|Track & Field Honored by USTFCCCA for Academic Success|
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Both the George Mason men's and women's track and field teams in addition to six individuals were recently honored by the United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) for their academic success away from the track.
As a team, the men posted a cumulative grade-point average of 3.06, while the women had a 3.17 GPA. A total of 85 men's teams and 171 women's teams earned USTFCCCA All-Academic Track & Field Honors, awarded to teams with a GPA of 3.00 or better.
Individually, LaVell Handy, Adrian Vaughn, Amanda Denger, Kelsey Reese, Cierra McGee and Jasmine Robinson were all named to the 2012 Division I All-Academic Track & Field team. Nationally, 431 men and 676 women were tabbed to the Division I All-Academic Team.
To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team, student-athletes must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 and have met either of the following athletic standards: for the indoor season, a student-athlete must have finished the regular season ranked in the national top 96 in an individual event or ranked in the national top 48 (collective listing) in a relay event on the official NCAA POP list provided by TFRRS.org; for the outdoor season, a student-athlete must have participated in any round of the NCAA Division I Championships (including preliminary rounds).
"As a staff, this is something we've worked hard towards over the past few years and it is nice to see it come to fruition," said Head Coach Andrew Gerard. "To have so many individual athletes achieve at such a high level is fantastic, but to have both teams earn honors as well is tremendous.
"Beyond the staff, I'd like to specifically recognize our academic advisor, Cheryl Hunte for her efforts. She goes above and beyond over the course of a really long year and this is certainly a reflection of her work with our team. Our sincere thanks go out to her as well."Handy advanced to the finals of the NCAA Outdoor Championships where he finished in ninth place in the long jump with a distance of 7.65m en route to collecting second team All-America accolades. Handy concluded his time at Mason with an impressive senior season, finishing fifth in the long jump at the NCAA East Regional (7.63m), winning the IC4A (7.76m) and CAA (7.85m) long jump titles and competing at the US T&F Olympic Trials in both the long and triple jumps. He was also tabbed the CAA Male Field Athlete of the Meet for the second-consecutive season.
Vaughn advanced to the finals of the NCAA East Region championships in the 200m, finishing seventh in heat two and 19th overall with a season-best time of 20.92. Earlier in the season, Vaughn won the event at the CAA Championships in a time of 21.15.
Denger had an outstanding season as a multi-event competitor, winning the CAA title in the heptathlon at the conference meet with 4,697 points. At the ECAC Championships, she collected a personal-best 4,839 points in the event. During the indoor season, Denger placed fifth in the pentathlon at the ECAC Championships with 3,295 points and recorded a personal-best 3,321 points at the Liberty Invitational.
McGee was a member of the women's 4x400m relay that finished in 18th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with a season-best time of 3:36.24. She also helped the relay to a CAA title and second place finish at the ECAC Championships. Personally, McGee finished in second place in the 400m at the CAA and ECAC Championships, and just barely missed advancing to the NCAA Outdoor Championships after finishing 13th in the event at the East Regionals with a personal-best time of 52.80, just .02 seconds outside the final qualifying spot.
In her first season with the Patriots, Reese was a top contender all season long in the javelin. She posted the top team mark in the event, and was the CAA champion with a throw of 44.22m. She went on to place seventh (44.42m) at the ECAC Championships and 19th (42.72m) at the NCAA East Regional Championships.
Also competing with Mason for the first time this season, Robinson was a member of the 4x400m relay that finished 18th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with a season-best time of 3:36.24.
As a team, the men won CAA and IC4A team titles, while the women finished in third place at the conference meet.