Mason is...Driven to Serve
Mason Alumnus Wins Gold for U.S. in Rio
Former George Mason University track standout David Verburg helped bring home a gold medal for the United states at the Rio Olympics.
The United States won gold in the 4 x 400-meter relay at the Rio Olympics with a time of 2:57.30. Though Verburg did not compete in the final, he received a gold medal for helping Team USA reach the final. The 25-year-old from Lynchburg, Virginia, ran the anchor leg of the 4 x 400 relay in the opening round as the U.S. finished second in its heat to advance to the final.
“Even though I didn’t run in the final due to injury,” Verburg said, “I am proud to say I am an Olympic champion.”
Verburg qualified for Team USA by finishing third in the 400-meter dash of the U.S. Olympic Trials.
At Mason, Verburg had a decorated four-year career and was an 11-time NCAA All-American in indoor and outdoor track. He majored in Health, Fitness, and Recreation Resources with a concentration in Sport Management.
At the Olympic trials, he ran a time of 44.82, just behind Gil Roberts (44.73). Two-time Olympic gold medalist LaShawn Merritt won the race with a time of 43.97.
“I wanted it more than anybody,” Verburg said after the race. “I made sure I kept my composure.”
Verburg advanced to the finals after posting the fastest time in the preliminaries and registering a time of 45.19 in the semifinals.
“I’ve wanted to be an Olympian since I started running track — that was the whole goal,” Verburg said.
“For me to come out here from a small school and a small stature and still make one of the hardest teams in the world to make and become an Olympian, after that no one can take that away from me. How many people can say that they are an Olympian for USA Track and Field?”
David Verburg, 2013 BS in Health, Fitness, and Recreation Resources, concentration in Sport Management
Last year, Verburg won the 400 at the 2015 USATF Championships. He set a personal best with a time of 44.41 in the semifinals, then won the gold medal.
His finish at USATF qualified him for the 15th IAAF World Championships last August and he reached the semifinals in Beijing. He has also been a member of two gold-medal winning 4x400-meter relay teams — at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow and the 2015 World Championships in Beijing.
During his time at Mason, he was a seven-time All-American in indoor track and four-time All-American in outdoor track. In 2012 and 2013, he finished fourth in the 400-meter dash at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships to earn USTFCCCA First-Team All-American honors both times. He was also a member of the 2012 4x400-meter relay team that earned First Team All-American honors for finishing seventh.
He was twice named the Colonial Athletic Association Male Athlete of the Year and was tabbed the 2010 CAA Rookie of the Year. He was a four-time CAA champion in the 400-meter dash, never losing the conference title during his career. He also won conference championships in the 200-meter dash and the 4x400-meter relay (twice). He was also a seven-time IC4A champion in the 400 and 4x400.