World Leader Cantwell Heads Men's Shot Put

Christian Cantwell may not have the name recognition or the Olympic medals that John Godina and Adam Nelson possess, but it may be just a matter of time before he does.

Cantwell is the current world leader in the men's shot put, off his breakthrough performance of 73 feet, 4 inches last Saturday at the Home Depot Invitational in Carson.

Cantwell reinforced his status as the top thrower in the world with his 11th-consecutive victory in the event. The Missouri grad achieved a remarkable feat by posting six legal throws past 70 feet, ranging from 70-4 _ to his world-leading 73-4. Only one other person, world recordholder Randy Barnes, is believed to have thrown six past 70 feet in the same series.

The 6-foot-6 Cantwell 2004 indoor world and U.S. crowns. His throw of 72-0 _ indoors was his best heading into the outdoor season.

Cantwell will his continue his remarkable season next Monday at the Payton Jordan U.S. Open at Stanford's Cobb Track & Angell Field. He said his heavy training might allow him to throw (72-2 _).

'I can see 22 meters, but 22.35 (73-4)? I don't know,' Cantwell said. I could happen. Obviously, I want to have a good series. I haven't even begun to peak yet.'

Cantwell will be joined by Godina, who placed third last weekend with a throw of 69-0 _ and Nelson, who threw 67-11 _. Also in the field will be Brad Snyder, Jamie Beyer and Tonyo Sylvester. Nelson, who won the Olympic silver medal in 2000, was ranked No. 3 in the world by Track & Field News in 2003 with a best of 69-10 _. Godina, a three-time world champion, was ranked No. 5 with a 69-8 topper. Cantwell followed at No. 8 globally last season (70-11 _) as the world's No. 5 performer, while Beyer (67-8 _) was No. 7 in the U.S. and Sylvester No. 8 (66-1 _). Snyder, a Canadian, was the world's No. 17 performer at 67-11.

The women's discus field features the top four Americans from last season - Aretha Hill, American recordholder Suzy Powell, Seilala Sua and Kris Kuehl. Hill (213-7), the 2003 U.S. champion, was ranked No. 8 in the world while Powell (214-7) was No. 10. Also in the field is Deshaya Williams, who ranked No. 9 in the U.S. last season.

Maurice Greene, who ran a wind-aided 9.86 on Saturday to tie the fastest 2004 time in the 100 meters under any conditions, heads the men's 100 field for the Memorial Day meet at Stanford. He'll be joined by two late additions, John Capel and Justin Gatlin. Capel was ranked No. 1 in the world last season and Gatlin was No. 4. Both ran 9.97 in 2003 in Zurich. The men's 100 now has six of the top 10 Americans from last year.

Melissa Morrison, who won the women's 100 hurdles at the Home Depot meet in a windy 12.44 to beat three-time Olympian Gail Devers, also will be at Stanford.

The IAAF Grand Prix II meet, a stop on the USATF Golden Spike Tour, will feature many of the finest world and American athletes who'll be continuing their preparation for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.

The women's long jump field includes defending national champion Grace Upshaw of Menlo Park, who ranked No. 5 in the world in 2003 with a best of 22-1. Upshaw leaped a wind-aided 22-5 at Home Depot.

Since its inception in 2000, the U.S. Open has established itself as a premier stop on the international tour. More than 75 Olympians from dozens of countries have competed at the event. The IAAF Grand Prix II meet, part of USATF's Golden Spike Tour, will feature many of the finest world and American athletes who'll be continuing their preparation for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.

American Toby Stevenson, who vaulted to the top of the 2004 world list with a 19-8 1/2 clearance at the Modesto Relays and followed that up a week later with a 19-6 clearance in Phoenix, heads an elite field in the men's pole vault that includes American recordholder Jeff Hartwig and features six of the top 10 American vaulters from 2003. Other confirmed athletes in the meet include three-time world champion Allen Johnson in the men's 110 high hurdles and American recordholder Stacy Dragila in the women's pole vault.

A free Youth Clinic, sponsored by the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, will be held at the track beginning at 10 a.m. All participants, 14-and-under, will receive a free general admission ticket to the Payton Jordan U.S. Open.

For eight decades Payton Jordan has devoted his life to the sport of track and field. During his 23 years as Stanford's coach (1957-1979), Coach Jordan produced seven Olympians, six world record holders, six national champions, and was the Head Coach of the 1968 Olympic Team. In the height of the Cold War, he was meet director of the 1962 USA vs. USSR dual meet, which drew over 150,000 fans to the two-day event,

Tickets for the Memorial Day event are $35 for reserved seating and $15 for general admission, and can be purchased by phone at 1-800-STANFORD or in person at the Stanford Athletic Department Ticket Office, Gate 2, at Stanford Stadium. Download a ticket order form and find more information at: www.trackandfieldusa.org,

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