Mason cross country state meet recap

Camden Paeltz | The Chronicle

On Saturday, November 4, the boys’ cross country team had the opportunity to go for the three-peat: three consecutive state cross-country championship victories. 

Since 2000, only four boys teams in Ohio’s division one have repeated as state champions and no one has placed first three times in a row. The Comets finished in second place with 148 points behind Massillon Jackson, who scored 86 points.

There was a tight race for the state runner-up trophy, with only a 43-point difference from the second to fifth-placed teams. The Comets managed to pull ahead by a 24-point margin over third-place Olentangy Orange.

Senior Max Liao made his second consecutive individual appearance on the podium. Last year, he finished in 18th place. This year, he improved his time by 26 seconds, clocking in at 15:28 and finished 11th.

Following Liao, Mason had four runners finish within seven seconds of each other. Senior Jerry Xu led the pack and finished 53rd with a time of 16:14 Brenden Roe followed with a time of 16:20, followed by Will Buckalew finishing with a time of 16:21. Behind Buckalew was Alex Folmer with a time of 16:27, and Jason Xu with a time of 16:27

The girls also had the opportunity to repeat as state champions. However, they finished third with 175 points.

Mason and Shaker Heights each scored 175 points, with third place determined by each team’s sixth runner. At the end of the race, Mason and Shaker Heights ended up deadlocked, and the decisive factor in breaking the tie boiled down to the performance of the sixth runners. Atalia Hawkins finished with a time of 20:01 as the Comets’ sixth runner, beating out Shaker Heights’ sixth finisher by four seconds.

Efa Paska made the podium, finishing in 12th place with a time of 18:27. Placing 49th overall, the next Mason runner was Carlie Condit with a time of 19:15. Next for the Comets was Addison Stephens with a time of 19:28, followed by Bella Teply in 77th place finishing in 19:39 and Sharanya Nair in 85th place with a time of 19:49.