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Cantwell among favorites in shot put and discus at Nike Nationals this week


The many-splendored journeys of Nixa’s Jackson Cantwell will take him this week to track and field’s epicenter for the Nike Outdoor Nationals.

Cantwell is part of a field of hundreds of elite prep athletes from across the country gathered at Oregon’s famed Hayward Field in Eugene.

Cantwell will be among the favorites in the shot put and discus.

Among sophomores nationally this spring, Cantwell recorded the top mark in the shot put (74-9 3/4) and discus (205-04).

The meet record for the shot put is 76-0, set by Jordan Geist, of Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, in 2017.

The meet record for the discus is 223-02, set by Turner Washington, of Canyon del Oro, Arizona, in 2017.

The shot put field includes 40 entrants and the discus field has 39.

Among the chief competitors Cantwell will see in the shot put are Oregon commit and two-time Wisconsin state champion Benjamin Smith, USC commit and Illinois state champion Kaden Garland and 2023 Nike Indoor National champion Matthew Rusch.

Smith is ranked No. 1 nationally after unleashing a throw of 75-1 in May. Cantwell is second.

Cantwell is ranked sixth in the discus. Ranked No. 1 is Bryce Ruland, of Waterford, Wisconsin, with a throw of 213-0.

Cantwell is a two-time state champ in the shot put and won a state title in the discus this year for the first time.