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Courtesy: CAA/Rafael Suanes
George Mason's David Verburg

Verburg Takes Top Men's T&F Honor

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 06/28/2012
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RICHMOND, Va. (June 28, 2012) - George Mason junior David Verburg (Lynchburg, Va.) was selected as the 2012 CAA Male Athlete of the Year in track and field by a vote of the league's head coaches. Also earning top track and field honors from the conference were VCU freshman Brandon Ruffin (Chesapeake, Va.), who was chosen as the CAA Rookie of the Year, and George Mason's Andrew Gerard, who was voted CAA Coach of the Year for the third year in a row.

Verburg earned first-team All-America honors this season after placing fourth in the 400 meters at the NCAA Championship with a time of 45.22. He also earned All-America honors as a member of Mason's 4X400 relay team that finished seventh at the NCAA Championship with a time of 3:09.93. Verburg continued to impress on the national stage last weekend by reaching the finals of the 400 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials and placing seventh in a time of 45.36. He received Most Outstanding Performer in track events at the CAA Championship after winning the 400 meters with a meet-record time of 45.06. Verburg was also a member of the Patriots' 4X400 relay team that won a CAA title and he finished second in the 200 meters (21.16). He was the IC4A champion in the 400 meters as well and had the fastest time in the 400 at the NCAA East Regional Qualifying meet.

Ruffin was the CAA champion in the shot put with a throw of 16.83m (55-2.75). He also posted a second-place finish in the discus at the CAA Championship with a throw of 47.53m (155-11). Ruffin became the first thrower in VCU history to compete at the U.S. Junior Outdoor Championship, where he placed ninth in the discus and in the top 20 in the shot put. The freshman won three discus and two shot put competitions during the season and earned a spot in the IC4A meet. Ruffin set the VCU school record in the discus and turned in the second-best throw in Rams' history in the shot put.

Gerard was honored as the CAA Coach of the Year for the third consecutive season and the fourth time in his career after guiding George Mason to its third conference championship in a row. The Patriots compiled 267 points in the CAA meet, which was 101 points more than their closest competitor, and had 11 individual event champions. Gerard previously earned the CAA Coach of the Year accolades in 2003 during his tenure as head coach at William and Mary.

In addition to the 2012 major award winners in men's track and field, the following individuals and relay teams received All-CAA honors based on their performances at the CAA Championship.

2012 CAA Men's Track and Field All-Conference Honorees:

100m: Rachaunn Ruffin (Mason), Jeremy Johnson (UNCW), David Lindsay (UNCW)
200m: Adrian Vaughn (Mason), David Verburg (Mason), Jeremy Johnson (UNCW)
400m: David Verburg (Mason), Nick Vaughn (Mason), Ja-Vell Bullard (Mason)
800m: Bob Vanderham (UNCW), Alex Hinton (VCU), Ryan O'Connor (UNCW)
1,500m: Chris Tyson (W&M), John Muller (W&M), Alex Levine (Mason)
5,000m: Alex McGrath (W&M), Everett Hackett (Mason), Josh Hardin (W&M)
10,000m: Joshua Mercado-Reigh (W&M), Rad Gunzenhauser (W&M), John Holt (Mason)
110m hurdles: David Lindsay (UNCW), Lavell Handy (Mason), Anthony Williams (Mason)
400m hurdles: George Empty (Mason), Anthony Colon (UNCW), Cameron Morse (VCU)
3,000m Steeplechase: Daniel Callan (Mason), William Bass (W&M), John Anderson (W&M)
4x100m relay: George Mason (Lavell Handy, Adrian Vaughn, Travaughn Baker-Johnson, Nick Vaughn)
UNCW (Creshawn Wilkes, Jeremy Johnson, David Lindsay, Jordan Reed)
Northeastern (Alex Shapiro, Jared Lane, Darius Velez, Jackson MacDonald)
4x400m relay: George Mason (Nick Vaughn, George Empty, Ja-Vell Bullard, David Verburg)
VCU (Darius Vaughan, Dominic Costanzo, Kyle Sipple, George Moore)
UNCW (Anthony Colon, Wil Zahorodny, Bob Vanderham, Connor Brooks)
High Jump: Andrew Staples (NU), Ben Katz (W&M), Andrew Pope (UNCW)
Pole Vault: Patrick Dietrick (Mason), Brad Hollowell (UNCW), Zachary Lawson (Mason)
Long Jump: Lavell Handy (Mason), Aerial Chatman (UNCW), Travaughn Baker-Johnson (Mason)
Triple Jump: Lavell Handy (Mason), Dwight Webley (Mason), Aerial Chatman (UNCW)
Shot Put: Brandon Ruffin (VCU), Patrick Jablonski (NU), Brian Waterfield (W&M)
Discus: Patrick Jablonski (NU), Brandon Ruffin (VCU), Frank Afriyie (VCU)
Hammer: Max Milder (NU), Thomas DiCiaccio (UNCW), Kyle Barbour (UNCW)
Javelin: Brandon Heroux (W&M), Jason Wellington (Mason), Christopher Reider (NU)
Decathlon: Gustavo Osorio (Mason), Stefano Combi (NU), Spencer Kimber (UNCW)