Nelson launches huge throw at Tyson Invitational


Vicky Oddi
Communications Coordinator
USA Track & Field

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The most decorated shot putter in World Outdoor Championships history, Adam Nelson continued a streak of amazing performances to win the Visa men's shot put Friday night in front of 4,519 screaming fans at the 2008 Tyson Invitational.

The fourth stop of the 2008 USA Track & Field Visa Championship Series, the Tyson Invitational will be televised on February 17 from 5-7 p.m. Eastern Time on ESPN.

Nelson's world-leading throw of 22.40 meters/73 feet 6 inches in the Visa men's shot put is the third-best performance of all time in the shot, and he offered it up in front of the second-largest crowd in meet history at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville. For his efforts, the four-time World Outdoor medalist was named the Team USA Athlete of the Meet, presented by Visa.

It was the second straight meet record and personal-best performance for Nelson, who threw 22.07/72-5 at the 101st Millrose Games on February 1. Reining World Indoor and Outdoor champion Reese Hoffa took runner-up honors Friday night with his heave of 21.14m/69-4.25 and 2004 World Indoor champion Christian Cantwell was third with 20.50m/67-3.25.

2005 World Outdoor silver medalist Wallace Spearmon shot out of the blocks and into the lead and never looked back, easily winning the Tyson Foods men's 200 meters in a world-leading 20.19 seconds, the #5 performance of all-time. 2006 U.S. Outdoor runner-up Jordan Vaden was second in 20.80, followed closely by Tennessee's Rubin Williams in 20.84.

In the Visa men's 60m hurdles, 1996 Olympic gold medalist and four-time World Outdoor champion Allen Johnson was the first to the tape, winning in 7.60 with 2005 U.S. Indoor champion Joel Brown second in 7.64.

LSU phenom Trindon Holliday, the 2007 U.S. Outdoor 100m runner-up, held off 2006 World Indoor champion Leonard Scott at the tape to win the Tyson Foods men's 60m in 6.60 to Scott's 6.62. It was a photo finish on the women's side, as 2007 World Outdoor bronze medalist Carmelita Jeter once again stole the show by winning the Nutrilite women's 60m in 7.27. Hot on her heels was 2004 Olympian Muna Lee, who took second in 7.28. Reebok Boston Indoor Games winner Miki Barber in 7.29.

Former Arkansas standout Christin Wurth-Thomas cruised to victory in the Tyson Foods women's mile in a meet record 4:27.18, the best time by an American this year. Jenelle Deatherage was second in 4:31.84 and Michigan's Nicole Edwards was third in 4:33.23. In the men's race, six of the seven entrants in the adidas men's mile ran under four minutes, with Nick Willis of New Zealand winning in a world-leading 3:55.93 and Canadian Kevin Sullivan second in 3:57.50.

American Outdoor record holder and two-time U.S. Indoor champion Jenn Stuczynski won the Nutrilite women's pole vault with her clearance of 4.64m/15-2.75. 2003 NCAA Indoor champion Lacy Janson was the runner-up and 2008 Millrose Games champion Jillian Schwartz took third, both setting personal records and also clearing 4.64m/15-2.75.

2006 Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year Bianca Knightblazed around the track, winning the Visa women's 200m in 23.07, the fastest time by an American this year. 2006 NCAA 4x100m champion Alexandria Anderson took second in 23.36 and 2007 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor 400m champion Natasha Hastings was third in 23.51.

Also on the track, former Arkansas standout Alistair Cragg of Ireland won the men's 5,000m in a world-leading 13:32.01. Jamaica's Kenia Sinclair won the women's 800m in 2:01.41 and Arkansas alum James Hatch won the men's 800m in 1:47.92.

The USA Track & Field Visa Championship Series will continue February 23-24 with the AT&T USA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Boston. For more information, including TV broadcast schedules, visit

Tyson Invitational Quotes

Men's Shot Put Champion Adam Nelson

"It meant so much (to win) with my family here. They are from a little town called Turner, Arkansas. There are about 25 of them here. I started three weeks ago with some unexpected (strong) throwing. I'm in the best shape I have ever been in. I could have thrown a lot farther. We have the best shot putters in the word (in the United States). It's pretty tough. The indoor season this year is great preparation for the outdoor season, because it's all about the Olympics this year."

Men's 5000K Champion Allistar Cragg

"I'm pretty happy with where I am. It's nice to race with the college guys again. They run with a lot of heart and a lot of passion. I loved running in college, and anytime I can help the college guys, I like to do it. I'll run (at the Tyson) every year, barring injury. If there was any year I wasn't going to do it, it would have been this year because of (the Olympics)."

Men's 60M Hurdles Champion Allen Johnson

"It was a tough race for me, physically. I had a really heavy day Wednesday. There were some things I felt I wasn't doing right and I had to get a lot of reps in. My legs were a little dead (today). I was happy knowing that, (considering) how I felt physically, I could still compete and win. My goal (for 2008) is a gold medal--make the (Olympic) team, and win a Gold Medal, and things are going pretty close to how I would like them to, so far."

Women's 60M Dash Champion Carmelita Jeter

"I felt okay. It wasn't the time I wanted, but I felt like I worked hard and it was a good win. Next is USA championships in Boston. I want to train hard so I can go out and get a W."

Women's Pole Vault Champion Jenn Stuczynski

"It was a very good competition. It was exciting to have everyone jump so well and so high. The indoor season is wrapping up, so I'm looking to Indoor Worlds. Making the indoor world (championship) team is my goal."

Men's 60M Dash Champion Trindon Holliday

"I felt good. I came in early and did an extra warm-up, so I felt good about that race. I'm going to go home and have a good practice, and then I'll get ready for the SEC championships."

Women's Mile Champion Christin Wurth-Thomas

"I knew my workouts were going well. I've been waiting to get a record here for a long time. I wanted a record, I train here. It gets you hungry. I knew I came in slow at the half and it allowed me to pick it up in the second half."

Women's 200M Dash Champion Bianca Knight

"This was my first 200 of the year, so I wasn't too sure (how the race would go). I've been training well, training with high intensity. My goal coming in was to get a qualifying time and get ready for nationals, and I did that. I wanted to get out harder (at the beginning of the race), but, with it being my first 200 I wasn't sure. I guess, without knowing, I was conserving energy, and (when I got to the back turn) I realized it was time to move."

Men's Mile Champion Nick Willis

"I really needed to get a 'W' under my belt. I had some great rivalry races at Arkansas. It's nice to come back and lay one down against the Hogs. I really needed to come back and get that 'X' factor tonight, and I did that."

Men's 200M Dash Champion Wallace Spearmon

"(Tonight) was a great opener, but not what I hoped for. I feel like if I ran one more, I would have gotten (the American record). When I got to 110 (meters), I felt myself start to lag and get a little tired, so I rested a little bit. I should have just pushed through it. I haven't done any speed work, I didn't train for this. We just taped it off last week and went from there. I put my name on the radar. I gave my competitors something to look at. I'll be ready for the outdoor season."