George Mason High School’s boys and girls swim teams had many close finishes in Saturday’s tri-meet against Manassas Park and Strasburg High Schools at the Manassas Park Community Center. Still, both Mustang squads won in grand fashion, with the boys besting Manassas Park 68-26 and Strasburg 63-29 and the girls beating Manassas Park 64-30 and Strasburg 71-23.
Close finishes were the order of the night with several races too close to call until the official times were posted. For example, sophomore Nik Fickenscher pulled off a great anchor leg in the boys 400-yard freestyle relay, helping the Mustangs win by .28 seconds. And freshman Cara McFall edged out a Manassas Park swimmer by .25 seconds in 100-yard breast for first place.
Other notable swims were turned in by junior Ziggy Thetard, who dropped five seconds to win the 200-yard individual medley, and a trio of freshman boys. Freshman Sam Updike dropped nearly 9.5 seconds to finish second in the 500-yard freestyle behind his freshman teammate Christian Autor. Sophomore Caelin Campbell dropped nearly five seconds in the 100-yard freestyle to move from a ninth-place seed to finish fourth.
Junior Chris Markus had a great meet. He qualified for the state meet in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle and senior David Larsen qualified for the state meet in the 50-yard freestyle.
On Friday night, senior Anna Rice and sophomore Manon Diz will dive in a meet with Marshall High School at the Spring Hill Recreation Center. This is one of the few chances Mustang divers have to qualify for state competition, because the Conference 35 meets do not include diving events.
The next day the swim teams return to Manassas Park Community Center for the Bull Run District meet, which starts at 3 p.m. They’ll face off against Clarke County, Strasburg, William Monroe, Manassas Park and Madison County High Schools.