2017 USATF Championships Men’s Throws Guide

The US Championships kick off on Thursday and a change in venue from Eugene to Sacramento means more sun and less rain. Temperatures are expected to reach over 100 degrees, meaning the weather may be as hot as the action. With two Americans chasing the world record in the shot put and close competitions for the World Championships team in every event, it should be an exciting weekend of throwing. Below we break down each men’s event. Check back tomorrow for a look at the women’s action.

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Men’s Shot Put

  • Favorite: Ryan Crouser, Joe Kovacs
  • Defending Champion: Ryan Crouser
  • Other Contenders: Darrell Hill
  • Schedule: Sunday, June 25th, 11:55am PST

The shot put is traditionally one of America’s strongest events. Somehow, even after winning two medals at the Olympics, the event is even stronger this year despite the retirement of legends Reese Hoffa, Christian Cantwell and Adam Nelson. Olympic champion Ryan Crouser is still just 24 years old, but has broken 22 meters in four competitions this year. His worst meet is still 21.79 meters, which will surely be good enough to make the World Championships team. Joe Kovacs has gone even further this year and set the world lead back in May but lost recently head-to-head with Crouser at the Prefontaine Classic. Watch for the two of them to push each other to a new level in Sacramento. Darrell Hill, who snuck on the Olympic team last season, has proved that was not a fluke and improved his best by another foot this year. As Joe Kovacs is the defending world champion, he is guaranteed a spot on Team USA and a fourth thrower will be invited onto Team USA. This is where things get interesting. Ryan Whiting appears to be returning to form just in time, but a contingent of young throwers will be chasing him for that final spot.

2017 US Shot Put Top 10
22.57 74-¾ Joe Kovacs (Unattached) Tucson Elite I
22.43 73-7¼ Ryan Crouser (Nike) Pre Classic
21.91 71-10¾ Darrell Hill (Nike) Rafer-JJK
21.11 69-3¼ Ryan Whiting (Nike) Kingston
20.93 68-8 Jon Jones (Nike) Chula Vista II
20.91 68-7¼ Josh Freeman (Unattached) Kansas Relays
20.73 68-¼ Kurt Roberts (Nike) Baskin Invite
20.69 67-10¾ Curtis Jensen (Unattached) Ironwood Classic
20.67 67-9¾ Chuk Enekwechi (Unattached) Baie-Mahault
20.47 67-2 Jaren Kern (Southern Illinois) Music City Challenge

Men’s Discus Throw

  • Favorite: Andrew Evans, Mason Finley
  • Defending Champion: Mason Finley
  • Other Contenders: Rodney Brown, Sam Mattis, Jared Schuurmans
  • Schedule: Saturday, June 24th, 12:40pm PST

A few years ago Americans had trouble getting the World Championship qualifying standard. But this year already six throwers have surpassed the mark, which will add some intrigue to a close competition at the US Championships. The two throwers leading the way this year are Mason Finley and Andrew Evans. Finley has not faced off against the top Americans so far this year, but is the only guy to compete in Europe already and had a strong finish in Holland. Evans, meanwhile, has dominated the domestic windy circuit. His sole loss to an American came recently to Rodney Brown at the Ironwood Classic. Brown will be among a group of throwers chasing down Finley and Evans in a fight for make Team USA.

2017 US Discus Top 10
66.61 218-6 Andrew Evans (Nike) Chula Vista
65.61 215-3 Sam Mattis (Garage Strength) Triton Invite
65.39 214-6 Rodney Brown (Nike) Ironwood Classic
65.34 214-4 Mason Finley (Unattached) Lawrence
65.13 213-8 Brian Williams (Mississippi) SEC Champs
65.12 213-8 Jared Schuurmans (Nike) Portland
63.54 208-5 Macklin Tudor (Cincinnati) Penn Relays
62.51 205-1 Reginald Jagers (Kent State) NCAA Champs
62.42 204-9 Tavis Bailey (Nike) Ironwood Classic
62.28 204-4 Jason Harrell (Arete) Tucson Elite I

Men’s Hammer Throw

  • Favorites: Kibwe Johnson
  • Defending Champion: Rudy Winkler
  • Other Contenders: Rudy Winkler, Sean Donnelly
  • Schedule: Thursday, June 22nd, 2:45pm PST

With the retirement of AG Kruger, the approaching retirement of Kibwe Johnson and the absence of Olympian Conor McCullough this season, the men’s hammer throw landscape has started to change. But a familiar name is still on top in the meantime as Johnson will look to claim his fifth US title and make one last World Championship team this week. McCullough also plans to make his outdoor season debut at the meet. Rudy Winkler recently captured the NCAA title, but has been well off his best from last summer. Don’t be deceived though: he entered last year’s Olympic Trials is similar form and ended up the champion. Sean Donnelly has also shown added consistency this year to produce the second best mark of the season. As it stands, no American has reached the World Championship qualifying standard of 76 meters. However athletes can nevertheless qualify if they find themselves ranked in the world’s top 32 at the end of the qualifying period. Johnson, Donnelly, and Winkler are all currently in the top 32. However they will likely need an improvement to secure their spot in London.

2017 US Hammer Top 10
74.32 243-10 Kibwe Johnson (Nike) Tucson Elite II
74.26 243-8 Sean Donnelly (Ironwood TC) Tucson Elite II
74.12 243-2 Rudy Winkler (Cornell) NCAA Champs
73.66 241-8 Alexander Young (SE Louisiana) NCAA Champs
73.05 241-8 Colin Dunbar (Unattached) Fränkisch-Crumbach
71.98 236-2 Andy Fryman (Unattached) High Point
71.85 235-8 Darien Thornton (Unattached) Allendale
71.72 245-4 Johnnie Jackson (LSU) NCAA Champs
70.01 229-8 Tom Postema (Unattached) Deleware
69.87 229-2 Jordan Crayon (Ashland) Ashland

Men’s Javelin Throw

  • Favorite: Riley Dolezal
  • Defending Champion: Cyrus Hostetler
  • Other Contenders: Cyrus Hostetler, Tim Van Liew, Michael Shuey
  • Schedule: Saturday, June 24th, 11:30am PST

As with hammer, no javelin throwers have met the IAAF World Championships qualifying standard this season. Last year four throwers broke 80 meters, but this year no one has thrown the mark, let alone the even tougher 83 meter standard. With wins at the Ironwood Classic and Tucson Elite, Riley Dolezal is the favorite entering the competition. Tim VanLiew was injured earlier in the year but came back two weeks ago with a strong 77 meter throw to throw his name in the mix. Defending champion Cyrus Hostetler has not competed since April, but looks to improve his season’s best and contend for the title. Michael Shuey also recently placed as the top American at the NCAA Championships and will be fighting with a close field to get on the podium.

2017 US Javelin Top 10
79.36 260-4 Riley Dolezal (Nike) Ironwood Classic
77.22 253-4 Tim VanLiew (Ironwood TC) Collegeville
76.67 251-6 Chris Mirabelli (Rutgers) Penn Relays
76.42 250-9 Michael Shuey (Penn State) NCAA Champs
76.39 250-7 Brent Lagace (Unattached) Chula Vista II
75.56 247-11 Nicholas Howe (Unattached) Chula Vista II
75.25 246-10 Cyrus Hostetler (Unattached) Grenada Invite
74.38 244-0 Carson Fuller (Washington) Pac 12 Champs
74.32 241-10 McLean Lipschutz (Alabama) SEC Champs
74.26 243-8 Andrew Fahringer (Unattached) Collegeville