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2013 Track & Field Outlook
Courtesy: George Mason Athletics
Release: 01/29/2013

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2013 MASON MEN'S TRACK AND FIELD

The 2013 Mason men's track and field team will look to continue the success of past seasons after capturing its third-consecutive CAA title last year, sending numerous athletes to both the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championship meets and seeing one of its athletes run at the USA T&F Olympic Qualifying Meet.

In addition to the team championships, Head Coach Andrew Gerard was named the CAA Coach of the Year for the third season and assistant coach Ibigi Id-Deen was recognized as the USTFCCCA Southeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year.

This year, Gerard is excited for what his team returns to the track and also what the new athletes will bring to help catapult Mason to one of the top T&F programs in the nation.

DISTANCE
Ten seniors look to lead the distance group, led by standout runner Everett Hackett. A season ago during the outdoor season Hackett set a school record in the 5000m before going on to bring home an IC4A title in the event. He also competed in the 10000m at the NCAA East Regional. Joining Hackett are classmates Philip Blankenship, Andrew Pitts, Parker Boudreau and John Holt, all who have left their marks on the Mason program with Top-10 times on the Mason all-time records list. Holt jumped to second place all-time during the indoor season in 2012, running a time of 14:37.81 in the 5000m at the IC4A indoor championships, while also competing in the 10000m at the outdoor championship. Last season Blankenship qualified for the IC4A outdoor championships in the 10000m, and currently owns two indoor and one outdoor Top-10 times, while fellow distance ace Pitts sits just outside the Top-10 all time with his 10K IC4A qualifying performance from a year ago.  Boudreau similarly posted three IC4A qualifying times a season ago, and also owns two indoor and one outdoor Top-10 times. After red-shirting the 2012 outdoor season, he looks to return to the form that made him an NCAA qualifier in 2011 at 1500m.

The team will also be looking for big contributions from juniors Alex Ott and Michael Conway.  Both have seen significant CAA and IC4A-level experience with numerous accolades on their resumes.  After sitting atop the Mason squad at 3000m and 5000m in 2011, both will set their sights on the NCAA in the 2013 season.  Beyond that seniors Jason Hartman and Sean Nestor both return from significant CAA scoring positions in the Steeplechase and 10,000m in 2012 and will look to capitalize on that success to propel them forward as well. Rounding out the senior class are Conor Doan and Josh Schlickenmeyer, who are all coming off of strong 2012 campaigns after setting personal-bests in their respective events and will be joined by juniors Kieran Hennessy and Taylor Torino, sophomores Stuart Lampen-Crowell and James Luehrs and freshman James Poyer with all looking to contribute to the distance group this season.

MIDDLE DISTANCE
Another large group of seniors can be found in the middle distance group, including Chris Carrington, Tyler Golden, Jacob Morgan, Cody Raphael and David Rushing. After missing last season, Carrington will look to build on his two indoor Top-10 times and an NCAA Indoor All-American honor in 2011. Raphael currently holds a Top-10 indoor time in the 600m and was also an indoor and outdoor IC4A qualifier in 2012, while Rushing improved on his personal-bests and helped the 4x800m relay to a fourth-place finish at the IC4A outdoor championships a season ago. Jacob Morgan will also look to improve on his personal-bests from last year, while Golden will return to the track after missing the 2012 campaign.

One junior, four sophomores, and two freshmen complete the middle distance group, which includes Wil McReynolds, who is building on a successful sophomore campaign, while sophomores Ryan McGreal, Tyler Oliver, and Colin Winchester team up with freshman Steven Mitchell to make an impact on the track.

HURDLES/JUMPS
Seniors Travaughn Baker-Johnson, an NCAA National Championship Preliminary Round qualifier in the long jump, and George Empty headline the jumping and hurdling groups, where they are joined by two sophomores and four freshmen. Baker-Johnson enters his final season with five combined indoor and outdoor Top-10 marks at Mason. Last year, he qualified for the IC4A outdoor championships in the 100m, 200m, and Long Jump in addition to competing in the preliminary round of the NCAA National Championships in the Long Jump. Empty comes of a junior campaign that saw him claim a CAA title in the 400m Hurdles and as a member of the 4x400m relay. Additionally, Empty, whose individual competitions took him from indoor IC4A Championships, the outdoor IC4A Championships, to the Eastern Preliminary Round of the NCAA National Championships in the 400m Hurdles, spent the season improving all of his personal best marks.

As a freshman in 2012, Anthony Williams proved to be a valuable member of the Mason T&F team, qualifying for the indoor IC4A Championships in the 60m Hurdles in addition to posting the fifth-best time in Mason history. Additionally, during the outdoor season he qualified for the IC4A Championships in the 110m Hurdles, missing the NCAA National Championship Preliminary Round by two places.

Sophomore Michael Lawton, the group's only returner and CAA Championships scorer, along with freshmen Justin Little, Teddy Murphy, Byron Sintim, and Jimi Tele will all look to make immediate impact on the squad.

