Eugene, Ore. In less than ideal weather conditions, the Kansas University track and field team got off to a solid start on the first day of the NCAA Outdoor Championships West Preliminary on Thursday afternoon at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus. Four Jayhawk athletes punched their ticket to the NCAA Championships, which will be held June 8-11 at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
Despite competing in temperatures in the mid-50s and a steady rain, KU sophomore thrower Mason Finley continued his dominance as he captured the shot put title with his throw of 19.70 meters (64-07.75 feet).
“It was pretty good performance,” Finley said. “I haven’t thrown (19.)70 (meters) in a while, so it was pretty nice I did that especially with it being in the rain. I didn’t throw my last three because I got a good mark out, and I didn’t want to pull my groin or do anything dumb.”
Kansas sophomore thrower Heather Bergmann also advances, finishing fifth in the javelin with her mark of 49.94 meters (163-10 feet) in the opening event of the meet.
KU sophomore long jumper Andrea Geubelle’s eighth-place finish qualifies her for the NCAA meet. Her jump was 6.18 meters (20-03.50 feet).
Jayhawk freshman Johann Swanepoel was the fourth Kansas athlete to make it to Des Moines as he took home a ninth-place finish in the men’s javelin with a throw of 69.36 meters (227-06 feet).
Senior pole vaulter Jordan Scott was a victim of the rainy weather conditions and did not advance after finishing in a tie for 14th place. Scott, the defending NCAA champion in the pole vault, passed on the first two heights before entering with the bar at 5.15 meters (16-10.75 feet). Scott missed on his first two attempts at the height before clearing the bar on his third attempt.
After multiple rain delays in the event over the next hour, Scott was unable to clear the bar at 5.20 meters, resulting in the end of his KU career. In addition to winning an NCAA title, Scott also was a seven-time Big 12 champion in the event and earned All-America honors on four occasions.