For the 17th consecutive year, the George Mason Girls Cross Country team qualified for States. At the 2A East Region meet last Wednesday, Mason placed second with 76 points behind Maggie Walker Governor’s School , first with 30 points. With the top 6 teams in a region moving on, the two teams will compete again on Saturday, Nov. 14 at Great Meadow in The Plains along with dozens of teams from Virginia.
At the Region meet in Charlottesville, Logan Funk was first across the line for Mason. The sophomore ran her season’s best time on the hilly course, placing 8th overall in 20:13. Working with her throughout the race was teammate Estelle Timar-Wilcox, who finished steps behind Funk in 9th also hitting her season best time (20:18). Next in for the Mustangs was senior Aisha Rupert, who placed 15th in 20:59. All three girls earned All-Region honors.
Points were also earned for Mason by senior Blaise Sevier who competed for her fourth and last time on the course. She crossed the line in 21:25 in 20th place. Close behind, Jackie Baartz, a senior new to cross country this year, ran a personal record in 21:38 for 24th place. Mason’s strong, deep team had two more runners in the top 30, Clara Frost (27th, 21:57) and Linnea Skotte (29th, 22:05).
The Girls team had earned first at both the District and Conference meets, where the Boys team had come in third. The Boys they knew their task at Regionals would be a challenge. Unfortunately they fell short of the sixth place finish required to advance. With both Central and Clarke continuing to run well, Strasburg edging Mason out for the first time in post-season, and good runs by teams from other conferences, Mason was in 8th with 196 points.
Sophomore Ryan Henderson was first in for Mason (28th, 18:15) and qualified for States by place. Kiran Menon saw his season end in spite of a strong effort (36th, 18:32). His brother Neil Menon was tight in the chute behind him in 38th place, 18:33. Juniors Ethan Keck (48th, 18:51) and CT Dodge (53rd, 19:03) earned the balance of the points for Mason. Sophomore Danny Mineo ran well to place 58th (19:19) with teammate Tim Gilmour a step behind (59th, 19:21). Six of the Mustang’s top seven will return next year with the goal of returning to States.