Posts tagged ‘Darrell Hill’

Joe Kovacs’ Silver Leads the Way for Penn Staters in London

The first weekend of competition at the IAAF Track & Field World Championships in London was kind to a trio of Penn Staters. Joe Kovacs ’11, Darrell Hill ’15, and current Nittany Lion Isaiah Harris all made it to at least the semifinals of their events, with Kovacs taking home a silver medal for his performance in the shot put.

Kovacs, who won gold at 2015 world championships, was the top American in the event with a 21.66-meter throw en route to the silver. While his final throw would have narrowly won him the gold, Kovacs was flagged for a foul. The infraction was reviewed, the call was upheld, and Kovacs took to social media to address the decision.

View this post on Instagram

Thank you for all the support! Proud to go down swinging with a winning distance on the last throw. A foul is a foul. Congrats @tomwalshsp !

A post shared by Joe Kovacs (@joekovacsusa) on

Kovacs was joined in the shot put final by Hill, who came in 11th during his debut at the world championships with a throw of 20.79 meters.

Harris, our July/August 2017 featured athlete, made it to the semifinals of the 800 meters. The rising junior registered a time of 1:46.66, good for fourth in his heat and 17th overall. Also competing on the track was volunteer assistant Eddie Lovett, who participated in the 110-meter hurdles and registered a time of 13.67 seconds.

There’s still one more Penn Stater who is slated to compete at the world championships: rising junior Keianna Albury will run in the 4×100 meter relay for the Bahamas on Aug. 12.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

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August 9, 2017 at 4:46 pm Leave a comment

Joe Kovacs’ Sterling Performance Earns Him a Silver Medal

Photo via @JoeKovacsUSA

Photo via @JoeKovacsUSA

Joe Kovacs ’11 is an Olympic medalist. Kovacs, the reigning world champion in the shot put and one of two Nittany Lions to compete in the event in Rio, took home a silver medal on Thursday night thanks to a throw that went 21.78 meters. This is Kovacs’ first-career Olympic medal.

Kovacs’ medal is the first individual silver medal that any Penn Stater has won since 1976, when Michael Shine took home the silver in the men’s 400 meter hurdles.

Speaking to Frank Gogola of TeamUSA.org after the event, Kovacs called winning a silver “bittersweet,” but remarked that the feeling is “settling in” and applauded the gold medal winner, who set the Olympic record in the event and also hails from the United States.

Penn State’s other representative in the men’s shot put, Darrell Hill ’15, came in 23rd overall and did not advance past the qualifying round.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

August 19, 2016 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

Darrell Hill’s Biggest Fan Will Join Him In Rio

Photo via @B1GHomie

Photo via @B1GHomie

Darrell Hill ’15 clinched a spot on the U.S. Track and Field team for the Rio Olympics last month. He is one of two Penn State alumni who will compete in the shot put, alongside reigning world champion Joe Kovacs ’11.

Hill’s father, Ellis, will join him in Brazil. However, it didn’t look like Ellis would get that opportunity until this weekend, when a GoFundMe set up by a woman named Liz Pampel Willock raised $8,200 to send Ellis to Rio.

According to Willock, Ellis was her Uber driver one afternoon in Philadelphia. He mentioned that his son qualified for the Olympics and that he wanted to go watch him compete. Willock set up a GoFundMe with the hopes of raising the money that Ellis needed to make it to Brazil. Four days later, the trip surpassed its original goal of $7,500, thanks in part to one huge donation that really touched Darrell.

As of Sunday, all Ellis needed was to secure his passport. He plans on being in Rio from August 15-19. Darrell, meanwhile, got his dad tickets to the U.S. Track and Field events. Men’s shot put qualifications will take place at 9:55 a.m. EST on August 18, and the final will take place at 8:30 that night.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

August 1, 2016 at 2:18 pm Leave a comment

Joe Kovacs and Darrell Hill are Headed to Rio

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

July 11, 2016 at 2:16 pm 2 comments


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