Dixon Sprints To 400 Meter Title To Lead Jayhawks At 2011 Big 12 Outdoor Championships
May 15, 2011
Complete Release in PDF Format
Rebeka Stowe & Cori Christensen
NORMAN, Okla. –
Kansas freshman sprinter Diamond Dixon turned in a performance as bright as her name as the El Paso, Texas native came from behind in the final 100 meters to claim the 400 meter title in dramatic fashion here at the 2011 Big 12 Outdoor Championships Sunday.
Behind Dixon’s performance the KU women finished seventh with 51.5 points, while sophomore thrower Mason Finley led the Jayhawk men to a sixth (64 points) place finish by winning the shot put and finishing as runner up in the discus at the John Jacobs Track Complex on the campus of the University of Oklahoma.
“Coming into the meet I thought we could be in the middle of the pack at the conference meet and it happened with both the men and the women,” said head coach Stanley Redwine. “It really happened how we had mapped it out. We got three winners; Jordan (Scott), Mason (Finley), and Diamond (Dixon). They had great performances and we had a lot of other people step up. The Big 12 a very tough conference. You can be top 25 in the country and still finish sixth in your conference so that just shows you the level of competition we had here this weekend.”
Dixon had a career race in the 400 meters to win the Big 12 title in the event. The rookie runner ran an incredible 51.55 to smash her previous school record of 52.96. Dixon trailed Texas A&M’s All-American Jessica Beard, a three-time Big 12 Champion in the event, with 100 meters remaining but made an incredible final push down the home stretch to take home KU’s first individual conference title in the event. Dixon was all smiles following the race.
“It feels pretty amazing,” said Dixon, who earned indoor All-America honors in the 400 meters. “I’m pretty speechless, but I’m also very excited and proud of myself.”
Dixon’s time is now the best in the NCAA this year and will make her one of the favorites in the event as she heads to the NCAA West Regional meet in Eugene, Ore, May 26-28. Dixon’s time of 51.55 ties Beard for the 11th fastest time in the event in the world in 2011 and ranks as the fastest time in the world among junior level athletes.
“Actually, I’m really surprised (about the time),” said Dixon. “I wasn’t expecting it to be a 51, I was expecting at least a 52 low. But I’m excited. I guess I proved myself wrong.”
In addition to her individual 400 title, Dixon anchored the Jayhawk women’s 4×400-meter relay team that finished in fifth place with a season’s best time of 3:36.58. Junior Shayla Wilson, senior Kendra Bradley, sophomore Taylor Washington and Dixon joined forces to clock in with the third best time in school history.
Finley narrowly missed his career-best mark in the discus throw here Sunday as he took home the second place trophy. Finley scored eight more points for KU with his runner up finish, giving him 18 points at the three-day meet.
Finley fouled on his first attempt in the preliminary round, but recorded his top mark of the day with his second throw as he tossed the discus 60.37 (198-01 ft.). Finley immediately ascended into second place with that mark, a position he would never relinquish.
The Salida, Colo., native, recorded a mark of 56.20 meters on his third and final attempt in prelims, but had already safely advanced into the finals round. Once in the finals, Finley turned in a throw of 55.78 meters on his fourth throw and then recorded a foul on his fifth attempt. On his sixth and final throw of the meet, Finley unleashed another solid mark with toss of 59.29 meters, however it was not enough to move into first place as Texas Tech sophomore Julian Wruck set a new Big 12 meet record with his mark of 63.42 meters (208-01 ft.) for the title.
“I had a really good warm up,” said Finley, who was not very pleased with his performance Sunday. “But it did not translate for me into the competition. I have been practicing well, but I just didn’t have the best performance today. I have been trying to perform well in both the shot put and discus. Sometimes your form just doesn’t cross over and today I really struggled with my form. It seemed like every throw there was something really big that was wrong so I need to go back to practice and get it right.”
Finley was not the only Jayhawk to perform well in the discus as senior Brian Bishop unleashed a personal best throw of 58.24 meters (191-01 ft.) to capture a fourth place finish and five more points for Kansas.
