Mason Finley threw 71-8.75 to win the Nike Outdoor Nationals shot put competition. Photo by Matt Shatkus, njrunners.com.
The results from Nike Outdoors Nationals on Saturday just may have exceeded expectations for the Colorado athletes.
In a contest where he faced stiff competition from Nick Vena of New Jersey and Stephen Saenz from Texas, Finley had the biggest throw of the day with a personal best heave of 71-8.75. That was good enough to beat Saenz by nearly three inches and Vena by more than a foot.
Finley, therefore, leaves Greensboro with titles in both the shot put and discus, a fitting culmination for a brilliant high school career.
Elsewhere, the Thompson Valley girls bettered their state meet mark in the 4 X 400 and were not disqualified as previously reported. Their time of 3:47.93 was good enough for 6th place overall and first in their heat. Also on the board for Thompson Valley were a solid 800 (2:17.85) for Brooke Regan and mile (5:22.13) for Karina Ernst.
Note: The current release of official meet results still shows Thompson Valley as DQd in the 4 X 400, although their appeal was upheld. To see what this issue is about, you can view the race video at http://www.runnerspace.com/eprofile.php?do=videos&event_id=153&video_id=14300#video. I do not normally link to videos on competing sites, but watching this video is important to understanding what the controversy is about and why Thompson Valley's appeal was upheld. The critical portion is the first 100 meters after the baton is passed to the second runner. Note that the competitor in yellow moves from lane 4 to lane 5 immediately after the exchange and runs in that lane (Thompson Valley's lane) until the break line. Apparently, the appearance of two runners in the same lane led officials to conclude that the Thompson Valley runner had illegally cut in one lane whereas, in fact, the yellow runner had actually moved out one lane.
Vanessa Fabrizio of Mullen ran a personal best 2:10.68 to take 9th in the 800.