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Carter and Kovacs claim shot put titles at California State Capitol

6/25/2014
 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Michelle Carter (Ovilla, Texas) and Joe Kovacs (Nazareth, Pennsylvania) kicked off the 2014 USATF Outdoor Championships in style Wednesday, capturing the women’s and men’s shot put titles in front of 5,500 fans at the California State Capitol in downtown Sacramento.

 

Carter started the day with a one-and-done, hitting the auto-qualifying mark on her first attempt of the morning (18.53m/60-9.50) to advance to Wednesday’s finals. Carter, the American record holder in the event, continued her dominance in the evening session, leading from start to finish. Carter captured her fifth national crown outdoors and third in the last four years, finishing up with a toss of 19.45m/63-9.75 to take the title.

 

Felisha Johnson (Indianapolis, Indiana) surpassed 2012 Olympian Tia Brooks (Grand Rapids, Michigan) on her final throw of the evening, throwing a new personal best of 19.18m/62-11.25 to claim the silver medal. Brooks was third with her mark of 18.83m/61-9.50, a 2014 best.

 

In the men’s competition, it was a battle between Kovacs, Kurt Roberts (Ashland, Ohio) and Reese Hoffa (Athens, Georgia) for the top spot. For much of the competition, it was Roberts out in front. A new outdoor personal best of 21.47m/70-5.25 on his third throw of the night got the crowd on their feet and a celebratory Roberts screamed in the ring.

 

It looked as though Roberts would hold the advantage until Kovacs’ fifth throw of the evening, a rocket toss of 22.03m/72-3.50 for a new personal best and the edge in the competition with one throw remaining. Roberts put forth his second 70-footer of the night but it wasn’t enough, as Kovacs claimed his first outdoor national title. Hoffa utilized his fourth throw to claim the bronze medal in Sacramento, tossing a mark of 20.78m/68-2.25.

 

All results from the USATF Outdoor Championships are available on USATF.org and fans can enjoy the Capitol Shot with all rounds available on USATF.tv.

 

The second day of the USATF Outdoor Championships begins at 10 a.m. PT with the continuation of the junior combined events. The men’s hammer throw is the first senior final of the day, beginning at 3 p.m. PT.

 

Thursday’s events are live on USATF.tv beginning at 10 a.m. PT with the junior and senior combined events.

 

Follow along live with USATF on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #USAoutdoors. A full recap will be available on USATF.org daily following the last event’s conclusion.

 

The USATF Outdoor Championships are the final stop on the USATF Championship series. All-session passes and single-day tickets are still available at SacSports.com.

 

BROADCAST SCHEDULE - USATF OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS

Thursday 6/26

2pm-12:30am ET/10am-9:30pm PT - All Events - LIVE on USATF.tv

 

Friday 6/27

2:45pm-10pm ET/11:45am-7pm PT - All Events - LIVE on USATF.tv

10pm-Midnight ET/7pm-9 PT - LIVE on NBCSN (Field Events will be LIVE on USATF.tv)

Midnight-12:40am ET/9pm-9:40pm PT - LIVE on USATF.tv

12:40am ET/9:40pm PT - COOL DOWN - on USATF.tv

 

Saturday 6/28

10am ET/7am PT Racewalk - LIVE on USATF.tv

1:30pm-4pm ET/10:30am-1pm PT - All Events - LIVE on USATF.tv

4pm-6pm ET/1pm-3pm PT - LIVE on NBC (Field Events will be LIVE on USATF.tv)

6pm-7pm ET/3pm-4pm PT - on Universal Sports

6pm ET/3pm PT - COOL DOWN - on USATF.tv

 

Sunday 6/29

10am ET/7am PT - Racewalk - LIVE on USATF.tv

2:30pm-3pm ET/11:30am-12pm PT - All Events - LIVE on USATF.tv

3pm-4pm ET/Noon-1pm PT - LIVE on Universal Sports (Field Events will be LIVE on USATF.tv)

4pm-6pm ET/1pm-3pm PT - LIVE on NBC (Field Events will be LIVE on USATF.tv)

6pm ET/3pm PT - COOL DOWN - on USATF.tv

 

-- DAY ONE ATHLETE QUOTES --

 

Michelle Carter, women’s shot put gold medalist

“The venue was great and the crowd was great. Being so close to the crowd was amazing. We tried to educate them on the event.”

 

“(The crowd) was a mix of people who know track and field and others who don’t have a clue what’s going on. It was good to have that mix because it meant the crowd was excited for everything. They just want to see what’s going on.”

 

“I wanted to throw further today. I’ve been working on some timing issues. I didn’t throw as far as I wanted to today but I still had a good series.”

 

Felisha Johnson, women’s shot put silver medalist

“I was a little nervous. I haven’t been at a meet in a while so I tried to relax and take it slow.”

 

“This is my first street meet. I was afraid at first that I would foul one and step off the platform but they made it long enough for us.”

 

“The ring felt really good, like maybe they buffed it out for us so it wasn’t too fast or too slow. This was pretty cool. There were a lot of people out here to watch shot put which helps our event. It sucks people in.”

 

Tia Brooks, women’s shot put bronze medalist

“This was amazing. It’s comparable to all the international competitions I’ve been able to do, so to be able to have this domestically was amazing.”

 

“The ring was the same as any other ring. It was level, though it was weird to be so high and be looking down at everybody. It was a quick adjustment to make.”

 

“When you look at shot competitions, we don’t usually have that many fans. So to have this many people here, you want to put on a show. So I didn’t do as well as I would have hoped but it’s the best I’ve done all season and I was a part of history in the making.”

 

Joe Kovacs, men’s shot put gold medalist

“Things might not have looked as pretty as last season but it’s starting to come together. Just taking a while to line everything up. But this season, I’ve PR’d a lot and things are really starting to line up but at the same time, you want to do it big. Especially at this venue. I’m glad to have come away with a win.”

 

Kurt Roberts, men’s shot put silver medalist

“This morning I came in with one focus: I didn’t make the final at World Indoors and that really weighed heavily on me. I wanted to come out, have one throw and be done. I want to be more prepared to do that when it comes time for World Championships and Olympics to focus that way.”

 

Reese Hoffa, men’s shot put bronze medalist

“Any time you see people throw over 70 feet, it’s exciting. I’m excited for Joe and Kurt; they’re both carrying the torch for American shot putting.”

 

Amanda Brooks
Marketing and Communications Manager
USA Track & Field
317.713.4690
e-mail

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