Al Cantello

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Al Cantello (born 9 June 1933) is a retired American javelin thrower as a member of the United States Marine Corps. He is currently the coach of the men's distance running program at the United States Naval Academy where he has been since 1963.

He graduated from La Salle University in Philadelphia in 1955. In 1959, he set the world record in the javelin and won the bronze medal at the 1959 Pan American Games and made the US Olympic team in 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. Despite having the second longest throw (79.72m) in the games during the qualifying rounds, he finished tenth (with an official throw of 74.7m). During the Rome Olympics, he suffered from dysentery and was not permitted to throw the American-style javelin, but has stated "he has no regrets". Cantello won the AAU title in 1959 and 1960, and held a world ranking of #4 for both years. In 1964, Sport magazine named Cantello to its all-time track and field team and voted him the world's greatest competitor in the javelin. He was known for his form, in which he would throw his whole body into the throw and end in a semi-handstand.[1]

His personal best throw, with the old javelin type, was 86.04 metres, achieved in June 1959 in Compton.[2]

He has coached at the United States Naval Academy for more than 40 years where he was named NCAA Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year three times. He is known by his runners for his creative use of the English language. While at La Salle, Cantello was twice named to the Track and Field All-American team. He won the javelin contest at four straight Mid-Atlantic Conference Track and Field Championships and three times won the javelin toss at the Penn Relays.

In 2013 Cantello was inducted into the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Coaches Hall of Fame along with Ron Allice, Dennis Craddock, Jim Hunt, Curtis Frye and Paul Olsen.[3]

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