Heroux, Balouris Claim Strong Finishes at NCAA Track & Field Championships
DES MOINES, Iowa (June 7, 2012) - William & Mary's Brandon Heroux and Elaina Balouris both claimed strong finishes, while the George Mason's men's 4x400 relay team advanced on day two of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Drake University on Thursday.
William and Mary senior Brandon Heroux brought his collegiate career to a successful end Thursday afternoon at the NCAA Track and Field Championships, throwing the javelin a school-record 73.55 meters (241-4) to finish eighth in the country. While official notification won't come until Monday, Heroux's performance earned him first-team All-American honors from the USTFCCCA.
Heroux's performance Thursday capped a successful four year career for the Canadian Olympic hopeful, as he became the first men's thrower from W&M ever to be named All-American. Even more impressive, his scoring effort at the national championships comes one year to the day after he underwent Tommy John surgery in his throwing elbow. Heroux's throw broke his own school record of 73.09m (239-9), set when he won the 2011 Penn Relays. According to Track and Field News, it was also the best-ever throw for an eighth-place finisher at the NCAA Championships.
Tribe sophomore Elaina Balouris claimed the first All-American award of her young career Thursday night, finishing 19th overall at the NCAA Track and Field Championships in the 10,000m run. She completed the 25-lap, six-plus mile race in 34:41.97, the sixth-fastest time in school history, and will be named to the USTFCCCA Honorable Mention All-America team.
The race proved to be one of the fastest in the history of the NCAA meet, with eight of the top-10 finishers running the fastest times ever for that place, and the top four finishers all ranking among the 10 fastest times in NCAA Championships history. Balouris' time, sixth-fastest in school history, is her third entry onto the Tribe record books among the top-six, and the third-fastest ever run in NCAA competition by a W&M harrier.
On the relay side, the George Mason men's 4x400m relay of senior Nick Vaughn, junior George Empty, senior Ja-Vell Bullard and junior David Verburg finished second in the third of three heats with a time of 3:02.94, good for sixth place overall and automatically advancing the squad to Saturday's finals at 1:40 pm. The time was a season-best and fell just .16 shy of setting a school record in the event.
For the women, the team of senior Cierra McGee, sophomore Dominique Graham, freshman Jasmine Robinson and sophomore Daianna Barron finished 18th overall in a season-best time of 3:36.24. The time did not advance the squad to Saturday's finals.
Competing for Mason tomorrow will be Verburg, who will look to capture a national title in the 400m dash. The event is slated to start at 7:55 pm.