates, Kelly (1:20.02) and freshman Cara McFall, 1:25.86), placed third and eight, respectively, and earned seven more points toward the team’s total.
The boys 400-yard freestyle relay team of Miller Surette, Reinfurt, Markus and Jared Britton set a new Region AA record (3:23.45), four seconds off Mason’s state record time in 2014. The Mason girls placed fourth in the 400-yard freestyle relay, with Furleigh, Rollins, Kelly and senior Anna Rice swimming a state-qualifying time (4:09.76). In the 1-meter dive competition Rice placed third (234.65 points).