Only two weeks ago, Mason Finley (Buena Vista, CO) (pictured left by Alan Versaw) became the third best prep athlete of all-time in the discus, launching the device 222-01. Besides becoming the third best thrower ever in the event, Finley also broke the national junior class record. That's right, this 6-08, 330 pound athlete is only a junior! We caught up with Finley after his impressive shot put and discus victories at his state meet this past weekend and asked him about his big throw, why he switched schools this past summer and much more.
King of the Mountain: Mason Finley's Throwing Big
MileSplit (MS): Congrats on the big throw you had of 222-01. Could you take us through your series and what it felt like to pop such a big throw?
Mason Finley (MF): My series was actually not by best. I started with a both throw, throwing it straight into the ground at 178', then a 180', and a 190'. After prelims, my first throw went 209', then a throw that looked farther but hit a hill and went 207'. I thought to myself, "I got to get away from this hill on the right and middle", so on my last throw I pulled it to the left and it went 220'1".
MS: Did you have any idea you could throw over 220 feet?
MF: I knew I could throw it, it just depended on when I was going to put it all together.
MS: You've been steadily improving all season long. What do you attribute to this consistent improvement in both the shot put and discus?
MF: Mainly I just keep doing the same thing every week, but the more practice I get in the further it seems to go.
MS: Where do you go from here? Do you plan on competing at Nike Outdoor Nationals or Junior Nationals?
MF: I plan on competing in the Junior Olympics this summer in hopefully the discus and shot put.
MS: Any chance you'll take a shot at throwing the international weight for the discus this summer or the 16 lb. shot put?
MF: Yes, I've been playing with the bigger disc, but I think I'll just keep playing with it.
MS: You moved from Salida to Buena Vista this year. What prompted the move? What's it been like switching teams and coaches?
MF: The move was based on the bad ethics the Salida coaches had. They wanted me to throw bad so another kid could get into state. I love the coaches at Buena Vista and my dad is the main coach who is teaching me anyways.
MS: You're dad was a fairly successful thrower. Was that what motivated you to start competing in the shot put and discus?
MF: When I was in sixth grade my dad started taking me out throwing and I thought he was so cool being a nationally ranked thrower. I wanted to be one.
MS: We've heard that they had to move the discus ring at the state meet because the area couldn't handle the length of some of your throws. Any truth to that?
MF: Yes. The vector at Dutch Clark went out to about 190 feet, so they moved it to Pueblo South.
MS: What's a typical week of training like for you?
MF: Monday through Wednesday I'll throw, but Thursday and Friday I'll take off. Saturday is usually the meet and Sunday I throw to fix any mistakes that were made during the meet.
MS: What are your long-term goals in the sport? I take it you're eyeing the national discus record of 234-03?
MF: Next year I am almost positive I'll get the national record and I'd like to get good enough to go to the Olympics.
MS: Ok, last question. You're 6-08, 330 pounds. Do you play other sports at your school? Will you only focus on track and field in college?
MF: I play football, basketball and track, but in college I'll only throw.
Quick Six (Six Quick Questions, Six Quick Responses)
MS: Favorite event, shot put or discus?
MS: Favorite athlete?
MF: Casey Malone
MS: Favorite band?
MF: Egypt Central
MS: You were born in Missouri and live in Colorado. Chiefs, Rams or Broncos?
MS: Kind of car you drive?
MF: 1985 Dodge Charger
MS: Most unique thing about yourself?
MF: I am a very mellow guy