Saturday was supposed to be a quiet day off for former Missouri Tiger Christian Cantwell before heading to the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships next weekend.
It was anything but.
Cantwell, competing for Nike, had a record-breaking throw of 72 feet, 1/4 inch in the men’s shot put at the Missouri All-Comers Meet in the Hearnes Center Fieldhouse. It was the longest indoor throw in the world since 2000 and the 12th longest indoor throw.
No American has thrown farther since world record holder Randy Barnes threw 72-7 in 1989. The throw was a personal best for Cantwell and set a Hearnes Center Fieldhouse record for the third time this season.
Cantwell was not sure he wanted to throw Saturday, and if he did, he would take it easy.
“When I woke up this morning, I told myself that I would quit if I hit 21 meters (68-10 3/4),” he said. “I went past that on the first throw and thought that maybe this could be a special day. I kept going and look what happened.”
Cantwell had improved his world-leading mark on his second throw with a toss of slightly more than 70 feet. The record-breaking throw came on his next attempt. He tried one more time to improve his mark, but fouled.
After that throw he waved to the crowd to thank it for all its support and took a seat for the rest of the competition, bypassing his fifth attempt.
Other throwers had big days as well. Missouri’s Conrad Woolsey, a junior shot putter, gave himself a present one day after his 23rd birthday. He finished second with a 62-1 throw, a personal best. The throw improves upon his provisional mark for qualifying for the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Despite the big throw, Woolsey was not satisfied.
“My real goal was to throw 19 meters (62-4) because there’s another guy in our conference that I wanted to pass up, but I guess I threw pretty well,” he said.
Holly Scherder, a Missouri junior weight thrower, had a solid performance as well. Her throw of 60-1 3/4 continued her streak of consistency and earned her the win. She fell 3 1/2 inches short of her throw in the Tiger Classic three weeks ago. That throw was the first Missouri women’s weight throw of 60 feet or more.
Scherder was pleased, but expected more.
“I was kind of hoping for a provisional throw today, but hey, I’ll take a 60-foot throw,” she said.
Chris Horn made sure the throwers would not outdo him. He won the men’s long jump with a personal-best of 23-6 1/4. It was Horn’s third personal best in his previous three home meets.
Missouri freshman Greg Bracey also earned a personal best, winning the 200 in 22.24.
Missouri All-Americans Jennifer Bennett (women’s pole vault) and Jesse Sims (men’s high jump) won as well.
Sims cleared 6-11 1/2 for the second consecutive week, one-fourth of an inch below the jump that won him All-American status last year.
Bennett vaulted 12-6 to get her second victory in a row. Kirsten Hansen was one of the few Missouri distance runners who competed. She won the women’s 800 in 2:16.63.
The majority of the distance runners chose to take the meet off to rest for the Big 12 Conference Indoor Championships next weekend in Lincoln, Neb.