Two Penn State Track & Field Alumni Qualify For Olympics

Former Penn State track stars Joe Kovaks and Darrell Hill qualified to compete in men’s shot put at the Rio Olympics. The duo secured second and third place finishes, respectively, at the Olympic trials on Friday.

Kovacs narrowly missed a trip to the 2012 Olympics in London with a fourth place finish in the United States Olympic Trials and a best throw of 21.08m (69’-2”). This year, Kovacs clinched his spot with a best throw of 21.95m (72’-0.25”), topping his collegiate best of 19.84m (65′-1.25″) by more than seven feet.

After a second place finish at the 2015 NCAA Championships, Hill secured his ticket to Rio with a throw of 21.63m (70’-11.75”) – a new all-time personal best. Hill’s collegiate best was 20.86m (68′-5.25″).

Kovacs and Hill join first-place finisher C.J. Hunter, who also competed in men’s shot put at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics.

Penn State alumni Casimir Loxsom and Brannon Kidder and current Nittany Lion Isaiah Harris also competed in the trials on Friday and will advance to the semifinals of the 800-meter run slated for Saturday.

Kidder’s 1:46.22 finish automatically qualified him for the semifinals, while Harris and Loxsom qualified by fiishing first and second in their heat with times of 1:47.60 and 1:47.76, respectively.

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Elissa Hill

Elissa is a junior public relations major and the managing editor of Onward State. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.


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