The Central High School Invitational may have been rescheduled from last Saturday because of rain, but clear blue skies greeted six teams from across the conference this Monday in competition that saw both the George Mason High School boys and girls track and field teams medal.
Mason athletes came ready to compete, and kicked off the meet with a sweep in the girls 100, taking first through fourth place. The 28 points earned in that one race was the start of great results that lasted all afternoon and well past sundown.
At the end of the meet, the Mason girls were first with 171 points. Central High School followed in second with 70 points, and Clarke County High School took third with 68 points. Stonewall-Jackson (65), Warren County (57), and Skyline (43) high schools rounded out the competition for the girls.
The Mason boys came in second with 100 points, behind Central’s 132 points for first place and in ahead of third-place Skyline’s 93 points. Clarke County (78), Warren County (56), and Stonewall-Jackson (28) rounded out the competition for the boys.
The teams posted similar results in a four-way meet last Wednesday at Pope John Paul the Great Catholic High School in Dumfries including Randolph-Macon Academy and Wakefield High School. The girls finished first overall with 89 points to PJP’s 49 points, and the boys placed second with 64 points behind PJP’s 87 points at the season’s opening meet.
The Central High School Invitational saw some surprise Mason performances and new personal records set, as many Mustangs are new to these sports. Anna Sawyer improved on high jump by two inches to 4-02.0 and a seventh-place finish. Vicky-Marie Addo-Ashong placed first in the long jump, leaping over nine inches farther (15-07.5) than last week. In the discus event, Christina Buclatin threw the discus 15 feet farther for a 10th-place finish (69-05.0).
The boys made big leaps and huge throws as well. Preston Custer tied for third in the high jump at his new best, 5-04.0. In the long jump, Michael Addo-Ashong leapt eight inches farther than last week for fifth place (17-07.0). He went on to place second in the triple jump, going over three feet farther than last week (38-02.5). Throwing the shot, Andrew Connelly tossed it 11 inches farther than last week for 18th place, and Will Earman threw it over five feet farther (26-02.0) for 19th place. In the discus event, Fernando Espina saw the discus soar 10 feet beyond his season’s best for eighth place (86-09.0).
Opening the running events with the girls 100, Mason was represented in different heats, but when it was all done, Tara Holman was first in 13 seconds flat. Alex Hairston placed second (0:13.20), Megan Jenkins was third (0:13.50), and Joelle Randrianasolo took fourth (0:13.90). The girls also had first-place finishes in the 200 (Tara Holman), the 800 (Isabelle Kessler), the 1600 (Blaise Sevier), the 3200 (Kaitlin Kutchma), the 100 hurdles (Vicky-Marie Addo-Ashong), the 300 hurdles (Mia Sawyer), and the 4×100 relay (Addo-Ashong, Alex Hairston, Margarita Shevchenko, Eugenia Smith).
Like the girls, the boys added points in every running event, but had fewer firsts. Alec White was first in the 400, Preston Custer was first in the 800, and Truman Custer was first in the 1600. The boys 4×400 relay (James Schneider, Preston and Truman Custer, and White) concluded the meet with a first-place finish, in front by over 50 yards and cutting eight seconds off of its time. New to hurdles, Max Aifer in the 110 and 300 and Zach Welch in the 300 cut seconds off of their times.
This Saturday, the teams will travel to the Ram Invitational at Strasburg High School. With some Mason athletes traveling with the high school’s band this weekend for its competition in Myrtle Beach, the depth of the team will be tested and many more athletes will have a chance to achieve personal records.