Finley, Dixon Sweep Big 12 Athlete of the Week Honors

April 25, 2012

LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the first time in school history, a pair of Jayhawks swept the outdoor track and field Big 12 Athlete of the Week honors with sophomore Diamond Dixon and junior Mason Finley claiming the awards Wednesday as was announced by the league office.

042512aab_571_4753383.jpegFinley, a native of Salida, Colo., put on an outstanding display in front of the hometown fans Friday as he won gold in the shot put at the Kansas Relays. The junior uncorked a throw of 19.89 meters (65-05.25 ft.) on his final attempt of the afternoon to seal his fourth-straight shot put title of the season. Finley’s mark is the best in the NCAA this year and moved him up to No. 11 in the U.S. among both collegiate and professional athletes.

Wednesday’s announcement gives Finley his fourth outdoor Athlete of the Week award and fifth including indoor honors. The four outdoor awards are the most by any male track and field athlete in the conference’s history.

042512aab_571_5573170.jpegIn a field the some of the fastest sprinters in the U.S., Dixon ran to the No. 2 400-meter time in the NCAA Saturday, also at the Kansas Relays. The Houston product finished as the runner-up in the invitational 400 meters with a time of 51.80, the fourth-fastest among all Americans this year. Dixon also anchored two school-record breaking relay teams. Her 4×100-meter team finished in 44.32 to claim the KU Relays title, while her 4×400-meter relay team ran to victory in the NCAA’s sixth-fastest time and a meet record, 3:31.87.

The award is Dixon’s second outdoor honor as she was named the female athlete of the week on May 10 of last year. She was also honored with her first indoor athlete of the week award early this year on January 31.

Finley, Dixon and the rest of the Jayhawks will split for three meets this weekend as the sprinters and jumpers will travel to the Bill Williams/Bob Laptad Invite on April 27 in Joplin, Mo., the throwers will head to San Diego for the Triton Invitational on April 28, while several of the distance stars will run in Stanford, Calif. at the Jordan Payton Invitational April 28-29.