Nixa's Cantwell wins Class 5 shot put, discus titles

Two years into his high school career, Jackson Cantwell is the most decorated track and field athlete in the history of Nixa High School.

The sophomore won the MSHSAA Class 5 shot put and discus championship last weekend in Jefferson City.

He repeated as a champion in the shot put - the first to do so in the Class 5 system for MSHSAA since it expanded in 2015.

Nixa has only two two-time champions: Seth Isringhausen in the pole vault in 1998-99 and Bob Curl in the 180-yard low hurdles in 1967-68. Now, Cantwell had three. 

Cantwell is the first thrower in MSHSAA's largest classification to win back-to-back shot put titles since Brook Mosier of Lee's Summit West won in 2007-2009.

He threw 21.92 meters/71 feet, 11 inches to win the title. Every one of his five throws that counted would've given him the title on Saturday. Teammate Hayden Mays was the runner-up with a throw of 17.21

Cantwell broke the Class 5 record - he set last year at 19.06 meters last year - and the overall MSHAA record. That belonged to a fellow Central Ozark Conference thrower - Willard's Marshall Swadley's mark of 20.41 meters in 2021.

On Friday, he locked up his first discus title with a throw of 61.96 meters/203-3 - coming on his third throw.

That ended up being good enough to win as he fouled on all three attempts in the finals.

"I credit Hayden a little bit for getting me started," Cantwell said. "He had a 56 (foot throw); he brings the energy for sure. He gave me a little bit of juice there. And he started driving out and really putting it out there but I knew the third one was pretty good."

Cantwell said he had a throw during warmups that would've been No. 1 in the country. He said he struggled with the discus in district and sectional but made an adjustment to how he was holding the disc.

"It's been going wrong a lot ... I've had a lot of issues at district and sectional conference with it," Cantwell said. "So it felt good to finally have a good meet."