World-Class Shot Put at Jim Thorpe
May 4, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - This afternoon's Jim Thorpe Open is slated to feature a world-class shot put competition, including IAAF World Indoor Champion Ryan Whiting, current NCAA-leader and Penn State senior Joe Kovacs (Nazareth, Pa.), and former Nittany Lion standout Blake Eaton. The shot is tentatively set to go at 4:00 p.m., Friday afternoon.
Whiting, who took top honors at the Drake Relays last weekend, threw a monstrous 72-2.25 (22.00) - the number-one mark in the world during the indoor season - to win the IAAF World Title in Istanbul, Turkey, in March, and was also a finalist at the 2011 IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Daegu, South Korea. The Harrisburg, Pa., native was a six-time NCAA Champion while competing at Arizona State University and holds the collegiate indoor record at 71-3.50 (21.73). Whiting's season-best 69-11 (21.31) currently ranks fourth during the outdoor season, according to IAAF. The Nike star, who trains in State College, also holds the Nittany Lion facility record at 69-1.25 (21.06).
Kovacs - the NCAA bronze medalist a year ago - is also coming off an outstanding weekend, as the senior recorded an impressive victory in the shot at the prestigious Penn Relays, thanks to a school-record tying toss of 65-5 (19.94). Kovacs, who was named Big Ten Athlete of the Week for his efforts, currently leads the NCAA with the attempt. The competition is also set to feature fellow collegiate Robert Golabek from Buffalo, who ranks sixth in the NCAA East Region at 63-4.75 (19.32).
Eaton, who was also a winner at Penn, taking the Olympic Development section with a throw of 62-9.50 (19.14). Eaton was a two-time All-American during this Penn State career, including a bronze-medal finish in 2010.
Action at Jim Thorpe, which will be a low-key affair in preparation for next week's Big Ten Championships, begins at 3:00 p.m., at Nittany Lion Track.