Merle Valotto ('64) was an outstanding track and cross-country star at George Mason. As a 16-yeard old, he set a world age-group record in the 10,000 meter run. Merle won the Virginia State Championship in the mile run in both his junior and senior years. As a senior he set a new Virginia State record in the mile event. Merle led George Maosn's newly created cross-country team to the school's first ever Virginia State Championship in cross-country in 1963. Merle attended Virginia Tech, where he held all distance records above the half-mile. In 1970, Merle was ranked in the top ten in the world in the steeplechase.