KU's Dixon and Finley Arrive in China for World University Games

Aug. 14, 2011

SHENZHEN, China – Kansas track and field’s Diamond Dixon and Mason Finley arrived in southwest China on Saturday night with the rest of Team USA for the 2011 World University Games. The two Jayhawks will compete for the U.S. later this week in the meet that draws hundreds of the top college-age athletes from around the world. Finley is slated to compete in both the shot put and the discus, while Dixon will compete in the 400-meter dash.

081411aaa_438_4754817.jpegDixon, who is scheduled to run in the 400 meters preliminary heat on Monday at 8 p.m., (Central) is coming of an impressive freshman campaign for the Jayhawks. The 2011 indoor and outdoor season saw her break the school record in both the indoor and outdoor 400 meters, run to a Big 12 outdoor title in the 400 meters, earn All-American honors in the indoor and outdoor 400 meters and 4X400-meter relay and saw her named the Midwest Female Track Athlete of the Year.

For a large portion of the outdoor season, the El Paso, Texas native held the fastest 400-meter time in the NCAA at 51.55, set at the Big 12 Championships. She ran to a third-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and would go on to win the 400 meters at the USA Junior Championships in late June. Dixon has already competed for Team USA once this summer when she helped her 4X400-meter relay team earn Gold at the Pan Am Junior Games in July. She also ran to a runner-up finish in the 400 meters at that same meet.

Finley also had a season to remember in 2011. He won his second-consecutive Big 12 outdoor title in the shot put and garnered All-American honors in the indoor and outdoor shot put as well as the discus. He broke the school record in the indoor shot put at 20.71 meters (67-11.50 ft.), which was the top mark in the NCAA for the entire indoor season. He was also named Big 12 Field Athlete of the Week (April 23) after his first place performances in the shot put and discus at the Kansas Relays. In addition to his on-the-field accolades, the Salida, Colo., native earned spots on the Academic All-Big 12 First Team as well as the USTFCCCA All-Academic team for his performance in the classroom during the 2011 spring semester.

081411aaa_438_4736207.jpegFinley is slotted to begin his week in the shot put qualification rounds on Monday at 9 p.m., (Central) and will look to move on to the event final later that day, which takes place at 6:45 a.m., (Central) Tuesday morning. He will then switch his focus to the discus later in the week with the qualification rounds on Thursday at 9:45 p.m. (Central). If Finley were to advance, he would throw in the discus final on Sunday morning at 5:40 a.m. (Central).

The World University Games are organized by the International University Sports Federation and held every other year. Eligible athletes for the USA team must be currently enrolled in a college or university and have remaining NCAA athletic eligibility.

During their week-long trip to Shenzhen, China for the World University Games, Finley and Dixon will write daily blogs on experiences from their trip. Impressions of the culture, what life is like in China, and what they are doing in preparation for their competitions will all be included in their daily entries. Stay connected to kuathletics.com for daily blog updates as well as results from their performances.