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

02-24-2010

Contact:
Tom Surber
Media Information Manager
USA Track & Field
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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.

Williams, Manson look to soar in men's high jump

The top two U.S. men's high jumpers will battle for top honors in Albuquerque when Jesse Williams and Andra Manson do battle in the men's high jump.

Williams ended his 2009 season with an impressive third place finish at the World Athletics Final prior to being ranked #4 in the world by T&FN, which is the highest global ranking of his career. Williams is the 2008 Olympic Trials champion and a Beijing Olympian, who has been ranked #1 in the U.S. the last three years.

2009 World Outdoor Championships finalist, 2008 Olympian and 2008 World Indoor bronze medalist Andra Manson will enter the competition in Albuquerque as the 2008 and 2009 USA Indoor champion. Manson, who won the high jump at the 2009 Texas Relays and finished fourth later that summer at the World Athletics Final, ended the 2009 season ranked #2 in the U.S. and, for the first time in his career, was ranked in the top ten in the world (#9).

2008 OlympianDusty Jonasis also considered a favorited to finish in the top two, which would place him on theTeam USA roster for the upcoming World Indoor Championships in Doha. Jonas posted the fifth-highestperformance in the world this year when he cleared 2.32m/7-7.25 in Trinec on January 26. His performance is the best by an American this season and is his indoor personal best. In 2008, his outdoor personal best leap of 2.36m/7-8.75 led the U.S. list and was the third-best performance in the world that year.

Also keep an eye on 2008 Olympic Trials fifth-place finisher Keith Moffatt, who last year finished second at the USA Outdoor Championships, fourth at the USA Indoor Championships and 11th at the World Outdoor Championships, prior to ending the 2009 campaign ranked #4 in the U.S. 2004 Olympic Trials champion and Olympic Games fourth-place finisher Jamie Nieto, will be a contender in Albuquerque, along with up-and-comer Scott Sellers, who won the 2009 NCAA Division I Indoor and Outdoor titles as a senior at Kansas State.

Johnson favored in men's long jump

Following one of his best seasons last year, 2008 Olympian Brian Johnson will be considered a heavy favorite to win the men's long jump in Albuquerque. The 2006 USA Outdoor champion, Johnson will be looking to win his third USA Indoor title to go along with his triumphs in 2005 and 2006. Johnson, who finished the 2009 World Outdoor Championships in ninth place, entered the 2010 campaign ranked #9 in the world and #2 in the U.S. by T&FN.

Johnson will be challenged by defending USA Indoor champion Randall Flimmons, who finished as the runner-up last year at the adidas Track Classic and placed eighth at the USA Outdoor Championships. Flimmons ended the 2009 campaign ranked #8 in the U.S. by T&FN.

Also keep an eye on former LSU standout Jeremy Hicks, who finished as the runner-up at last year's NCAA Indoor Championships and ended the season ranked #9 in the country.

Others to watch include the world's two finest decathletes, Bryan Clay and Trey Hardee, who will compete in the long jump in addition to the 60m hurdles.Clay claimed the "world's greatest athlete" moniker with his dominating decathlon win at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

The first U.S. Olympic decathlon champ since Dan O'Brien in 1996, Clay amassed 8,791 points in capturing the Olympic gold medal. Clay also won the decathlon at the 2005 World Outdoor Championships in Helsinki, Finland.

A former star at the University of Texas, Hardee won the decathlon at the 2009 World Athletics Championships in Berlin with a personal best score of 8,790 points, which bettered his previous PR of 8,534 by 256 points. Hardee posted a winning margin of 150 points over the field and his performance in Berlin made him the #3 all-time American in the decathlon behind only Dan O'Brien and Bryan Clay. His performance is ranked #9 on the all time list and was the highest score at a World Outdoor Championships since 2001.

Roulhac, Davis & Bell headline men's triple jump

Up and coming star Brandon Roulhac will take on established veterans Walter Davis and Kenta Bell in what promises to be a very competitive men's triple jump competition.

Roulhac enjoyed a tremendous breakthrough season in 2009, coming from almost total anonymity to becoming the reigning USA Indoor and Outdoor men's triple jump champion, and ending the 2009 campaign ranked as the #1 men's triple jumper in the U.S. by T&FN.

Roulhac's victory at the USA Outdoor Championships in Eugene was particularly impressive as he posted the top five marks of the competition.

Recognized in track circles as one of America's finest ever combination triple and long jump specialists, Walter Davis was the 2005 World Outdoor and 2006 World Indoor triple jump champion. He also won silver in the triple jump at the 2003 World Indoor Championships and bronze at the 2007 World Outdoor Championships. Davis won USA Outdoor triple jump crowns in 2002, 2005 and 2006, and was the 2003 USA Outdoor long jump champion. He owns two USA Indoor triple jump titles ('05, '06), and won the NCAA Outdoor long jump crown in 2002. Davis, who finished 11th in the triple jump at both the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games, has competed for Team USA in five World Outdoor Championships.

Two-time Olympian Kenta Bell will be looking for his first USA Indoor title following a 2009 season where he competed in the World Outdoor Championships in Berlin, Germany, and ended the campaign ranked #5 in the U.S. by T&FN. The 2003 USA Outdoor champion, Bell was the runner-up at the 2005 USA Indoor and Outdoor Championships. He placed sixth at the 2003 World Outdoor Championships and seventh in that event in 2005. Bell was victorious in the triple jump at the 2001 World University Games.

Also keep an eye on 2001 USA Junior long and triple jump champion and former USC standout Allen Simms, who is a two-time Pac-10 Conference Outdoor champion and the 2005 runner-up at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Simms competed for Team USA at the 2005 World Outdoor Championships, but did not qualify for the final.

Kruger favored to win again in men's 35-lb weight throw

2008 Olympic Trials champion A.G. Kruger will be a heavy favorite when he 'throws his weight around' Saturday in Albuquerque. A four-time USA Outdoor hammer throw champion ('06, '07, '08, '09), Kruger has been even more impressive indoors with five national titles ('03, '05, '06, '07, '09) to his credit. Kruger has been ranked #1 in the nation in the hammer throw in three of the last four years.

The runner-up in the hammer throw at the 2004 Olympic Trials, Kruger will be challenged by 2009 USA Outdoor hammer throw runner-up and 2004 NCAA hammer throw champion Jake Freeman, who ended the 2009 season ranked #1 in the nation for the first time in his career by T&FN.

Other contenders include 2009 Drake Relays champion, USA Outdoor Championships third-place finisher and 2009 World Outdoor Championships team member Michael Mai, who enters the 2010 season ranked #3 in the U.S. by T&FN. Also watch for 2009 USA Outdoor Championships fourth place finisher Cory Martin, who is ranked #4 nationally, and Garland Porter, who enters the championships ranked #6 in the U.S.

For more information on the 2010 USA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque and the 2010 Visa Championship Series, visit www.visachampionshipseries.com or www.usatf.org.