Justin Finney, Tiffin University’s newest addition

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Justin Finney, Tiffin University’s newest addition

Justin Finney featured in the Collinwood invitation race captured by Scott Mcoll.

Justin Finney featured in the Collinwood invitation race captured by Scott Mcoll.

Justin Finney featured in the Collinwood invitation race captured by Scott Mcoll.

Justin Finney featured in the Collinwood invitation race captured by Scott Mcoll.

Ari Malden, Contributing Writer

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For many Solon High School (SHS) senior athletes, playing sports in college is a hot topic senior year. The transition from high school to college is hard enough, but when it comes to sports, some athletes can say it’s the easiest part of the whole transition like senior athlete Justin Finney. Finney will be attending Tiffin University this fall as a new member of their track team.

Finney’s passion and enthusiasm for running has been a trait he’s had since early on. He joined the track team during his seventh grade year and has been dedicated ever since. Track being such an important aspect of Finney’s life, he was determined to find the right university to accommodate his love for the sport.

“That’s one of the main reasons I’m going to Tiffin… to compete at the collegiate level,” Finney said. “Hopefully my first year goes out pretty smoothly, I’ll just take it from there.”

Finney found his passion and enthusiasm for running early on. Finney’s best friend and teammate Ricardo Roberts believes Finney’s work ethic is key to his success.

“Justin has grown as a runner by increasing his speed, he’s working harder everyday,” Roberts said. “He doesn’t give up and he’s very passionate about what he does and he takes that into his races.”

One person that has been greatly affected by Finney’s positive attitude in particular is senior athlete, Seanita (Nita) Davis. Davis believes that without Finney, and other runners like him, her track career would not be the same.

“Justin motivates me to be the better version of myself,” Davis said. “He pushes me to succeed not only on the track but in school also.”

Dan Iwan, Finney’s coach of four years, says whether it’s on the track or supporting the team, his effort is nothing less than inspiring.

“Justin is one of our best athletes,” Iwan said. “He really sets a great example for younger runners.”

When thinking about his time on the SHS track team, Finney believes that the team has also shaped him into the person he is today.

“[Track has] showed me how to keep my composure under stressful situations…” Finney said. “It showed me how to be a better leader more so this year and last year… It showed me that you can’t win [them] all.”

Although track is a major part of Finney’s life he also has other goals for after high school.  Finney plans on majoring in exercise science with a minor in music at Tiffin. He is currently enrolled in the Excel Technology program at Brush High School for Sports Medicine. Regrading the minor degree in music, he hopes to possibly become a music producer after he graduates college.

While he’s excited for his college season, Finney is also very focused on ending his senior season with something he hopes everyone will be sure to remember. This upcoming spring season, Finney plans to break SHS’s record in the 110 hurdles with a time of 13.7 seconds set in 2004.

“He has always been very committed to be the best runner possible,” Iwan said. “That kind of dedication has been consistent [throughout his four years].”

Regardless of whether he breaks the record, Finney believes that being on the SHS track has not only given him the opportunity to do what he loves but it also made him into who he is today,

“[Track] has definitely made me a better man, it showed me what it takes to be a leader and how I should improve as a person and as a athlete…it really made me into who I am today “ Finney said.