Five members of the Penn State track & field team competed at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Joe Kovacs highlighted the Nittany Lion athletes with a bronze medal in the shot put.
Kovacs, a two-time Olympic silver medalist, is the Penn State school record holder in the shot put. He threw 22.12 meters to finish third, behind Ryan Crouser of the United States and Leonardo Fabbri of Italy. This was Kovacs’ fifth World Championships medal, and his first bronze.
Handal Roban, the 2023 NCAA bronze medalist in the indoor and outdoor 800 meters, competed for St. Vincent & the Grenadines at the World Championships. He finished his 2023 competition season ranked No. 33 in the world in the event. Roban posted a 1:46.86 in the event in his first World Championships appearance.
Isaiah Harris, a two-time NCAA champion in the 800 meters, also competed at the World Championships for Penn State. He finished with a time of 1:48.00 in his qualifying heat, missing a spot in the semifinals by three hundredths of a second.
Ryan Foster and Nathan Ott, two coaches for the Nittany Lions, also visited Budapest in 2023. As a member of the St. Vincent & the Grenadines national team, Roban traveled with Foster, who helped him win a pair of NCAA bronze medals this season. Ott served as the coaches for four female hammer throwers at the 2023 World Championships.
As a member of team Jamaica, he assisted former Nittany Lions operations assistant and volunteer assistant coach Nayoka Clunis in reaching the hammer throw finals. Clunis became the first Jamaican hammer thrower to ever advance to the World Championships’ hammer throw finals.
The performance of the Penn State track & field athletes at the 2023 World Athletics Championships was a testament to the hard work and dedication of the team. They represented Penn State and the United States with pride, and they made the university proud.