Mason Sports Roundup

Posted: January 8, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

In addition to men’s basketball, reported yesterday, women’s basketball, wrestling, track and field and swimming teams were in action over the weekend.

Men’s and Women’s Swimming

The Mason swimming team returned to action this past weekend and found the warm climate of the Florida Keys to their liking as they swept first place in the 2008 Orange Bowl Swimming Classic. Eight universities competed.

The Mason women took home first place with a score of 427 points, while the men matched Boston College’s mark with 464 points to tie for first in the meet.

The women finished one-two in the first event of the day, the 200-meter medley relay, with the `A’ team of sophomore Jessica Jacoby, freshman Jenny Kane, senior Sarah Bizer, and freshman Katie Planchak narrowly beating the team of freshman Aileen Foley, junior Mary Beth Cheslock, freshman Paige Ver Heul, and sophomore Millie Wanamaker with a time of 2:06.92, compared to 2:07.95 for the `B’ team.

In the 400-meter freestyle, freshman Lara Shoemaker took home first place with a 4:43.08 time. Bizer out-swam her nearest competitor by over a second in the 50-meter butterfly, winning with a time of 29.66. Cheslock and sophomore Caitlin Impink finished one-two in the 100-meter freestyle with times of 1:01.47 and 1:02.10, respectively.

Senior Mallory Pucci picked up another win for the Patriots with a 2:29.84 time in the 200-meter individual medley. The women went on to sweep the relays, as the `B’ team of Planchak, Impink, freshman Brittany Vocke and Bizer finished in 1:50.91, edging the `A’ team of Cheslock, sophomore Claire Weems, freshman Erica Hydrusko, and Pucci, who finished in 1:53.89.

On the men’s side, sophomore Tad Ogren brought home the first winning time with a 27.30 mark in the 50 fly. Two events later, sophomore Ryan David’s 1:01.14 time in the 100-meter backstroke marked another event win.

Junior Eric Knight won in the 50-meter breaststroke with a 1:01.44 time, while freshman Charles Archer and sophomore Matt Marquart took gold and silver in the 50-meter backstroke with times of 30.09 and 30.54, respectively. Freshman Stephen Sullivan was the final event winner for the men, taking home first in the 100-meter breaststroke when he clocked in at 1:11.07.

Mason returns to the water on Saturday when it travels to Colonial Athletic Association foe Towson for a 1 p.m. meet.

Men’s and Women’s Track and Field

Mason began its 2008 indoor track and field season on Saturday, hosting the Father Diamond Invitational at the Field House. Both the men’s and women’s teams started the season off strong, with each finishing second in the team scoring at the meet. A pair of seniors on the men’s team, Brian Hay and Ryan McCoy, reached NCAA provisional qualifying marks at the meet.

Hay blew away the competition in the 60-meter hurdles, finishing first in both the preliminary heats and the finals. In the preliminary rounds, Hay ran a time of 7.97 seconds. He followed that up with an even better time in the finals, winning the race with a time of 7.85 seconds to reach the NCAA provisional qualifying standard and qualify for the IC4A Championships.

McCoy followed suit, reaching the NCAA provisional qualifying standard and qualifying for the IC4A Championships in the triple jump. He placed second in the event with a mark of 15.77 meters to begin the season, finishing second in the event to former Mason standout Marc Kellman, who won the event with a mark of 15.93 meters.

Mason placed three athletes in the top 10 in the 500-meter dash. Competing in his first meet for the Patriots, freshman Kevin Wilson made an excellent debut in front of the home crowd at the Field House, winning the race and qualifying for the IC4A Championships with a time of 1:04.64. Junior Mutsa Nyakabau also qualified for the IC4A Championships in the event, finishing third with a time of 1:04.93. Junior Nate Harris also finished in the top-10, crossing the finish line sixth with a time of 1:06.66.

