Scott Captures Seventh Big 12 Pole Vault Title, Finley Repeats As Big 12 Shot Put Champion
May 14, 2011
NORMAN, Okla. –
Kansas senior pole vaulter Jordan Scott became the first athlete in Big 12 history to claim three outdoor titles in the event as he repeated as the conference champion here Saturday afternoon at the John Jacobs Track Complex on the campus of the University of Oklahoma. Scott also claimed pole vault titles as a freshman in 2007 and as a junior at the 2010 Big 12 meet.
“It is frustrating not getting all eight, and just getting seven but that is the competitive side talking,” said Scott, who finished second as a sophomore. “I worked for some of them and some of them just fell in my hands and I took advantage of it. I am happy I have been able to help out the team throughout my career here at the conference meets. It is very important to the team and the coaches and I am glad I could contribute.”
Scott only had to get three clearances on his way to claiming his seventh overall title in the pole vault as he entered the meet with the bar at 5.13 meters (16-10.00 ft.), clearing on his second attempt. He then also cleared 5.28 meters on his second attempt.
“We decide after warm ups,” said Scott, of when he and vertical jumps coach Tom Hays decide on when he will enter the competition. “I have a pretty good idea at the beginning of the day what is going to fit in with the competitors in the field. I usually start pretty low. It is a process. Today the wind shifted a little bit and with the good competition I decided to come in at 5.13 meters.”
With just three competitors left in the field, Scott easily soared over the bar at 5.38 meters (17-07.75 ft.) earning his third outdoor conference title in four tries. He took three attempts at 5.56 meters, but did not get a clearance.
“Warm ups felt great,” said Scott, who owns the Big 12 meet record at 5.55 meters. “I broke the pole I usually start on so I had to start on a bigger one and work on the standards and get used to that. I don’t like missing first attempts, but I fought through it and came out with the win.”
Scott was not the only KU vaulter to score points as freshman Alex Bishop finished in sixth place with his clearance at 5.13 meters (16-10.00 ft.) Bishop added three points for the Jayhawks and gave them 13 points in the pole vault alone.
Kansas sophomore thrower Mason Finley continued his dominance as he repeated as the Big 12 Outdoor shot put champion. Finley, the NCAA leader in the shot put in 2011 claimed his third overall Big 12 title.
“It feels really good,” said Finley, of his win. “These guys are definitely the top guys in the NCAA right now so it feels great to compete with them in such an elite conference and come out on top.”
Finley led the stiff competition from start to finish, but still managed to improve on each of his throws until his final attempt in the competition. The Salida, Colo., native opened with a mark of 18.88 meters and improved his mark to 19.26 on his third and final throw of the preliminary round.
Finley heaved the shot put out to 19.42 meters on his opening throw of the finals before unleashing his winning throw of 19.63 meters (64-05.00 ft.) on his fifth attempt. Finley’s final toss went 19.35 meters, which would have also been a good enough mark to win the competition.
“I guess with each throw I figured out something I could do better,” said Finley. “It was great today that I could act on it and improve my mark throughout. You try not to pay attention to the other competitors, but it is hard not to especially knowing any of these guys could hit a big one and take the lead away.”
Finley’s win gave the Jayhawks 10 team points, something that added to the NCAA leader’s excitement.
“I love contributing to the team especially at the conference meet,” said Finley, who enters Sunday’s discus competition with the second best mark in the league. “Our coaches really stress scoring points and I am doing all I can. I have the discus tomorrow (Sunday) and I am going to try to get 10 more points and do my best to help our team will finish well.”
Jayhawk sophomore Andrea Geubelle had another career day in the long jump. The University Place, Wash., native got off to a slow start, ending the preliminary round in seventh place, but saved her best jumps for last. In the finals she hit a personal best mark of 6.44 meters (21-01.50 ft.) which helped her leap from seventh to third-place overall.
Geubelle, who earned six points for Kansas with her finish, said it was a special day not only because she helped her team’s standing, but also because she is back competing at her highest level.
“I’m feeling really good,” said Geubelle after the event. “It feels great to come out and jump well again. I’ve been in a little bit of a slump all year. To be able to come out and hang with girls that are jumping 21 feet is a big boost for me. It feels really good.”
Geubelle will also look for another high finish Sunday in the triple jump. She is currently ranked 18th in the NCAA and knows she will need another good day to improve her national standing.
“I want to take home a Big 12 Championship (on Sunday),” Geubelle would go on to say. “I feel like I have a really good shot. Obviously my rankings don’t show it right now but I know what I can jump, especially with a healthy ankle. I really feel like I can win.”
Kansas junior Nick Canton turned in a personal best performance in taking fifth place in the high jump. Canton cleared 2.11 meters (6-11.00 ft.), scoring four points for KU in the team standings. Canton easily cleared the first two heights, before getting clearances on 2.06 meters and 2.11 meters on his second attempt.
“I felt really good today,” said Canton. “I got off to a good start and just tried to build from there. It feels great to have been able to come through for the team.”
In the women’s heptathlon sophomore Rebecca Neville continued what was a great start on Friday in to Saturday with two more personal bests in the final three events. Her mark of 29.25m (95-11 ft.) in the javelin throw and her time of 2:22.66 in the 800 meters earned her a combined 1,250 points to push her to a seventh place overall finish in the event. Her overall score of 5,120 points was a new career best and will put her in solid position in the national rankings.
