Diamond Dixon Takes Third in 400 Meters at Day 3 of NCAA Outdoor Championships
June 10, 2011
DES MOINES, Iowa –
Diamond Dixon became a First Team All-American for the third time in her young career as she took third place in the 400-meters finals Thursday night at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Drake Field on the campus of Drake University. The freshman is the first female Jayhawk to earn All-American honors in the outdoor event.
The El Paso, Texas native got off to a fast start, leading for much of the first 200 meters. In the final turn she was overtaken by Texas A&M’s speedy veteran, Jessica Beard, who would go on to win the race. Down the home stretch it was a three-woman race which included Dixon. In a close finish at the line, she came in third with a time of 51.88, just .38 seconds behind the second-place finisher.
As the only freshman in the race, Dixon is the youngest First Team All-American in the event this year and is the first female freshman to earn the honors in the event in KU history. She will be back on the track in competition at the USA Junior Championships in two weeks in Eugene, Ore.
Mason Finley earned his second First Team All-American honor of the week as he took fifth place in the men’s shot put on a wet and delay-filled Friday evening. On his first attempt of the night, Finley launched a throw of 18.80 meters (61-08.25 ft.) to take an early lead over the field. As he prepared for his second attempt, the meet’s events were quickly suspended due to nearby lightning, forcing Finley to put his competition on hold.
After an hour delay, the sophomore completed his final two attempts of the preliminary flight. The second attempt was a foul, but his third toss was Finley’s best of the evening, a throw of 18.94 meters (62-01.75 ft.), putting him in fourth place as he entered the event final.
In the finals, Finley’s first throw flew to a mark of 18.53 meters (60-09.50 ft.) holding his position at fourth place. After a foul on his fourth attempt, the Salida, Colo., native hurled a throw of nearly 20 meters on his final attempt but stepped out of the oval making the throw a foul. He would end the event finishing in fifth place and earning four additional points toward the KU men’s team scoring effort. Finley also earned First Team All-American honors for the sixth time in his two-year collegiate career. He will also be in action at the USA Championships in Eugene, Ore., in two weeks.
Sophomore Andrea Geubelle took to the sand pits for the second time of the NCAA Championships in the women’s triple jump. Earlier in the week, she took 21st in the long jump and collected All-American honorable mention honors.
On Friday night, after weather delayed the start of the triple jump for over an hour, Geubelle put together three solid jumps in the preliminary flight. Even with a wet track and jumping-board, she hit a mark of 12.95 (42-06.00 ft.), which shot her up the leader board into ninth place, just making it into the event final.
In the final, as the rainy conditions began to get the better of many of the competitors Geubelle fought through it and saved her best for last. After solid marks on her fourth and fifth attempts, the University Place, Wash., native leaped to a mark of 13.06 meters (42-10.25 ft.) moving her up to eighth place, where she would eventually finish. Geubelle earned First Team All-America honors for the fourth time in her career, and earned another point towards the overall Jayhawk women’s team total.
With only one day remaining in competition at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, the KU men and women will still have three opportunities to put points on the board. Starting the day for the Jayhawks on Saturday will be Donny Wasinger in the 1,500 meters finals. The junior will take to the track at 12:30 p.m., in an attempt to become the first KU male to earn First Team All-America honors in the event since 2006. Following Wasinger in the 3,000-meter Steeplechase will be fellow junior Rebeka Stowe. The Olathe Northwest grad will take to the track at 12:54 p.m. Finishing out the meet for the Jayhawks will be the women’s 4×400-meter relay team of Kendra Bradley, Denesha Morris, Diamond Dixon and Shayla Wilson. The quartet, who broke the school record in the event on Wednesday in the semifinals, will hit the track at 1:40 p.m.
For live results and updates, log on to kuathletics.com or follow on twitter at KUGameday.
June 10, 2011
400 Meters (Finals)
3. Diamond Dixon, 51.88
8. Andrea Geubelle, 13.06m (42-10.25 ft.)
5. Mason Finley, 18.94m (62-01.75 ft.)
Kansas Track and Field Quotes
2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships
June 10, 2011
Freshman Diamond Dixon (400 meters)
On her race:
“My plan was to get out fast and if anyone caught me I wanted to react fast and move with them. I kind of freaked myself out when Jessica (Beard) got in front of me and didn’t react the way I was supposed to do, but in the end I still had a good result so I am pleased.”
On the speed of the race:
“I kind of expected it. I wanted to run fast and I knew other people did too. I went out the first 200 meters pretty fast and I didn’t really feel it like I thought I would. Overall, it was a very fast race for the entire field.”
On her freshman season overall and where she goes moving forward:
“I just want to move forward. I want to lower my time. I want to make a USA team and eventually go pro after finishing school.”
On her future:
“I really do have my sights set on some records. I didn’t think I would run this fast my first year, so I am really proud of myself. I still have a lot to improve on so I am looking forward to the future.”
Sophomore Andrea Geubelle (Triple Jump)
On her performance:
“It feels really good to walk out of here with an All-America award. I was ninth going into finals and I did anything I could to get on the podium. I expected to do a little bit better, but it has been a rough season. I have a lot to improve on so it is nice to know there are some steps I can take this summer and next fall to put me in a position to have a good year next year.”
On her mental approach on her final jump:
“All that was going through my head was ‘jump far.’ I just wanted to do whatever it would take to get farther. Coach Pate kept telling me to drive my knee because I never do. I did on that jump and it helped me get out and get a better mark.”
On her consistency and mental toughness:
“I hate to lose. I get really upset when I lose. If I don’t achieve what I came to do, I know it will sit heavy on me and I will not feel good. After that long jump performance (Wednesday), all that was going through my head was ‘get on that podium, do whatever you can to make sure you don’t back down early on and keep pushing.’ Coach Pate says you can’t teach an athlete how to compete. He says you can’t teach someone to be mentally strong. He always says it is up to the athlete themselves to have that type of mentality. I think it has paid off for me that I don’t want to lose. I will come back next year and hopefully do a lot better. I want to keep improving throughout my college career.”