UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Senior Joe Kovacs (Nazareth, Pa.) and sophomore Melissa Kurzdorfer (Lancaster, N.Y.) were named Big Ten Field Athletes of the Week on Tuesday (April 3), following conference-leading performances at the Jim Click Shootout at the University of Arizona last weekend.
Kovacs took the shot put with a season-best 62-5 (19.02), over two feet ahead of the second-place competitor. The performance is also the best in the Big Ten, as well as the seventh in Division I and fourth in the NCAA East Region. The senior, who placed third in the shot at the NCAA Outdoor Championships a year ago, is the defending Big Ten silver medalist in the event.
Kurzdorfer enjoyed a stellar opening weekend in Tucson, beginning the competition with a PR 206-7 (62.97) in the hammer throw to finish as the top collegian and second overall. The toss leads the conference by more than 10 feet, and is also tops in the East Region standings. Kurzdorfer’s performance, which rates eighth in the NCAA, is also second best in Penn State history, as she becomes just the second woman in program history to better the 200-foot barrier.
The sophomore would go on to finish third in both the shot put and discus with performances of 48-2 (14.68) in the shot, and 157-2 (47.91) in the discus. Both marks are among the top 10 in the Penn State record books.
Kovacs and Kurzdorfer, along with the rest of the Nittany Lions, will be back in action this weekend at both the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif., and the Battle on the Bayou at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La.