Finley’s bronze highlights Jayhawk action at World Championships
Mason Finley shows off his bronze medal.LONDON – Three former Kansas track & field standouts earned the right to compete at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London, where thrower Mason Finley highlighted the action with a bronze medal in the discus, giving the United States their first medal in the event since 1999.
Finley snared third place in the discus by throwing 64.76 meters (212-5) in the qualification round to get into the final, making him just one of four throwers in Group A and one of six total athletes to meet the automatic qualification mark of 64.60 meters (211-7).
In the finals, Finley got off to a hot start with a 67.07-meter (220-0) throw, before notching a personal-best mark of 68.03 meters (223-2) on his second attempt to earn the third-place finish.
Finley’s medal ended the 18-year drought for USA and marks just the third medal ever won in the event at the World Championships for the country.
Going against Finley in the Group A qualification round was fellow Jayhawk Mitch Cooper, who was competing for his home country, Australia. Cooper scratched on his first throw, but came back with throws of 56.20 meters (184-4) and 57.26 meters (187-10). Unfortunately, Cooper’s mark wasn’t good enough to move on to the finals, ending his World Championships debut.
Michael Stigler, 2015 NCAA National Champion in the 400-meter hurdles, had an unfortunate end to his World Championships run, as he was disqualified for a technical error on the seventh hurdle in his signature event. Stigler looked to be heading on to the next round of qualifying after finishing second in his heat with an auto-qualifying time of 49.49 seconds, but received the disqualification news shortly after his run.
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