Successful XC season ends at States, once again


Both the girls and boys varsity cross country team posing for a picture in front of Regionals the finish line. The teams placed first and third at this meet, earning their way to states and showing an improvement from last year. (Photo Courtesy of Carol Sly)

Evan Stegenga

Mason’s cross country team braved rough courses, harsh temperatures, and big changes to the team to pull off a successful season. The boys varsity team finished the season with a winning record of 4-1 and the girls varsity team finished with a winning record of 5-0.

The boys team kicked off the season by winning their first meet against Rappahannock County High School with a perfect score of 15 to Rappahannock’s 50, as the lowest score in cross country meets win, with 15 being the lowest possible score. The girls team won with a score of 18 to 44. The girls team won every meet in their district, and the boys lost only their third race against Central High School.

The boys and girls teams both placed well at the District meet, with the girls taking first place for the fourth year in a row and six runners earning All-District medals. The boys placed third with four runners earning All-District.

The Mustangs ran another successful meet at Regionals, with the girls taking first place, narrowly defeating Wilson Memorial by two points, and the boys taking third, beating district rival Clarke County by four points. Finishing in the top three earned both teams a spot at States.  

“Winning regionals as a team was the highlight of the season,” said senior Logan Funk.

The Boys finished States in sixth place, improving two places from last year. The Girls team finished in a three way tie for fourth place and were only three points away from a second place finish. Logan Funk and Estelle Timar-Wilcox earned All-State medals.

“This is their tenth out of 11 years qualifying for States as a team,” head coach Jeff Buck said about the boys. “It was their best finish at States since 2014.”

Despite the loss of nine seniors last year, the boys had a terrific season with lots of team chemistry and effort put forth.

“The team pushed each other by being competitive and cheering each other on,” senior cross country runner Bill Comstock said.

The girls team also had a magnificent season, finishing undefeated, winning Regionals for the first time since 2014, and finishing fourth at the State Championship.

“This is their 19th year in a row qualifying for States and 15th straight year finishing fourth or better,” Buck said.

The team was happy with their finishes this season, and as always on cross country, the athletes enjoyed a friendly and close team atmosphere.

We did great,” senior varsity runner Linnea Skotte said. “I learned that I love to be around cross country people.”

“The running itself is definitely a challenge,” sophomore varsity runner Jo Sevier said. “But everybody pushes each other… people are always so close in cross country and it really is a family.”

Cross country has continually shown dominance through their finishes in the post season, and next year, the team will be relying in many underclassmen to step up and carry on the success. Five of the seven varsity runners are seniors on the girls side, and the boys are losing three seniors.

“I am so excited for the coming season and what the team will do,” Sevier said. “The rising seniors… are going to do some great things.”

This season was encapsulated with tight bonds and good scores, and the team’s improvements and closeness will make it one to remember.