Cantwell, Hoffa & Taylor to aquare off in the Visa Men's Shot Put at the 2010 USA indoor Championships

Posted in: News & Notes
By Tom Serber
Feb 24, 2010 - 6:15:26 AM

Cantwell, Hoffa & Taylor to square off in the Visa men's shot put at 2010 USA Indoor Championships

INDIANAPOLIS - Three of the top seven shot putters in the world will headline the men's field events when Christian Cantwell, Reese Hoffa and Dan Taylor battle each other at the 2010 USA Indoor Track & Field Championships, February 27-28 at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, N.M.

The third and final event of the USA Track & Field 2010 Indoor Visa Championship Series, the USA Indoor Championships will be televised February 28, from 7 - 9 p.m. Eastern Time on ESPN2. In addition to competing for a total prize purse of $117,000, U.S. athletes will have the opportunity to qualify for Team USA roster spots for the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships, March 12-14, in Doha, Qatar.

The Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau, along with the New Mexico Sports Authority, the University of New Mexico and USATF New Mexico, are the official hosts for the championships, which will also be held in Albuquerque in 2011 and 2010.

Visa Men's Shot Put

2009 World Outdoor champion and 2008 Olympic Games silver medalist Christian Cantwell grabbed the lead in the men's Visa Championship Series competition with his astounding performance in the Visa men's shot put at the January 29 Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Cantwell won the competition by more than a meter in a field that featured four athletes with 15 World and Olympic medals. With four throws over 21.36 meters/70 feet 1 inch, Cantwell had a best effort of 21.95m/72-0.25, which catapulted him into the men's Visa Championship Series lead with 1,238 points. Cantwell's winning toss in New York is the best in the world this year and he currently owns four of the top six throws thus far in 2010. A two-time World Indoor champion (2004 & 2008), Cantwell, who is ranked as the world's #1 shot putter by Track & Field New (T&FN), will be looking to win his fourth U.S. Indoor title to add to his victories from 2004, 2007 and 2008.

2007 World Outdoor champion Reese Hoffa, who Cantwell will face in Albuquerque, took second at this year's Millrose Games with a best throw of 20.59m/67-6.75. The 2006 World and USA Indoor shot put champion, Hoffa owns two U.S. Outdoor titles (2007, 2008) and began the 2010 season ranked #3 in the world by T&FN.

U.S. World Outdoor Championship team member Dan Taylor will enter the competition in Albuquerque as the defending USA Indoor champion. Taylor, who won the 2004 NCAA Indoor shot put title while at Ohio State, finished second at the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships after winning earlier that year at the Drake Relays. Taylor ended the 2009 campaign ranked #7 in the world, which is the highest end of the year global ranking of his career.

Arizona State University's 2009 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor champion Ryan Whiting, who won the U.S. Junior shot put title and Pan American Junior crown in 2005, will be in the hunt after posting the fourth best throw in the world this year of 21.52m/70-7.25 inches from his February 13 win in Fayetteville, Ark.  With an indoor personal best of 21.73m/71-3.50 from 2008, Whiting has proven he is capable of winning his first USA Indoor title.

Others to keep an eye on include2009 USA Outdoor Championships fifth-place finisher Sheldon Battle, 2007 NCAA Outdoor champion Noah Bryant and Cory Martin, who finished fourth at last year's USA Indoor Championships.

Two Olympic champs featured in Gill Men's Pole Vault

Tim Mack will be looking to win his second U.S. Indoor title Saturday night in the Gill Men's Pole Vault. The 2002 USA Indoor champion, Mack won the gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics and ended that season ranked #1 in the world.

2000 Olympic gold medalist and 2005 World Outdoor Championships bronze medalist Nick Hysong will also compete in Albuquerque, where he'll be looking to earn his second USA Indoor title after winning his first back in 1995 with a clearance of 5.85 meters/19 feet 2.25 inches. 

Aside from Mack and Hysong, the only other entrant in the field that owns a USA Indoor crown is Derek Miles (2003), who finished fourth at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Others to watch include 2009 USA Outdoor Championships runner-up Jeremy Scott, who ended that year ranked #2 in the U.S., and Darren Niedermeyer, who finished third at the 2009 USA Indoor Championships and entered the 2010 season ranked #8 in the U.S.