Healthy Mason boys team wins state in 2021

Mason boys cross country won its third state championship in program history Nov. 6.

The championship was the team’s first since 2014, making the Comets one of 10 teams in Ohio High School Athletic Association history to win three state championships. 

More:OHSAA: Little Miami’s William Zegarski, Mason boys team win state cross country titles

The 2021 championship was a few years in the making, and it was a perfect send-off for a group of seniors that worked hard to put themselves in a position to step on the championship podium on the season’s final day.

“It is so much fun to see their smiling faces, to see that they learn a great life lesson of teamwork and hard work and delayed gratification and to see that all come together,” Mason coach Tom Rapp said. “The joy on their faces is the biggest reward.”

Mason's Aiden Amshoff receives his top-20 medal at the 2021 OHSAA boys Division I cross country championships, Nov. 6, 2021.

To reach that joy, Mason had to overcome a 2020 season that might be best defined by Murphy’s Law: whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. After taking third place in 2018 and second in 2019, Mason finished 10th in 2020 while dealing with setback after setback.

The adversity started in the summer before the season had even begun. The Comets’ projected No. 2 runner, whom Rapp declined to name for privacy reasons, suffered a brain lesion.

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