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'Big throw' by Cantwell in shot put breaks his own state mark and No. 1 nationally this year


Jackson Cantwell’s showing at the Pitt State Jock's Nitch Relays two weeks ago triggered momentum that led to his monstrous effort at the Jefferson City Licklider Relays over the weekend.

Cantwell unleashed a throw of 72-3 in the shot put at Jeff City on Saturday. According to MileSplit, it’s the No. 1 throw in the nation this year by more than two feet.

The Nixa sophomore broke his own state record of 67-2, which he set at Pitt State.

“It shows there is a lot that could potentially happen down the road,” Cantwell said of his season-opening performance at Pitt State, after winning the shot put with a throw of 66-0 1/2 at the Nixa Invitational last week. “I’m excited for that. I feel like there are a lot of things I could clean up before State. There should be a big throw in the shot somewhere in the future.”

After spending his early-season practices training with a heavier shot put, Cantwell wasn’t exactly sure what kind of number he could expect to throw come meet day.

“I had no idea how I was going to do coming in,” he said. “I hadn't been throwing a 12-pound shot. I've been throwing mainly 14-pound before that. In disc, pretty much the same thing. I had been throwing a 2K (disc) and hadn't really thrown a 1.6K.”

Cantwell's efforts were rewarded first at Pitt State and then Jeff City.

“I had my eyes on the state record for a while,” he said.

Cantwell bypassed Nixa’s early-season meets at Central Missouri State, Neosho and Branson to give himself time to recoup from basketball season. Of course, he also went through football season last summer and fall.

"Because of basketball, I wanted to have some time to train so my opener would be better. I think it worked,” he said. “I'm better if I had opened too early. I was being smart about it and gave myself some time to practice.”

Looking ahead to the next two years, Cantwell is considering the possibility of not playing basketball to allow himself more time to train for track. He's planning to compete in both footbal and track in college.

“I’ve considered how my future in track may look and there is a lot to be said about how indoor track in January could help me,” he said. “I’m not 100 percent of my future going forward. But coming out here in March and not having much time to practice beforehand is a challenge. Going from one (sport) to another immediately is difficult.”