Throwers Come Up Big at Arkansas Spring Invitational
March 31, 2012
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Mason Finley collected wins in both the discus and shot put competitions while Heather Bergmann won the javelin Saturday at the Arkansas Spring Invitational, leading a strong outing from their fellow Jayhawk throwers.
Finley, who boasts marks in the shot put and discus that rank in the top five nationally, started his day in the championship division of the discus throw. The junior quickly moved to the top of the leaderboard on his first attempt, hitting a mark 56.35 meters (186-04 ft.) and would cruise into the finals with a big lead. After Iowa’s Gabe Hull moved into the lead on his first throw of the finals, Finley made sure Hull’s front-running would be short-lived after the Salida, Colo. native launched the discus 56.80 meters (186-04 ft.) on his fourth attempt. The mark would be good enough to give Finley the victory, his second in the event this season.
Finley made his way over to the shot put ring later in the afternoon and, unlike the discus, he notched his best throw early in the competition. On his first attempt he heaved a throw of 18.22 meters (59-09.50 ft.), a mark that would eventually give him the win. No other competitor was able to come close to Finley’s winning mark, as he topped the field by over three feet. Teammate Joel Krause finished fifth with a mark of 16.27 meters (53-04.50 ft.) in the event, just an inch short of his personal best.
All-American Heather Bergmann once again proved why she belongs in the conversation as one of the nation’s top javelin throwers. The junior wasted no time in getting her day started off right as she launched a throw of 52.64 meters (172-08 ft.) on her first attempt. The mark was not only a new personal best for Bergmann, but also breaks her own modern-day school record in the event. She got only one other fair throw down on the day but it wouldn’t matter, the Concordia, Kan. native picked up her second win of the season and now holds the No. 2 mark in the NCAA this year.
Alena Krechyk continued her fabulous start to her final outdoor season with another victory in the hammer throw Friday evening. The senior didn’t get off to the best of starts, fouling on the first three of her four attempts. However, on her final try she unloaded on a throw that measured out to 60.51 meters (198-06 ft.). The mark would give her the event win by nearly 13 feet over the next closest competitor and her second-straight in as many meets of the outdoor season.
In the women’s discus, Jessica Maroszek had another great outing after winning the event at the Baker Relays a week ago. The sophomore started the competition with a big throw of 50.94 meters (167-01 ft.) on her first attempt. With fouls on two of her next three attempts Maroszek would be unable to surpass Missouri’s Kearsten Peoples who won the discus crown with a mark just two inches further than Maroszek’s.
The Seymour, Wis. native also took part in the shot put later in the day as she placed 10th overall with a mark of 14.14 meters (46-04.75 ft.).
Freshman Greg Lupton had a big day in the men’s pole vault as he earned a third-place finish. Lupton cleared 5.15 meters (16-10.75 ft.) on his first attempt at height, shooting himself up the leaderboard. The mark is a new outdoor personal best for the Kingwood, Texas native and marked his fifth top-three finish as a Jayhawk. Joining Lupton in the event was freshman Aaron Blevins, who took fifth on a height of 5.00 meters (16-04.75 ft.) and Regan Gilbert, placing seventh at 4.85 meters (15-11.00 ft.)
The men’s javelin once again had a strong group in action Saturday. All-American Johann Swanepoel led the way, finishing as the runner-up with a top throw of 67.69 meters (222-01 ft.), just over a foot behind the winner. Swanepoel was followed by his Jayhawk teammates Iain Trimble, who took fifth, Jesse Vaughn, placing sixth and Dan Hitman notching an 11th-place finish.
There were several Jayhawks who competed in track events Saturday with highlights coming from sophomore Dominique Manley, who finished ninth in the 800 meters with a time of 1:53.59, just .5 seconds of a personal best; junior Tessa Turcotte, who ran 10:11.35 to take seventh in the 3,000 meters; sophomore Timmie Morris, who recorded a new personal best of 1:03.13 in a 14th-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles; and the men’s 4×400-meter relay team of Isaac Bradshaw, Alex Hermes, Nick Seckfort and Manley, who combined for a 16th-place finish on a time of 3:21.37.
The Jayhawks now move into the heart of the outdoor season as both men’s and women’s track teams head to Emporia, Kan. for the Emporia State Relays next Saturday, April 7. Action will begin from Fran Welch Stadium at 11:30 a.m. with the women’s 100-meter hurdles and will end at 6:30 p.m. with the men’s and women’s 4x400m relays. Log on to kauthletics.com for updates on the Jayhawks’ performances and follow on twitter at KU_Track.