Kansas had six athletes advance to Sunday’s finals on the track as juniors Rebeka Stowe and Cori Christensen advanced in the women’s 1,500 meters and junior Donny Wasinger advanced in the men’s 1,500 meters.
In the women’s 1,500 meters, Stowe and Christensen each put together career best races. Both hung in the middle of the pack for the majority of the race before making a break down the home-stretch in the last 100 meters. Stowe clocked in with the fifth-best time in the preliminaries (4:25.01) while Christensen was eighth (4:26.82). The duo will move on to compete in the final which will be held Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
“We just want to score some points tomorrow (Sunday),” Christensen said after the preliminary race. “We just want to keep putting out strong efforts and hopefully we’ll do well.”
Wasinger led his preliminary heat from start to finish and recorded the top time in the field heading into Sunday’s 1,500-meter final with his time of 3:48.18. He will competed in Sunday’s final at 6:30 p.m.
“The goal was always to stay in the top three (of the heat) since the top three advance to the finals,” said Wasinger. “After going through the first 300 meters, the heat was running really slow, so I knew someone was going to have to pick it up. I believed I was strong enough to do it, so I decided I could be that person and it worked out.”
Also advancing to the finals on Sunday were freshman Diamond Dixon and senior Kendra Bradley in the women’s 400 meters and sophomore Kyle Clemons in the men’s 400 meters. Dixon was just .03 off her season’s best time as she clocked in at 52.99. The El Paso, Texas, native won her preliminary heat had the second-fastest time of the day. Bradley set a new personal best with her time of 54.42 as she finished third in her heat. She enters Sunday’s final with the eighth fastest preliminary time.
“I felt pretty good,” said Bradley, who earned All-America honors during the indoor season. “I’m not satisfied because I want to drop another second off my time, but it was good enough to get me into the finals. Tomorrow I need to get out harder and go with the pack at the beginning and not let myself get behind to start.”
Clemons turned in his fastest time of the season at 46.56, while finishing third in his preliminary heat. He enters Sunday’s final with the seventh fastest time in the 400-meter finals field.
“I didn’t have the best race today, I could have been a lot faster,” said Clemons. “When it was time for me to move, I didn’t move as fast as I wanted to because of my form I guess. But I’m pretty confident knowing that I get a chance to do it again and I can try to capitalize on a lot of the mistakes I made today.”
The Jayhawk men are sitting in fourth place in the team standings following Saturday’s action with 37 points. The KU women are in sixth place at the end of the day Saturday with 13 points.
Finley will get the day started for Kansas on Sunday as he looks to defend his title in the discus at 2 p.m. Action on the track will begin at 5:30 p.m., with the 4×100-meter relay teams kicking things off.
Big 12 Championships
400 Meters (Prelims)
2. Diamond Dixon, 52.99 (qualified)
8. Kendra Bradley, 54.42 (qualified) ***Personal Record***
12. Taylor Washington, 54.78
15. Denesha Morris, 55.53
800 Meters (Prelims)
17. Shayla Wilson, 2:11.21
26. Cori Christensen, 2:15.95
1,500 Meters (Prelims)
5. Rebeka Stowe, 4:25.01 (qualified) ***Personal Record***
8. Cori Christensen, 4:26.82 (qualified) ***Personal Record***
100-Meter Hurdles (Prelims)
13. Kathryn Lupton, 14.89
3. Andrea Geubelle, 6.44m (21-01.50 ft.) (wind-aided) ***Personal Record***
13. Francine Simpson, 5.85m (19-02.50 ft.)
10. Jessica Maroszek, 15.17m (49-09.25 ft.)
2. Rebecca Neville, 14.04 (974 points) ***Personal Record***
11. Rebecca Neville, 1.58m (5-02.25 ft.) (712 points)
10. Rebecca Neville, 9.77m (32-00.75 ft.) (514 points) ***Personal Record***
3. Rebecca Neville, 24.80 (905 points) ***Personal Record***
3. Rebecca Neville, 5.72m (18-09.25 ft.) (765 points)
13. Rebecca Neville, 29.25m (95-11 ft.) (462 points) ***Personal Record***
7. Rebecca Neville, 2:22.66 (788 points) ***Personal Record***
7.Rebecca Neville, 5,120 points ***Personal Record***
6. Kansas, 13 points
7. Kyle Clemons, 46.56 (qualified)
14. Keron Toussaint, 47.41
800 Meters (Prelims)
10. Dalen Fink, 1:52.79 ***Personal Record***
13. Nick Seckfort, 1:53.78
18. Dominique Manley, 1:57.22
22. Ebo Browne, 1:59.13
24. Sam Jones, 2:03.43
1,500 Meters (Prelims)
1. Donny Wasinger, 3:48.18 (qualified)
2. Josh Munsch,3:53.55
5. Nick Canton, 2.11m (6-11.00 ft.) ***Personal Record***
11. Nick Giancana, 2.01m (6-07.00 ft.)
1. Jordan Scott, 5.38m (17-07.75 ft.)
6. Alex Bishop, 5.13m (16-10.00 ft.)
14. Cooper Merrill, 4.83m (15-10.00 ft.)
13. Jareb Stallbaumer, 7.04m (23-01.25 ft.)
1. Mason Finley, 19.63m (64-05.00 ft.)
10. Brian Bishop, 16.07m (52-08.75 ft.)
15. Joel Krause, 15.62m (51-03.00 ft.)
4. Kansas, 37 points