MULTI-EVENTS
Coming off of a CAA Championship in the decathlon, Gustavo "Goose" Osorio will once again look to set the pace for the multi-events group. In addition to claiming a conference title, he also qualified and scored team points at the IC4A Championships, while currently holding the indoor total in the heptathlon. Also looking to grow on success from last season is junior Kenzell Crawford, who set personal-best marks in all of his events in 2012, while claiming a fourth-place finish in the decathlon at the conference championships. Freshman Sean Daugherty will join the group as a multi-event athlete, specializing in Pole Vault and Javelin.

POLE VAULT
An experienced vaulting group will flank the pit for Mason this season, a group that includes two CAA champions and several top conference finishers and IC4A qualifiers. Last season, senior Patrick Dietrick took hom the CAA pole vault title in addition to qualifying for the IC4A championships, and currently stands seventh all-time in the outdoor vault at Mason. Classmate Josh Trikakis posted personal bests a year ago, while Wesley Sun returns after taking a year off to try and reclaim his conference title from 2011. Another strong performer, whose experience also includes the IC4A Championships, Zachary Lawson will work in the mix after taking home third at the CAA championships in 2012.

SPRINTS
Headlining the sprinters is senior David Verburg, who has proven to be one of the top track athletes in the nation. Last season, Verburg took home a bevy of accolades, including being named the USTFCCCA Southeast Region Male Athlete of the Year, USTFCCCA All-America honors in the 400m and 4x400m relay, CAA Male Track Athlete of the Year and the Meet and went on to compete in the US Olympic T&F Trials, advancing to the finals where he finished in seventh place. Additionally, Verburg took home 400m titles at the CAA Championships and IC4A Championships, won the NCAA National Championship Preliminary round and finished fourth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, posted the second-best time in program history (45.06), and during the indoor season broke the school record in the 600m (1:18.06). Along the way, he also tabbed himself as one of the hottest young one-lappers in the hemisphere, winning the gold medal individually in the 400m and as part of the 4x400m relay at the NACAC Championships to conclude his season in fine style.

Other Patriots bringing their success into the 2012-2013 season are junior Adrian Vaughn and senior John Jones. In 2012, Vaughn was the CAA champion in the 200m in addition to helping the 4x100m relay to a conference title. He advanced to the IC4A Championships and NCAA Championships Preliminary Round in the 200m, running for a personal best 20.82 at NCAA's. Jones posted several personal best times last season, and also qualified for the IC4A Indoor Championships in the 200.

Completing this group and hungry to make their marks are junior Joseph Thomas, rookie sophomore Patrick Habimana and highly touted freshmen Angel Coburn and Da'Quan Smalls this season.

THROWS
Two juniors, Jason Wellington and Kirk Nguyen, highlight the throwing group as Mason. Last season, Wellington finished second at the CAA Championships with a throw of 58.26m while placing sixth in the hammerthrow with a distance of 44.91m. In just two seasons at Mason, Wellington stands second all-time javelin and third all-time in the hammer throw.

A consistent performer for the Patriots, Nguyen competed in the shot put and weight throw during the indoor season and hammer, discus, and shot put during the outdoor season. He finished sixth place in the discus at CAA Championships with a toss of 44.08m, and broke the indoor school record in the weight throw with a distance of 16.35m at the February Virginia Tech Challenge.

Also looking to work into the mix this season is freshman Michael Mehzer.

2013 MASON WOMEN'S TRACK & FIELD

The 2013 Mason women's track team boasts a young roster, but Coach Gerard is confident that the incoming talent combined with the upperclassmen experience will prove to be tremendous, catapulting the team to the top of the CAA Championships once again while also competing for titles at the individual and national levels.

DISTANCE/MIDDLE DISTANCE
The distance group is one of the youngest on the Mason roster, boasting six freshmen and six sophomores. Freshmen Victoria Doss, Lauren Hicks, Siobhan Klie, Jennifer Nakamura, Taylor Reffett, and Katie Treichel, together with sophomore Bethany Sachtleben will take to the track for the first time collegiately, while sophomores Peyton Lowe, Heather Selheimer, Lauren Givens, Catherine Pulley, and Maggie Underwood will look to grow on successful rookie campaigns a season ago. The lone junior, Victoria Samyn, guides the team with her experience.

Lowe capped a successful freshman season with an eighth-place finish in the 10000m, and also recorded the top team time in both the 5000m and 10000m. During the indoor season, Lowe was first on the team in the 5000m and second in the 3000m. As for Lauren Givens, her 11:48.98 in the 3000m Steeple Chase was the second-best time in program history, while Catherine Pulley finished 14th in the 10000m at the CAA Championships and Underwood ran the 1500m and 3000m. Sacthleben's debut season to the sport will be fueled by her ECAC Individual Championship win this past Cross Country season, which came weeks after finishing six places away from All-Regional status at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships.

