Eugene, Ore. Mason Finley, an eight-time All-American while at Kansas from 2010-12, won the discus championship Friday afternoon at the U.S. Olympic Trials at Hayward Field. The victory marked Finley’s first senior discus title and earned him a bid to the Rio Olympics Games. Finley’s qualification made him the third former KU track and field athlete to punch their ticket to the 2016 Games.
“It was really hard to grasp the discus with the weather,” he said. “I threw much better in qualifying yesterday, but I think I threw pretty well today considering. I definitely wanted to get a good throw in one of the first two rounds.”
Finley, who has enjoyed a breakout year in the discus, moved to second among American discus throwers this year after a life-time best toss of 66.72 meters (218’11”) in the qualifying rounds Thursday.
That mark gave Finley noticeable momentum heading into the final Friday as, on just his second throw of the day, he posted the eventual winning mark with an attempt that measured 63.42 meters (208’1”).
“It’s a huge relief,” Finley said, “but that throw isn’t going to do very well in Rio. We’ve got to turn on the afterburners.”