Track & Field Championships Set To Get Underway On Friday
RICHMOND, Va. (May 3, 2012) - The 2012 Virginia 529 CAA Track & Field Championships are set to get underway on Friday at George Mason Stadium in Fairfax, Va. It will be the sixth time that George Mason has hosted the event.
Two-time men's defending champions George Mason under head coach Andrew Gerard will look for a three-peat for the first time in school history. After earning its first CAA crown last year on the women's side, Georgia State will try and defend the title under head interim head coach Chris England.
Action at this year's meet opens with the men's and women's javelin on Friday morning with the pole vault, long jump and hammer throw to follow in the afternoon session. On the track, trials kick off at 1:00 p.m. with the 1,500 meters. The first individual champions will be crowned on Friday evening with the running of the 5,000 and 10,000 meter races.
Mason will return a trio of stars looking to repeat CAA individual titles this season. Reigning CAA Athlete of the Year and last year's Most Outstanding Field Performer Lavell Handy took medalist honors in the long jump, triple jump and 110 meter hurdle events at last year's meet. Handy posted a 12th place finish in the national finals of the triple jump. 2011 Most Outstanding Track Performer Rachaunn Ruffin will defend titles in the 100 and 200 meters. Ruffin will attempt to become the first man to win four consecutive crowns in the 100 meters. Junior David Verburg looks to win his third straight 400 meters title and has posted league-best times in the 200m and 400m this season. William & Mary senior Brandon Heroux returns to this year's championship, looking to become the first CAA athlete to win the javelin four consecutive years. Heroux set the meet record in last year's event and made his season debut last weekend with a CAA season-best throw of 71.85m (235'9).
Others on the men's side looking to defend their titles this week are George Mason's Daniel Callan (3,000m steeplechase), Wes Sun (pole vault), UNCW's Bob Vanderham (800m), Northeastern's Eric Jenkins (5,000m), William & Mary's Ben Katz (high jump), Alex McGrath (10,000m). The Patriots will feature three of four members of their 4x100 meter relay team that won last year's title, featuring Handy and Ruffin with Adrian Vaughn and Travaughn Baker-Johnson.
On the women's side, Georgia State sophomore and reigning CAA Rookie of the Year Tamara Moore will eye a second consecutive victory in the 100 meter hurdles. Moore has posted a top-league time of 13.55 in the 100m this season. Senior Angelia Nugent will be a force in field events, returning to defend titles in the triple jump and long jump. Delaware senior Jillian Seamon looks to close out her CAA career with her third consecutive javelin title.
Others looking to defend titles are Delaware's Victoria Caruso (400m), George Mason's Nao Ma (1,500m), Amanda Denger (heptathlon), Mandissa Marshall (pole vault) and James Madison's Katie Gorman (10,000m).
Also in the mix will be William & Mary sophomore Elaina Balouris who holds the top times in the CAA this season in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meter runs.
Saturday's second and final day of action begins at 9:00 a.m. with the decathlon, which will be followed by the start of field events at 10:00 a.m. and the heptathlon. The finals of the running events will begin at 12:45 p.m. with the 4x100 meter relays. The championship awards ceremony will be held after the completion of all events.
Admission to the championship is free for all spectators. Find out more about the event on the CAA Championships page and be sure to stay tuned to CAASports.com for results, highlights and recaps from all the action at this year's meet.