Making their 17th consecutive trip to the Virginia High School League state meet, the George Mason High School girls cross-country team ran against teams they’ve battled all season and ones they only see once a year.
It was an exciting meet right through the final yards as girls from three teams sprinted to the end to try for second. It came down to Clarke County High School, Floyd County High School and Mason, with the three teams separated by only six points at the two-mile mark.
The Mustangs gave it their all down the final stretch but came up just short, finishing fourth with 103 points. Maggie Walker’s Governor’s School came in first (30 points), Clarke County came in second (86 points) and Floyd County came in third (95 points). Twelve other teams and individuals competed in the 2A state meet at Great Meadow in The Plains.
Estelle Timar-Wilcox led the Mason girls and earned All-State honors. She was 15th overall, earning her second consecutive All-State honor. Logan Funk ran well the whole way and was second in for Mason in 22nd place in her second State appearance.
Clara Frost finished third in 24th place, having her best race of the season, setting a new personal record and improving 20 spots from her freshman year at States. Blaise Sevier was the fourth Mustang to cross the finish line in 25th place. She finished her Mason cross-country career as the third Mustang ever to receive All-State honors in at least three out of her four appearances, along with Susanna Sullivan and Eva Estrada. Estrada earned All-State honors all four years of her high school career.
Jackie Baartz was the fifth Mustang to cross the finish line in 34th place. This was her first year running cross county, and her first State appearance. Linnea Skotte finished 39th in her second state appearance and Sophie Matton rounded out Mason’s runners with her 40th place finish, her first state appearance.
Mason had all of their runners in the top 40 for first time since 2011 and had the tightest pack (1-5 runners) in all of the teams who competed in the 2A state race with a spread of 1:04. This is the 13th consecutive year that Mason has had a team finish in the top four, demonstrating excellence in the Mustang cross-country tradition.
Ryan Henderson, in his first year running cross-country, qualified for states by time at the regional meet. He fully embraced the opportunity and fed off the great support from the boys team members who came to Great Meadow to cheer him on. Henderson came through the mile in 48th place. At the two-mile mark, he was in 58th place, and he finished in 66th place in 18:18, only 14 seconds off of his personal record.