Jayhawks Successful On Day One of 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships

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June 8, 2011




Mason Finley added to his already tremendous sophomore season by taking home a third-place finish in the men’s discus throw Wednesday night at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Drake Stadium on the campus of Drake University. By once again finishing among the top eight, Finley earned First Team All-America honors for the fourth time in his career.

Finley got started quickly by hitting a mark of 60.11 meters (197-02 ft.) on his first attempt of the preliminary flight. After two fouls, the first mark would carry him to the final round of throws in third place. On his first attempt in the finals, the Salida, Colo., native launched a throw of 60.16 meters (197-04 ft.) to help solidify his stance at third, which is where he would eventually finish. In the end, Finley would contribute an additional six points to the men’s team total, closing out the day with 10. Earlier in the day, a pair of freshmen throwers kicked off the week in fine form for the Jayhawks. Johann Swanepoel and Jessica Maroszek both added points to their overall team scores as Swanepoel took fifth in the men’s javelin throw, while Marozek finished eighth in the women’s discus throw.Entering the day, Swanepoel was 14th among his competitors after a ninth-place finish at the West Preliminary Meet two weeks ago in Eugene, Ore. On Wednesday, the Shawnee Mission South (Kan.) grad launched a throw of 72.24 meters (237-00 ft.) on his first attempt of the day to vault himself up the leader board to an impressive fourth place. The mark would be enough to extend his day and push him into the final round of throws. However, Swanepoel chose to pass on his final three attempts of the competition. Only one competitor would overtake him after that, earning him a fifth-place finish in the event and giving the Jayhawk men four points towards the team total. The finish also gave Swanepoel First Team All-American distinction, making him the 16th All-American javelin thrower in school history. Fellow freshman Jessica Maroszek also earned First Team All-American honors in her NCAA Championships debut, as she took eighth in the women’s discus throw. Like Swanepoel, Maroszek notched a solid mark on her first attempt in the preliminary flight. Her throw of 53.03 meters (173-11 ft.) quickly shot her up the leader board and would easily advance her to finals, placing her in fifth as she entered her final round of throws. In the finals, Maroszek was unable to score a fair mark, fouling on her last three attempts. However, her first mark would still be enough to keep her in the top eight. Not only did the finish yield her First Team All-America honors, but also earned one point towards the overall women’s team total. Freshman Diamond Dixon ran the second-fastest time of her career Wednesday night in the 400 meters semifinals to advance to the finals, which will take place on Friday night. Dixon was an automatic qualifier after she won her heat and also ran the second-fastest time of all competitors, crossing the finish line in 51.64. Dixon will be the only freshman in the field of eight has she takes to the track for the 400 meters final at 7:55 p.m., Friday. She will try to make school history as she attempts to be the first female outdoor national champion to don a Kansas uniform. On the men’s side of the 400 meters, sophomore Kyle Clemons ran his fastest time of the season, crossing the finish line in 46.11, the sixth-fastest mark in school history. Clemons finished sixth in his heat but was unable to advance to the final round. After qualifying for the NCAA Championships for two consecutive years now, the 2012 season is sure to be a great one for the Rowlett, Texas native. In more field action, Andrea Geubelle earned All-American honorable mention honors inthe women’s long jump. She recorded her best mark of 5.99 meters (19-8.00 ft.) on her second attempt. The jump was not enough to get her to finals though, ending her night in 21st place.She will have another chance to earn points toward the overall team total as she heads back to the sand pits for the women’s triple jump on Friday afternoon. More action is in store on Thursday at Drake Stadium. Sophomore Heather Bergmann will be in action in the women’s javelin throw, while juniors Donny Wasinger and Rebeka Stowe will take to the track for the 1,500 meters semifinals and the 3,000-meter Steeplechase semifinals, respectively. The women’s 4X400-meter relay team will also look to advance as it hits the track for the semifinal round. KU’s day will start with Bergmann in the javelin at 3:05 p.m., and will end with the 4X400-meter relay semifinals at 8 p.m. For live updates and results, log on to kuathletics.com.NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field ChampionshipsDrake Stadium  Des Moines, Iowa  June 8-11, 2011Day 1 Kansas Agate – Wednesday, June 8, 2011WOMEN’S RESULTS400 Meters (Semifinals) 2. Diamond Dixon, 51.64 (Qualified for finals)Long Jump21. Andrea Geubelle, 5.99m (19-8.00 ft.)Discus Throw8. Jessica Maroszek, 53.03m (173-11 ft.) MEN’S RESULTS400 Meters (Semifinals)16. Kyle Clemons, 46.11Javelin Throw5. Johann Swanepoel, 72.24m (237-0 ft.) Discus3. Mason Finley, 60.16m (197-4 ft.)

Kansas Athlete Quotes

2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships

June 8, 2011

Freshman Johann Swanepoel:

On his performance:

“I think I did pretty well. I got one throw out there. It was good enough to put me in fifth place. I am pretty happy with that.”

On getting a good mark on his first throw:

“I knew some other competitors were going to throw good, but it did give me a little relaxation to start off so well. My second and third throws I slipped on the runway and they got away from me.”

On earning All-America honors:

“It means a lot to me. It shows I can compete at a high level. If I keep practicing I think I can eventually place in the top three.”

Freshman Jessica Maroszek:

On earning All-America honors for the first time:

“It means a lot. With the throw I had in prelims I wasn’t sure if I would make finals, but I made it and then finished in the top eight. I am very excited.

On starting off the competition with her best throw:

“My first throw was my best throw. I went off the momentum from my warm up, which was pretty good. After that there were little technical thing I was not doing right. Those held me back and didn’t allow me to throw farther.”

On earning points for the team:

“It feels good. I wanted to come here and get things done and I was able to score for the team, so I am pleased I was able to contribute.”