Both cross country teams ended their season strong with a 6-1 record. The girls varsity team continued onto state competition along with a state-qualifying boys varsity runner, junior Ryan Henderson, on November 14 at The Plains, in Fauquier County, Virginia. Head coaches Jeff Buck and Dawn Tarter coached both teams this year.
The main rivals for the boys team are Strasburg, Central, and Clarke County High School, for the girls team as well. The girls were able to qualify for states from their regional meet in Charlottesville. The first two girls to cross the finish line for Mason were sophomores Logan Funk with a time of 20:13 and Estelle Timar-Wilcox with a time of 20:18. They finished eighth and ninth, respectively.
More points were awarded for Mason from seniors Aisha Rupert, Blaise Sevier, Jackie Baartz, and two other runners who were able to finish in the top thirty for Mason, Clara Frost and Linnea Skotte. However, the boys narrowly missed sixth place overall, which would have qualified them in the meet.
Aisha Rupert, Estelle Timar-Wilcox, and Logan Funk have earned All-Region honors.
“[Seniors] Kiran Menon, James Schneider, Timothy Gilmour… Clara Frost, Jackie Baartz, Blaise Sevier, and Aisha Rupert were fantastic leaders all season,” said Coach Buck.
“Going into this season, the odds were definitely stacked against us,” said senior varsity runner Kiran Menon. “We lost five of our top seven varsity runners from last year and we were not sure who would be able to fill their shoes. However, we stepped up and met the challenge head on, especially the younger guys.”
“It’s been great for both boys and girls. I think for the boys we started off real strong beating Clarke [in] the first meet and tried our best to beat them again, but just couldn’t quite do it,” said Coach Buck on his take of the season. “For the girls it was the opposite, as they got beat by Clarke twice in the season and then came back to beat them the whole post season.”
This is the second year Buck has been coaching cross country for George Mason. He is currently the seventh grade civics teacher at Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School. This is Tartar’s first year as cross country coach, but is an experienced runner.
Although, this was a good season for cross country, only the girls are going to states. Hopefully next season both the girls and boys team will not only make it to states, but win states. However, for now all the boys and girls can do is to train hard and prepare for next season.