The top swimmers from 11 teams in Region B assembled at the Manassas Park pool on Saturday night for the regional meet, and both the boys and girls swim teams from George Mason High School stood out in the pack. Both teams repeated as Region B champions, and 11 of the 16 records broken at the meet were set by Mustang swimmers.
Senior Lucas Cherry and freshman Erin McFall received the High Point awards for the meet and Mason coaches Jon-Michael Lemon and Janice Nette were named District and Region Coaches of the Year.
The pool decks were jammed with team members, coaches, and fans on all sides. Stopwatches, cameras, and clipboards were everywhere. There wasn’t an empty seat in the bleachers. Every lane was filled and the cheering was deafening as athletes consistently swam their best times of the season. The Mason athletes appreciated seeing both Principal Ty Byrd and Athletic Director Tom Horn among the fans.
The teams competing came from Appomattox, Central-Woodstock, Clarke County, East Rockingham, George Mason, Goochland, Madison County, Manassas Park, Stonewall Jackson, Strasburg, and William Monroe high schools. The Mason girls finished first with 89 points ahead of runner-up Clarke County with 68 and third-place William Monroe with 49. For the boys, Mason dominated with 118 points, ahead of second-place Central-Woodstock with 63 and third-place William Monroe with 45.
Mason swimmers set 11 new regional records. In the 200-yard medley relay, the boys team (Cherry, freshman Miller Surette, sophomore Jared Britton, and junior Nick Roberson) beat the existing record by almost six seconds with a time of 1:41.70, and the girls team (McFall, sophomore Beth Cashin, freshman, Francesca King, and freshman Julianne Kelly) bested the old record by more than three seconds with its 1:57.76 time.
In the 200-yard freestyle relay, the boys team (Roberson, Surette, Britton, and Cherry) was faster by five seconds than the previous record-holder with its 1:35.53 finish, and the girls team (McFall, freshman Blaise Sevier, King, and Cashin) trimmed more than a second off of the record time.
The boys 400-yard freestyle relay team (Britton, Surette, junior Austin Gogal, and Roberson) time of 3:26.88 was more than 12 seconds faster than the record.
Cherry took a second off of the 50-yard freestyle and three off the 100-yard freestyle with 22.38 and 49.87 finishes, respectively, setting two individual event records.
In the 200-yard independent medley, Surette’s 2:00.47 was more than nine seconds faster, and King’s 2:18.15 was nearly 10 seconds quicker than the record.
Britton’s 100-yard fly time of 56.78 was two seconds faster, and McFall’s 100-yard backstroke time of 1:05.97 was more than three seconds faster than the record.
Eighteen Mason swimmers will go on to the A/AA state championship meet on Friday and Saturday at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center.