Bishop struggled out of the gate, but was able to move into the finals after he recorded a mark of 56.43 on his third and final preliminary throw. He entered the finals in the sixth place position, but quickly moved up after recording his top mark on his fourth throw of the day. Bishop’s mark originally moved him into third place, but it would only last for one throw as he was edged for the bronze by sophomore Tyler Hitchler of Nebraska who recorded a mark of 58.30 meters.
“At first I really struggled,” said Bishop. “I hit a decent throw on my third round throw to get me into finals. I told my coach (Andy Kokhanovsky) that it was `go’ time. I was ready to let loose. I unloaded on my first throw in the finals. I was a little tight on the last two, but it was a good series for me overall.”
Finley and Bishop combined to give the Jayhawks 13 team points, while the KU men’s throwers combined for 32 points at the meet.
“Coach Redwine expects a lot of out of us,” said Bishop. “We perform. We show up and do what we are supposed to do and it feels great to be able to be counted on by our teammates and coaches.”
Jayhawk junior Rebeka Stowe had a busy but successful outing for the Jayhawks, collecting nine points for the women’s team. To start the day off she took second in the 3,000-meter Steeplechase in another thrilling come from behind finish in the final 200 meters. Stowe would earn eight points in the event.
“I was behind,” said Stowe. “I was in third (place) and I just wanted to make up as much ground as I could. Coming over the last barrier she (Kansas State’s Martina Tresch) had some trouble getting over it, so I thought `I have to go now, I have to take advantage of it.’ It actually reminded me exactly of last year, because it happened the same way, with the same person, in the exact same race. I just wanted to stay aggressive and do the best I could.”
Thirty minutes later Stowe would compete in the 1,500 meters. In Saturday’s preliminary race Stowe clocked in with a personal best time of 4:25.01. In Sunday’s final Stowe and teammate Cori Christensen would combine to earn three points to the team total with Christensen placing seventh on a time of 4:30.54 and Stowe holding on for eighth place, crossing the finish line in 4:31.25.
“It was kind of fun,” said Stowe, of pulling off back-to-back races. “Everybody thought I was a little nuts for doing it, but I enjoyed doing it because it kind of took pressure off of one event and I wanted to help the team out.”
Kansas junior Donny Wasinger entered Sunday’s final of the 1,500 meters ranked seventh in the Big 12. In Saturday’s preliminaries, Wasinger crossed the finish line at 3:48.18 to lead the field. In the final Sunday, Wasinger led for the first 1,200 meters of the race before falling to third in the final lap. Third is where he would finish as he crossed the finish line in 3:45.55, just .7 seconds behind his personal best time.
Andrea Geubelle entered the day looking to continue the solid start to her Big 12 Championships. On Saturday she earned six points for the women’s team en route to a third place finish in the long jump. With a personal best long jump mark, the sophomore was looking to have an even better finish in Sunday’s triple jump.
Geubelle started out strong, hitting a season’s best mark of 13.20 meters (43-03.75 ft.) on her first jump of the preliminary round, quickly lifting her to first-place overall. Geubelle fouled on her next four attempts before jumping 12.86 meters on her final jump in the finals. Her first jump would be her best and was good enough for a fifth place finish in the event, earning four more points to the women’s team total.
Kansas senior Jaci Perryman and freshman Demi Payne combined to score six points in the pole vault as Perryman finished in fourth place and Payne took home eighth place. Perryman recorded a new career-best mark as she cleared the bar at 4.13 meters (13-06.50 ft.) on her second attempt. Payne narrowly missed clearing 4.13 meters, and finished in a tie for eighth place with her height of 3.98 meters (13-00.75 ft.).
“Today I was really focused on getting down to business,” said Perryman. “I have been training hard all year and I was ready. I wanted to get a big mark and I finished with a PR so I feel good about it. It means a lot to me to be able to contribute to the team. It is not just about me personally, but representing Kansas in a good way. We all want to do our part and it is great to know I contributed to our team performance.”
