FAIRFAX, Va. - Sixteen Eagles will extend their indoor track & field season through one more weekend, as they prepare for the George Mason Last Chance Meet on Sunday, Feb. 26.
Designed to provide athletes with one final competition before the start of outdoor season in two weeks, this weekend also provides one final opportunity for qualification into the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Tx., from March 10-11. The top 16 individuals in each event, and top 12 relays, in the country after this week will advance into the national meet.
More than 350 student-athletes from 38 schools are expected to compete at George Mason. Included among that list are representatives from Richmond, Maryland, Charlotte, Delaware, and William & Mary.
Of the 16 student-athletes set to compete on Sunday, nine are coming off exciting performances from the Patriot League Championships last weekend. Included among that number are three of the four members of the title-winning men's 4x800m team, Alaeldin Tirba, Chandler Ross and Matthew Rainey.
Tirba, Ross, Rainey, and junior Liam Purdy, claimed the program's first indoor title since 2009 in school-record fashion, breaking through the ten-year-old record by 0.60-seconds with a 7:31.30 crossing. And, to close out the triad of accomplishments, now leads the country for the non-championship event.
Rainey will take the track in the mile for the first time since his personal record (PR) run during the Feb. 3 Camel City Invitational, where he crossed in 15th overall in 4:18.72.
Tirba and Ross will both toe the line later in the afternoon, making their season debuts in the men's 1000m run.
Other highlights from the men's squad include sophomore Trevor Patton, who extended his school record in the long jump en route to a third-place finish in the PL field with a final mark of 7.11m (23-4). Freshman Gerard D'Ambrosio and sophomore Ben Doiron will join Rainey in the mile, while freshman Justin Dignan and junior Jim Belfatto will take on the 800m and 3000m runs, respectively.
On the women's side, sophomore Adriana Hooks will bump down to the mile after hitting the second-fastest 5000m time in school history during her fifth-place crossing at the conference championships (17:13.73). She will be joined in the field by sophomore Kailee Traficante and freshman Katelyn Deibler.
Brianna Belo is also returning to the track after a record book performance. The sophomore broke her own school record in the 500m dash to place second at the PL Championships in 1:12.63. She will be featured in her first 1000m race of the season.
In the field events, sophomore Grace Goulding will look to improve upon her high jump school record, broken earlier this season with a 1.60m (5-3) PR during the Navy Mid-Week Invitational on Jan. 19.
For the latest on AU Track & Field, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_TrackXC.
11 a.m. - Men's 60m Dash (Trevor Patton)
11:55 a.m. - Women's Mile Run (Adriana Hooks // Kailee Traficante // Katelyn Deibler)
12:05 p.m. - Men's Mile Run (Matthew Rainey // Ben Doiron // Gerard D'Ambrosio)
1:10 p.m. - Women's 500m Dash (Sammie Paul)
1:25 p.m. - Women's 800m Run (Arianna Lopez // Kaitlyn McTernan)
1:35 p.m. - Men's 800m Run (Justin Dignan)
1:45 p.m. - Women's 1000m Run (Brianna Belo)
1:50 p.m. - Men's 1000m Run (Alaeldin Tirba // Chandler Ross)
2:40 p.m. - Men's 3000m Run (Jim Belfatto)