April 19, 2010
DES MOINES, Iowa - As the Mizzou track and field program prepares to compete in the Drake Relays this weekend in Des Moines, Iowa, one of the former Tiger greats, Christian Cantwell, will be inducted into the Drake Relays Hall of Fame on Thursday (April 22) in a ceremony that evening. After being inducted into the Drake Relays Hall of Fame, Cantwell will be one of five Mizzou athletes to earn recognition in the hall. He is the first Tiger athlete to be inducted into the Hall of Fame since 1995 when Olympian and current Drake coach Natasha Kaiser-Brown was added.
"It's obviously a big honor for me. It is hard for me to say if I deserve it, but if they want to give it to me, I am obviously humbled by it and I am glad to accept it," Cantwell commented. "It seems like just the other I arrived at Mizzou and I still remember going to my first Drake Relays and obviously the eight or nine years since have just felt like a blur. I have had a lot of success at Drake; it is just one of those places that feels like home to me and I am really honored by this."
"I am personally absolutely thrilled with Christian's selection and induction into the Drake Relays Hall of Fame," head track and field coach Rick McGuire said. "The Drake Relays is literally one of the two greatest events, the Penn Relays is the other, throughout the history of the sport of track and field. Hundreds and hundreds of NCAA Champions, World Champions and Olympians have competed in the Drake Relays. To be included in the Drake Relays Hall of Fame is an extraordinary honor and a very special recognition. And, I know that this one honor is especially meaningful for Christian. This may very well be his favorite place in the entire world to compete. He has developed a very close relationship with the fans at Drake, and he proudly uses the Drake Relays as his official outdoor season opener every year. The crowd loves him, cheers loudly for him, and he typically rewards them with amazingly long throws. As I stated earlier, I am absolutely thrilled that Christian will now be in the Drake Relays Hall of Fame."
Cantwell is a six-time shot put champion at the Drake Relays
and is competing at the meet this weekend as he looks to add a seventh title to his name. Cantwell was named as the meet's Most Outstanding Men's Performer after breaking a 35-year Drake Relays
record of 22.10m (72-6 ¼) in the shot put. He also earned the same honor at the 2002 Drake Relays
after winning the shot put against some of the World's best throwers. He bested Canadian Olympian Brad Snyder, Kevin Toth and Reese Hoffa among others that season, all of whom ranked in the USA's top 10 in the event that year.
His success at the Drake Relays is just one contributing factor that has led to his Hall of Fame induction. Since his graduation from Mizzou he has become the only male thrower to ever win three IAAF Indoor World Championships while he added an IAAF Outdoor World Championship to his ledger back on the summer of 2009. He also earned a Silver Medal at the 2008 Olympic Games, also doing so in the shot put.
During his time at Mizzou, Cantwell compiled seven All-America honors which are the most by any athlete in any sport in school history. He also claimed six Big 12 Championships and earned three top-three NCAA finishes in the shot put, highlighted by a runner-up nod in 2003. He is also a member of the Mizzou Athletics Hall of Fame and was named as Mizzou track and field's Athlete of the Decade earlier this year.
Cantwell will join former Tiger athletes Kaiser-Brown, Bob Simpson, Jackson Scholz and Mel Gray and Tiger coaches Tom Botts, Rick McGuire and Bob Simpson in the hall this weekend. McGuire is the most recent inductee as he earned the bestowment back in 2000.
The Tigers will leave for Des Moines on Thursday as they will honor Cantwell as the Hall of Fame Ceremony that evening. For a complete recap of the Drake Relays, make sure to stay tuned to MUTigers.com.