In the women’s 4×100-meter relay, the Kansas women earned three points to their total with a sixth place finish in the event. Geubelle, Dixon, Bradley and Francine Simpson passed the baton around in 45.01, their third fastest time of the season.
In the men’s 3,000-meter Steeplechase, Austin Bussing collected three points toward the Jayhawks’ team score with a sixth-place finish. The sophomore entered the race ranked sixth in the Big 12 in the event and didn’t disappoint. He crossed the finish line in 9:07.43, just two seconds off his personal best.
“That has really been my goal the whole season; to score at this conference meet,” Bussing said following the race. “I finished ninth last year at conference, so I was just one place out of scoring. It feels great to score for the team for the first time.”
Jayhawk sophomore Kyle Clemons clocked in at a season’s best time of 46.32 on his way to a sixth-place finish in the men’s 400 meters. Clemons’ finish provided three points for the Kansas cause.
Kansas junior Darryl Trotter had a strong showing in the men’s triple jump as he finished seventh with his mark of 15.20 meters (49-10.50 ft.). Trotter, who scored two points for KU, was pleased with the growth he has shown in a short time competing in track and field.
“I have only been competing in track and field for five years now,” said Trotter, a Las Vegas, native. “I feel like I have come a long way in a short amount of time. I still have a long way to go. I know I have a lot more in me, but to be someone our team could count on for points at the Big 12 meet was a great feeling.”
Jayhawk freshman Jessica Maroszek scored a point for KU in the women’s discus throw as she finished in eighth place with her toss of 51.05 meters (167-06 ft.).
Big 12 Championships
1. Diamond Dixon, 51.55 ***Personal Record*** ***School Record***
9. Kendra Bradley, 54.79 ***Personal Record***
7. Cori Christensen, 4:30.54
8. Rebeka Stowe, 4:31.25
15. Kara Windisch, 16:58.60 ***Personal Record***
18. Tessa Turcotte, 17:15.00 ***Personal Record***
19. Amanda Miller, 17:16.97
28. Kyra Kilwein, 18:10.74
2. Rebeka Stowe, 10:15.29
6. Kansas (Geubelle, Dixon, Bradley, Simpson), 45.01
5. Kansas (Wilson, Bradley, Washington, Dixon), 3:36.58 ***Season’s Best***
4. Jaci Perryman, 4.13m (13-06.50 ft.) ***Personal Record***
t-8. Demi Payne, 3.98m (13-00.75 ft.)
10. Julia Cummings, 3.83m (12-06.75 ft.)
15. Tara Turnbull, 3.68m (12-00.75 ft.)
16. Abby Jones, 3.53m (11-07.00 ft.)
5. Andrea Geubelle, 13.20m (43-03.75 ft.)
8. Jessica Maroszek, 51.05m (167-06 ft.)
1. Texas A&M, 146
2. Nebraska, 119
3. Oklahoma, 117
4. Texas, 90.50
5. Baylor, 77
6. Iowa State, 60
7. Kansas, 51.50
8. Kansas State, 48
8. Texas Tech, 48
10. Colorado, 38
11. Oklahoma State, 12
12. Missouri, 12
6. Kyle Clemons, 46.32
3. Donny Wasinger, 3:45.55
6. Austin Bussing, 9:07.43
9. Kansas (Fink, Clemons, Manley, Toussaint), 3:11.40 ***Season’s Best***
7. Darryl Trotter, 15.20m (49-10.50 ft.)
12. Jareb Stallbaumer, 14.61m (47-11.25 ft.)
2. Mason Finley, 60.37m (198-01 ft.)
4. Brian Bishop, 58.24m (191-01 ft.) ***Personal Record***
20. Joel Krause, 46.82m (153-07 ft.)
1. Texas A&M, 175
2. Texas, 103.50
3. Oklahoma, 90
4. Nebraska, 84.50
5. Texas Tech, 74
6. Kansas, 64
7. Baylor, 57.50
8. Colorado, 52
9. Missouri, 35
10. Iowa State, 34
11. Kansas State, 33
12. Oklahoma State, 15.50