Columbia. Mo. Kansas University freshman Mason Finley won the discus Sunday and was named one of three winners of the men’s high-point-performer award at the Big 12 Track and Field championships.
Finley, 6-foot-8 from Salida, Colo., threw a personal-best 197-5 feet (60.18 meters) on his first attempt in the finals. He also won the shot put on Saturday.
“It is really nice to set a personal best at a big meet like this,” said Finley, who helped KU’s men to an eighth-place overall finish. KU’s women placed seventh. “It is also awesome to do it in the rain. I have to think if it was dry and not raining I would have the potential to throw a lot farther.”
Three of Finley’s six throws could have won the event. His new personal-best toss, which ranks fourth in KU history, keeps him in third place in the NCAA rankings.
KU senior Brian Bishop placed third in the discus in a personal-best 186-6. He also placed third a year ago.
“We are a team on the rise right now,” said Bishop, a native of Cantrall, Ill. “With Mason and myself we have a good double-team in the discus.”
“It is awesome to score 16 points for the team in one event,” noted Finley. “If we can both finish that high it shows how technically sound we have gotten this late in the season.”
Finley shared the high-point-performer award with John Kosegi of Oklahoma State and Gerald Phiri of Texas A&M. Kosegi won the 5,000 and 10,000; Phiri set a Big 12 meet record in the 100 dash (10.13).
Lauren Bonds was KU’s other individual winner Sunday. The Hutchinson senior won the 1,500 in 4:20.02.
“The game plan was to stick close to the leaders,” said Bonds, who took the lead with 200 meters left before winning the race by 2.5 seconds. “It was a very tactical race. I ran about as fast in prelims as I did in the finals. I definitely wasn't the favorite coming in so I was really happy to pull off the win.”
Bonds also placed seventh in the 5,000 in a personal-best 16:23.87.
Sophomore Rebeka Stowe was second in the 3,000 steeplechase in a school-record 10:03.41. Her previous career-best time of 10:15.92 was at the Payton Jordan Invitational on May 1.
“I wanted to come out here and put myself in the mix,” said Stowe, a native of Olathe. “I wanted to give myself a shot to be up there in the top three instead of just being in the race to score.”
Stowe was in fourth place entering the final lap.
“We work a lot on changing gears in practice. I knew if I stayed at the same pace I wouldn’t be in a position to make a move for the finish so with about 600 meters to go I started to push. With about 300 meters to go I switched into a higher gear to see how high I could finish,” she said.
KU freshman Andrea Geubelle placed second in the triple jump in 42-51⁄4. She placed second in the long jump Saturday.
Also scoring points for the KU women: Taissa Makhamayva (fifth, 400 hurdles, 59.29); Heather Bergmann (sixth, javelin, 47.72m); Taylor Washington (seventh, 400, 54.90) and Julia Cummings (eighth, pole vault, 3.84m). The KU 4x100-meter relay team of Denesha Morris, Geubelle, Kendra Bradley and Washington finished fifth in 46.49. The 4x400-meter relay team of Morris, Shayla Wilson, Makhamayva and Washington placed fifth in 3:42.79.
Scoring for the men: Kyle Clemons (sixth, 400, 47.11; Corey Fuller (sixth, triple jump, 50-09.25); Donny Wasinger (eighth, 1,500, 3:56.81). The 4x400-relay team of senior Reggie Carter, Jarrell Rolliins, Clemons and Keron Toussaint placed sixth in 3:09.07.
KU finished the meet with a combined total of five firsts, most for the school since claiming six titles at the 2007 Outdoor.
Nebraska was the men’s overall winner with 118 points.
Texas A&M won the women’s event with 157 points.