The Downtown Lawrence Shot Put is back for a sixth-consecutive year, hosted by the Lawrence Sports Corporation partnering with Kansas Athletics and the City of Lawrence. Featuring some of the world’s top competitors, the event will begin at 6 p.m., Friday, April 21, on Eighth Street between Massachusetts and New Hampshire streets. The shot put will be held in conjunction with the 90th Kansas Relays, April 19-22 at Rock Chalk Park.
2017 Olympic gold medalist Ryan Crouser Five of the top-25 ranked throwers in the world are scheduled to compete, including 2016 Olympic champion and Olympic record-holder Ryan Crouser, who will compete in Lawrence for the first time. Canadian Olympian Tim Nedow, the defending Downtown Shot Put champion, Nigerian Olympian Stephen Mozia, Kurt Roberts and Ryan Whiting are part of a strong field of eight throwers. A complete list of 2017 participates can be found at http://lawrencespoco.com/shot-put/.
For this unique competition, a downtown street is converted into a throwing area, platform and spectator area. The City of Lawrence’s Street Department will use 750 tons of screened limestone, donated by Hamm Quarry Inc. Following the event, the city will reuse the donated limestone material to maintain running and biking trails along the Kansas River levee. A 2,700-pound concrete throws circle, provided by Meadowbrook Apartments of Lawrence, meets the athletes’ needs for better footing during the competition.
“The Lawrence Community has worked hard to establish the Downtown Shot Put as the preferred competition in the United States for the throwers,” said Bob Sanner, executive director of the Lawrence Sports Corporation and event organizer. “I fully expect one or more of this year’s competitors to break Reese Hoffa’s 2012 meet record of 71-3.5 feet. This field is strong enough to do it.”
Spectators will have opportunities to win prizes through giveaways, and kids can enjoy inflatable play areas provided by Kansas Athletics, along with face painting for young fans. Adding to the entertainment, The Brody Buster Band will provide live music on Eighth Street after the competition. Food and beverages will be available for purchase during the event, which is free to the public. For information on the 90th Kansas Relays at Rock Chalk Park, visit KansasRelays.com.