Christina Hillman to compete at USA Indoor Championships this weekend



Chris Wolff

Competition has been tough to come by for two-time All-American shot putter Christina Hillman so far this season.

The Dover, Del., native has competed in the shot put event four times throughout the course of the indoor track and field season. She won all four, most in a dominating fashion.

In fact, it’s tough for Hillman to find competition anywhere at the collegiate level as the junior currently has the top throw in the nation on the season.

This weekend, however, competition will be in abundance as Hillman will be the lone Cyclone traveling to Albuquerque, N.M., for the USA Indoor Track and Field Championship.

Hillman is one of three college athletes that will compete in the shot put event against a number of professional athletes.

While Hillman has dominated the NCAA ranks this season, going up against the country’s best professional athletes may be a different story.

“These are the best throwers in the country, so I just want to go out and compete with them,” Hillman said. “My expectations are not overly high, but they’re not low either.”

Of the 14 throwers in the field, Hillman’s current season-best throw of 17.51 meters ranks as the sixth best in the field, above multiple professional athletes and all college athletes in the field.

Michelle Carter is hands down the favorite for the event. She is a Nike-sponsored athlete who currently holds the American record in the shot put event with a lifetime best throw of 20.24 meters.

On the season, Carter’s best throw is 19.88 meters, the farthest in the nation by an entire meter.

The next five top throwers in the field, including Hillman, all have top throws within one meter of one another this season. While the competition is stiff, Hillman’s teammate and fellow thrower Anna Holtermann isn’t counting Hillman out.

“I think the thing about Christina is that, as dominating as she has been so far, we know she has so much room to grow and improve still,” Holtermann said.

That could be a scary thought for the rest of the NCAA as well as the field at USA Indoor Championships. In preparation for the meet, Hillman sat out of last weekend’s ISU Classic to focus on training for this weekend.

“Coach [Fletcher Brooks] has been pushing me hard, really all year but especially these last few weeks training-wise, for this stretch,” Hillman said, referring to the tough stretch ahead of her. “He decided it would be best to focus on training rather than competing that weekend, and I think it was a good idea.”

After the USA Indoors, Hillman will compete at the Big 12 Indoor Championship the following week, then she has a week off before the NCAA Indoor Championships.

Regardless of the outcome of the USA Indoor meet this weekend, Hillman is happy for the opportunity and the experience it provides her.

“I’m really excited because I loved it so much last year,” Hillman said. “It’s a chance to compete at an elite meet against elite athletes, and if nothing else, it prepares me mentally for the Big 12 and NCAA Championships in the next few weeks.”