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Archive for Friday, July 10, 2009

Discus record-holder picks Kansas

July 10, 2009

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Mason Finley, a high school national record-holder in the discus, will attend Kansas University this fall.

Finley, a native of Salida, Colo., agreed to a letter of intent with UCLA but later decided to go elsewhere after the Bruins fired track coach Art Venegas.

Though he didn’t sign with KU originally, Finley said he left impressed with the school after an official visit to Lawrence.

“I really liked the throwers coach (Andy Kokhanovsky) a lot. I think he’s one of the best discus coaches around,” Finley said. “I really liked the campus, too.”

On April 25, Finley broke the national high school discus record with a throw of 236 feet, 6 inches. The previous mark was set by Niklas Arrhenius in 2001 (234 feet, 3 inches).

Finley also has a personal-best of 71 feet, 8.75 inches in the shot put.

“I just want to try to break all the freshman records my first year (with the Jayhawks),” Finley said. “Try to get to nationals and just do my best.”

Finley will be near family at KU, as he has aunts, uncles and grandparents in the Kansas City area.

Finley’s father, Jared, owns the ninth-best discus throw in Kansas school-boy annals — a 198-7 toss when he was a senior at Kansas City Wyandotte in 1977.

Mason said he was looking forward to arriving at KU in mid-August.

“You go from high school ... I was doing all the sports,” Finley said. “Now I can focus on one.”

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