Selheimer is coming off of a freshmen season where she had the top team time in the 1000m and second fastest in the 800m during the indoor season, qualifying for the ECAC Indoor Championships in the 1000m while also helping the 4x800m and Distance Medley Relay to an ECAC appearance. During the outdoor season, Selheimer posted the second-best marks on the team in the 800m and 1500m. Victoria Samyn, who red-shirted through cross country, will hit the track eager, as she is a member of an ECAC-qualifying 4x800 relay team and ran the second-best time in the mile.

MULTI-EVENTS
Two time defending CAA heptathlon champion junior Amanda Denger is joined this season by incoming freshman Jasmine Moser, of Switzerland. Denger, who qualified for the ECAC Outdoor Championships with a heptathlon score of 4,893, will serve as the group's de facto leader, coupling experience as CAA Champion, and ECAC Indoor and Outdoor point scorer. Moser, who begins her academic experience as a student-athlete in January, comes off a successful 2012 season, where she was a World Junior Championships competitor in the Pole Vault, and already an ECAC qualifying mark in her first meet as a Patriot.

JUMPS/HURDLES
Junior Dominique Graham returns as George Mason's sole high jumper. Her second place finish at CAA Championships comes with her season best height of 1.65m. Graham, who competed on Mason's first place 4x400m relay at the ECAC Indoor Championships and finished 23rd in the High Jump, also placed 18th in the 4x400m relay at NCAA Outdoor Championships. Katea Jemmott will return as an ECAC competitor in the 100m and 200m and Conference Championship finalist, and will look to make her mark in the long jump this year.

Jasmine Robinson will add the fuel to the group, coupling last year's successes in Mason's 4x400m with her season-best 14.59 in the prelims of the 100m Hurdles at CAA's. Senior Kristin Bethel will look add strength in the hurdling group, as the 400m Hurdle specialist finished fifth at CAA's with a time of 1:02.52. Indoors, Bethel notched the third-best time in school history for the 600m with 1:37.67 while also competing at ECAC's in the 500m dash.

School record holder Taylor Wheaton recorded a 1:36.18 across 600 meters in 2011, and will eagerly aid in Mason's success in the intermediate hurdles after redshirting her 2012 campaign. Also fresh to the hurdling group is Sophomore transfer Shavon Briscoe, who comes to Fairfax from the University of Connecticut. She will fill gaps in both the short hurdles, the long hurdles, and the relays.

POLE VAULT
Mandissa Marshall paces the vault squad at George Mason, which continues to grow and strengthen. Marshall, who owns the school record for both indoor and outdoor, capped her 2012 season as a CAA, an ECAC, and tied for an NCAA East Regional Champion.  She was named CAA Women's Co-Athlete of the Meet and eventually, the CAA Track and Field Female Athlete of the Year. Summer Shepherd, a sophomore whose 2013 season is already underway, has already qualified for the ECAC Championships, and will serve as a leader with classmates Caitlin Eberly and Megann Kaiser for newcomers Lindsay Horton and multi-event athlete Jasmine Moser, who also competes in the Pole Vault.  Shepherd and Kaiser finished eighth and 13th, respectively, at the CAA Championships.

SPRINTS
One of the most experienced groups for the Mason women this season will be the sprint corps. Three seniors, Cierra McGee, Crystalyne Clark, and TaNay Chandler, in addition to junior Daianna Barron, look to lead the way, and will be joined by sophomore Aneesha Scott and freshman Sarah Weber.

McGee had an outstanding 2012 while competing in the 200m and the 400m outdoors. She owned the top team time in both events, qualified for the ECAC Championships in both, and competed in the 400m at the Eastern Preliminary Round of the NCAA National Championships, just missing qualifying for the national meet by .02 seconds with a personal best time of 52.80. In addition to her personal success, McGee is a key contributor to the relays, helping the 4x400m relay to an 18th place finish at the NCAA Championships and the 4x100m relay to a second place finish at the CAA Championships.

Clark competed in the 100m and 200m during the outdoor season, owning the top team time in the 100m while also helping during the 4x100m relay to a second place finish at the conference meet. Indoors, she qualified for the ECAC Championships in both the 60m and the 200m, eventually finishing 12th in the 200m at the meet with a time of 24.97. Another key contributor to the relays is Barron, who during the outdoor season, helped the 4x400 to an 18th place finish at the NCAA Championships outdoors, and indoors, captured the ECAC Championship. Kiya Day is another upperclassman who will look to make her mark on Mason's success with the sprints group.

THROWS
The final group for the Patriots is the throws: juniors Meredith Oare and Kaylin Newman, sophomore Haley Hale, and freshmen Emily Muniz and Michelle Wallerstedt make up a group that has shown tremendous growth and strength over the past few seasons.

Oare bested all of her personal marks last season, setting those marks in the hammer throw and discus at the CAA Championships, finishing ninth in the hammerthrow (45.97m), and 20th in the discus (32.12m). Newman also improved on her personal marks during the 2012 season, competing in the hammer throw, shot put, and discus during the outdoor season and shot put and weight throw during the indoor season.


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