By Ari Autor
At the daylong Virginia Class 2 State Championship meet on Feb. 14, George Mason High School’s boys captured their second straight Class 2 Championship title with 397 total points over runner-up Maggie Walker with 351 points, among a total of thirty schools. Mason’s girls excelled in races but lacking a dive team ultimately landed the Mustangs in runner-up position with 335 points, closely behind champion Maggie Walker with 354 points.
Overall there were female swimmers participating from 28 schools across Virginia.
Competing in Richmond, Va. in the famous pool used for the 2008 Olympic Trials where 21 American records and nine World records had been set, Mason swimmers felt inspired to break many records of their own and swim their personal bests to provide 35 medal finishes in relay and individual events.
The finals action began in the Boys 200 Yard Medley Relay with seniors TJ Roche, Adam Janicki and sophomores Ian McCracken and Ryan York finishing first with a new VHSL Class 2 State record of 1:37.44. The Mason Girls medley relay team of sophomores Ella Reithinger, Marie Roche (pictured), Maddy Dubois, and Ellen Chadwick followed up to place first, setting a new VHSL Class 2 State record of 1:53.12.
“No better way to start finals than with two first place relay wins and both setting new VHSL class 2 records,” noted Mason coaches Meg Wallace, Melissa Raeder and Jenny York.
Adam Janicki wowed the crowd again in the 200 Yard IM in his first place finish of 1:51:64, an All American Consideration Time. Janicki topped the podium with a gold medal, setting a new VHSL Class 2 State record that had been previously set in 2015 by Mason Alum Miller Surette.
Mason boys dominated the 50 Yard Freestyle event, with TJ Roche and Ryan York placing first and second, respectively, and sophomore Jack Lindly in fifth place. Mason girls excelled in the 50 Yard Freestyle with Marie Roche capturing the gold medal, Senior Sigrid Edson in third for the bronze, and Maddy Dubois in sixth place.
TJ Roche, who has committed to swim at the University of Delaware this fall, repeated his success in the 100 Yard Freestyle as top finisher, with Ryan York placing third.
With such strong swims in individual freestyle sprints, Mason Boys TJ Roche, Matt Ng, Jack Lindly and Ryan York won the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay. Mason Girls Ellen Chadwick, Ruby Loeper-Viti, Sigrid Edson and Marie Roche, also placed first in their relay event, setting a new VHSL Class 2 State record of 1:41.31 in the process.
In the Boys 100 Yard Backstroke, Adam Janicki turned in a first place finish with a new VHSL Class 2 State record of 50.10 – his second All American Consideration time of the meet. Senior Ryan Fry placed fifth in the event as well.
Marie Roche captured first place and a new VHSL Class 2 State record in the Girls 100 Yard Breaststroke in 1:07.19, taking down the record of 1:08.11 previously set in 2015 by Mason alumna Beth Cashin.
In the final swim of the day, Mason Girls Hedda Jagerskog, Sigrid Edson, Maddy Dubois, and Ruby Loeper-Viti won the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay in 3:48.72.
Swimming World magazine recognized the success of the George Mason swimmers in a feature this week. With George Mason set to move up to VHSL Class 3 next year, Mustang swimmers leave a strong legacy in Class 2, where Mason currently holds 12 of 24 state championship meet records. Mason coaches expect that their relatively young team’s success in setting new personal and state records this season bodes well when many of the swimmers return to face faster time standards in Class 3 next year.