USATF Men’s Shot — Crouser Averages 75-Plus

Another amazing series from Ryan Crouser was the first ever with four 75-footers. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

JOE KOVACS STOOD in front of the ring for the first throw of flight 2 of the men’s shot. With dramatic flourish, he entered the circle, summoned all of his power, and rocketed the 16-pound ball out to a stunning 75-½ (22.87), just an inch and a half (4cm) off his PR. So began an epic clash between the reigning world champion and his rival, double Olympic gold medalist Ryan Crouser.

That the competition wouldn’t disappoint was a given. In warmups, Crouser popped the ball well over 72ft (22m) and Kovacs presaged his hot opening with one that looked to be 75-plus. For Crouser to beat him, it would take one of the best performances of his life.

“I was playing catch-up to Joe,” the local favorite admitted. On his first throw, he hit 73-6¾ (22.42) and showed his frustration.

In round 2, Kovacs kept the pressure up, blasting yet another 75-½ (22.87). He pumped his fist skyward. Crouser responded with perhaps too much adrenaline, his next throw hitting the dirt in 75-foot territory as he lost his balance and stepped out the front of the ring.

Kovacs’ third throw reached 74-2½ (22.62). Finally, Crouser got everything to line up, launching his to 75-10¼ (23.12), the No. 4 mark in history. His reaction was equal parts joy and relief.

As the order was reshuffled before the finals, Crouser kept to himself while Kovacs conferred with his coach/wife, throws guru Ashley. When they reconvened, Kovacs had lost some power: “I got a little tired,” he said.

He hit 71-11¾ (21.94) on his fourth and did no better on his last two. On his last effort, the ball slipped from his hand early and landed at 70-9¾ (21.58).

Crouser, however, kept hammering. In round 4 he hit 75-6 (23.01), =No. 7 ever. Round 5, 75-10 (23.11), No. 5 ever. And he closed with a 75-4¾ (22.98) — No. 10 ever — for a 5-throw sequence that averaged 75-2½ (22.92), history’s best series.

“That pressure [from Kovacs] helped me to pop off a few big throws,” said Crouser. “Every time Joe steps in the ring, he’s one of the most dangerous throwers in the world. It pushes me to be better and to consistently execute both in competitions and training. It’s always an honor to throw against Joe and I feel like I definitely did well preparing if I can walk away with a win.”

Beyond the clash of the titans, there were two other team spots at stake—Kovacs already having a Wild Card to the Worlds. Josh Awotunde edged Tripp Piperi for 3rd, hitting 70-7 (21.51) in round 3. The Texas Longhorn came close with his closing 70-3¾ (21.43). In 5th, Roger Steen PRed with his 69-4¼ (21.14). Veteran Darrell Hill ended up 9th after fouling twice.


MEN’S SHOT RESULTS

(June 24)

1. Ryan Crouser (Nik) 75-10¼ (23.12) (WL, AL) (x, 4 W; x, 4 A)

(73-6¾, f, 75-10¼, 75-6 [x, =7 W; x, =6 A], 75-10 [x, 5 W, A], 75-4¾ [x, 10 W; x, 9 A]) (22.42, f, 23.12, 23.01, 23.11, 22.98);

2. Joe Kovacs (Vel/NYAC) 75-½ (22.87)

(75-½, 75-½, 74-2½, 71-11¾, 70-2¼, 70-9¾) (22.87, 22.87, 22.62, 21.94, 21.39, 21.58);

3. Josh Awotunde (Shore) 70-7 (21.51)

(69-8¼, 67-10¼, 70-7, 67-11, 68-9¼, f) (21.24, 20.68, 21.51, 20.70, 20.96, f);

4. Tripp Piperi (Tx) 70-3¾ (21.43)

(69-9, 70-½, 69-5¼, 69-5¼, 70-½, 70-3¾) (21.26, 21.35, 21.16, 21.16, 21.35, 21.43);

5. Roger Steen (Vel) 69-4¼ (21.14)

(67-0, 69-4¼, f, 68-9¾, f, 68-8½) (20.42, 21.14, f, 20.97, f, 20.94);

6. Jordan Geist (Az) 68-9¾ (20.97)

(f, f, 66-5¾, 66-3¼, f, 68-9¾) (f, f, 20.26, 20.20, f, 20.97);

7. Payton Otterdahl (unat) 68-6 (20.88)

(68-5¼, 68-5, 68-6, 67-11¾, f, 68-5¾) (20.86, 20.85, 20.88, 20.72, f, 20.87);

8. Andrew Liskowitz (unat) 67-2¼ (20.48);

9. Darrell Hill (Nik) 66-4½ (20.23); 10. Jordan West (Tn) 66-1¾ (20.16); 11. Darius King (NnIa) 65-9 (20.04); 12. John Meyer (LSU) 65-7½ (20.00); 13. Joshua Sobota (Ky) 64-6 (19.66); 14. Logan Calvin (IlSt) 64-2½ (19.57); 15. Lucas Warning (GarS) 63-9 (19.43); 16. T’Mond Johnson (GarS) 62-8¾ (19.12); 17. Nikolas Curtiss (Ia) 62-4½ (19.01);… dnc—Maxwell Otterdahl (Nb). ◻︎

Subscription Options

Monthly Subscription
(Digital Only)

  • Access to Current Articles
  • Access to Current Issues
  • eTrack Results Newsletter
  • Unlimited Content from our Technique Journal, Track Coach

$7.95 every 1 month (recurring)

Annual Subscription
(Digital Only)

  • Access to Current Articles
  • Access to Current Issues
  • eTrack Results Newsletter
  • Unlimited Content from our Technique Journal, Track Coach

$79 every 1 year (recurring)

Monthly Premium Archive
(Digital Only)

  • Unlimited Articles
  • Access to Archived Issues
  • eTrack Results Newsletter
  • Unlimited Content from our Technique Journal, Track Coach

$12.95 every 1 month (recurring)

Annual Premium Archive
(Digital Only)

  • Unlimited Articles
  • Access to Archived Issues
  • eTrack Results Newsletter
  • Unlimited Content from our Technique Journal, Track Coach

$128 every 1 year (recurring)

Annual Subscription
(Digital + Print)

  • Access to Current Articles
  • Access to Current Issues
  • eTrack Results Newsletter
  • Unlimited Content from our Technique Journal, Track Coach
  • 12 Monthly Print Issues

$109.00 USA every year (recurring)
$157.00 Canada every year (recurring)
$207.00 Foreign every year (recurring)

Annual Premium Archive
(Digital + Print)

  • Unlimited Articles
  • Access to Archived Issues
  • eTrack Results Newsletter
  • Unlimited Content from our Technique Journal, Track Coach
  • 12 Monthly Print Issues

$158.00 USA every year (recurring)
$206.00 Canada every year (recurring)
$256.00 Foreign every year (recurring)

Annual Subscription
(Print Only)

  • 12 Monthly Print Issues
  • Does not include online access or eTrack Results Newsletter

$79.00 USA every year (recurring)
$127.00 Canada every year (recurring)
$177.00 Foreign every year (recurring)

Track Coach
(Digital Only)

  • Track Coach Quarterly Technique Journal
  • Access to Track Coach Archived Issues

Note: Track Coach is included with all Track & Field News digital subscriptions. If you are a current T&FN subscriber, purchase of a Track Coach subscription will terminate your existing T&FN subscription and change your access level to Track Coach content only. Track & Field News print only subscribers will need to upgrade to a T&FN subscription level that includes digital access to read Track Coach issues and articles online.

$19.95 every 1 year (recurring)