Kovacs, Gehret Show Well In US Finals
June 25, 2012
EUGENE, Ore. - Senior Joe Kovacs (Nazareth, Pa.) turned in a personal-best effort, to place fourth in the shot put, Sunday at the US Olympic Team Trials at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon. Also representing the Nittany Lions was sophomore Brady Gehret (Altoona, Pa.), who ended a sensational run in the men's 400-meters, placing eighth in the finals. Meanwhile, current Nittany Lion volunteer assistant Ryan Whiting realized his Olympic dreams, qualifying for the 2012 London Games, via a second-place finish in the shot put.
The Nittany Lions were well represented in the shot, with Whiting and Kovacs covering two of the top four finishing spots, and 2011 graduate Blake Eaton finishing 11th overall in a sensational field. Whiting, who is the reigning IAAF World Indoor Champion in the event, wasted no time in solidifying his position in the top three, launching a toss of 71-0.75 (21.66) on his first attempt, which held for second place on the afternoon, as well as his first-career Olympic bid.
Kovacs was also on final, posting a PR and school-record effort of 69-2 (21.08), bettering his previous career best by a nine inches. The senior, who was the top collegiate finisher on the day, came within inches of a spot on the US Olympic Team, finishing just off of Nike's Christian Cantwell, who threw 69-9.75 (21.28) for the third and final qualifying position.
Gehret also held his own among the nation's best, placing eighth overall in the men's 400. Gehret, who is still in line to qualify for the 200-meters during the second session of the Olympic Trials, clocked 45.48 in his first-career appearance at the Olympic Trials.
Action in Eugene rolls on tomorrow, with Monday's slate set to include alum Bridget Franek in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase preliminaries.