Gehret, Shot Putters Advance to Finals
June 23, 2012
EUGENE, Ore. - The Nittany Lion track and field contingent has enjoyed an outstanding opening pair of days at the U.S. Olympic Trials, hosted by the University of Oregon at Historic Hayward Field. Leading a stellar slate of results is sophomore Brady Gehret (Altoona, Pa.), who advanced through two rounds of the men's 400-meters, qualifying for Sunday's final. Also advancing through shot put preliminaries were senior Joe Kovacs (Nazareth, Pa.), and graduate Blake Eaton, as well as volunteer assistant Ryan Whiting.
After cruising through Friday's opening round of the men's quarter mile, Gehret tied his own personal best in the semi-final, running 45.22 to advance to Sunday's Olympic Trials final. Gehret, who placed third in his semi-final heat, is set to compete in the final, which is slated for 4:20 p.m., PDT, on Sunday.
The Nittany Lion shot put trio also found advancing positions, despite a driving rain during the competition. Whiting posted the third-best throw during the preliminary round, via a toss of 65-5 (19.94), while Kovacs moved on with an effort of 61-10.25 (18.85) on his second attempt. Going into his third attempt in 13th place - a spot shy of making the final - Eaton made things interesting, advancing to finals via an attempt of 64-7.75 (19.70) - the fifth-best effort of the competition.
Finishing off outstanding seasons on Friday were sophomore Rebekka Simko (Mentor, Ohio), and junior Casimir Loxsom (New Haven, Conn.), who both competed in the 800-meters. Simko placed 27th in the women's half mile, while Loxsom turned in a 27th-place effort in the men's preliminaries. Both Nittany Lions were making their first-career appearances at the Olympic Trials.
The first session of the Olympic Trials continues through Monday, with the second half of the event set to get underway on Thursday, June 28.