Sophomore Michael Pachella, the reigning CAA Rookie of the Year, got off to a strong start in his second season with the Patriots, earning a second-place finish in the 1,000-meter run. Pachella clocked in with a time of 2:26.42 to qualify for the IC4A Championships in the event.

On the women’s side, sophomore Tiara Swindell, last year’s CAA Rookie of the Year, got off to a great start in her second season with the Patriots, winning the 500-meter dash with a time of 1:15.93 to reach the ECAC qualifying standard.

Freshman Chia Hudson also reached the ECAC qualifying standard at the meet. Hurdling in her first meet at the Field House, Hudson reached the finals of the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.93 seconds in the preliminary heats. In the finals, Hudson qualified for the ECAC Championships by finishing in fourth place, crossing the finish line in 8.83 seconds.

Hudson also competed in the long jump, winning the event with a jump of 5.69 meters. The Patriots placed three athletes in the top 10 in the long jump, as junior Ryann Hendricks finished third with a mark of 5.55 meters, and sophomore Marie Fields recorded a mark of 5.36 meters to finish in seventh place.

Both the men’s and women’s teams enjoyed success in the relay events. The women’s 4×400-meter relay team qualified for the ECAC Championships with a first-place finish, while the men’s 4×800-meter relay team finished in first place as well.

Both the men’s and women’s track and field teams will compete at the Virginia Tech Invitational next weekend. The two-day meet will begin on Friday morning in Blacksburg, Va.

Women’s Basketball

Rashauna Hobbs
Rashauna Hobbs led the Patriots with 12 points on Sunday.
Mason Athletics photo

In their previous five home games, the George Mason women’s basketball team had found many different ways to win at Patriot Center. However, a 12-0 Delaware run to start the game proved too much to overcome as the Fightin’ Blue Hens topped the Patriots, 64-49, in both teams’ Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) opener on Sunday afternoon.

Mason (6-5, 0-1) dropped its first home contest after opening 5-0 on their home court for the first time in school history, while the Blue Hens (2-11, 1-0) extended their win streak over Mason to seven games as they won their first game since Nov. 9.

The Patriot offense was led by sophomore Rashuana Hobbs, who reached double figures for the fourth straight time with 12 points. Senior Moni Akintunde added nine points to go with her team-best six rebounds, while classmates Lateisha Wade and C’Vette Henson each chipped in seven points.

Mason will look for its first CAA victory on Thursday when it hits the road for the first time in over a month, traveling to Hofstra for a 7 p.m. tip.

Wrestling

Six Mason wrestlers were among the place winners at the 2008 Virginia Intercollegiate State Championships held on Saturday afternoon at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Va. The Patriots finished fourth in the team scoring with a total of 32.5 points.

The Patriots earned a pair of runner-up finishes at the tournament as sophomore Andrew Rock finished second at 165 pounds and freshman Cayle Byers placed second at 197 pounds. In his first match of the day, Rock upset second-seeded Justin Gilliard of Apprentice, 4-3, to move onto the semifinal round. In the semifinals, Rock dispatched of Virginia’s Danny Artusio by a 4-2 decision to reach the championship match. In the title bout, Rock fell to the top seed, Virginia’s Mike Chaires, by a 9-7 decision.

In the 197-pound bracket, Byers, the third seed in the weight class, defeated the second seed, Old Dominion’s David Mendoza, in his first match of the day to advance to the championship bout against Virginia’s Brent Jones, the top seed. Jones prevailed by a single point to win the title, 3-2.

Also placing for the Patriots at the tournament were Brian Wright, who finished fourth at 125 pounds; Greg Scott, who finished third at 165 pounds; Randy Oates, who finished fourth at 174 pounds; and Jimmy Webb, who finished fourth at 184 pounds.

Mason will host a tri-meet with VMI and Campbell on Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Field House on the Fairfax Campus. The first match is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. between VMI and Campbell. After the meet between VMI and Campbell wraps up, the Patriots will wrestle VMI before finishing up the evening with a CAA dual against Campbell.

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