Joe Kovacs and Darrell Hill are Headed to Rio

July 11, 2016 at 2:16 pm 2 comments

Photo via @JoeKovacsUSA

Photo via @JoeKovacsUSA

Nine Nittany Lions competed in the USA Track & Field Olympic Trials that wrapped up over the weekend, and two earned spots at next month’s Olympic Games.

Both of the Penn Staters who qualified participate in the men’s shot put. Reigning world champion Joe Kovacs ’11 (far right) took second place in the finals, registering a throw of 72′-0.25″. Coming in third was Darrell Hill ’15 (left), whose personal record throw of 70′-11.75″ helped him secure a spot.

It’ll be the first Olympics trip for both Kovacs and Hill; this was Hill’s first attempt, while Kovacs narrowly missed the 2012 Games when he came in fourth in qualifying.

A trio of Nittany Lions – Casimir Loxsom ’13, Brannon Kidder, and Isaiah Harris – made it into the field for the men’s 800 meters, with Loxsom and Harris reaching the finals. Harris, a rising sophomore, came in sixth, while Loxsom recorded a ninth-place finish. Kidder, a rising senior, made it to the semifinals, where he finished eighth in his heat. Robbie Creese ’14 made it to the semifinals of the 1,500-meter run, while Brian Leap ’16 participated in the triple jump.

Former Olympian Bridget Franek ’10, whom we wrote about in our May/June 2016 issue, tried to make it back to the Games in the 3,000-meter steeplechase but came up just short, placing sixth in the final. Rachel Fatherly ’16 and Mahagony Jones ’13 competed in the women’s shot put and 200 meter dash, respectively.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

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Entry filed under: Athletics. Tags: , , , .

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