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Reigning USATF Outdoor Champion Kovacs throws world lead to earn USATF weekly accolades

INDIANAPOLIS -- Shot putter Joe Kovacs earns USATF Athlete of the Week honors after his impressive performance at the 13th Rafer Johnson/JJK Invitational on April 11 in Westwood, California.
Kovacs (Nazareth, Pennsylvania) tossed a lifetime best of 22.35m/73-4 Saturday to crush his previous personal best of 22.03m/72-3.50, which won him the national champion title at the 2014 USATF Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, California.
“Last Saturday was a great place to start the year,” Kovacs said. “My coach Art Venegas and I were anticipating bigger throws this season because the training numbers are at a higher level. I look forward to the rest of the season and thank USATF for all the help and support!”
Kovacs’ throw is also the best mark in the world since fellow compatriot Christian Cantwell threw 22.41m/ 73-6.25 at the 2010 Nike Prefontaine Classic, setting a meet record.
He is set to compete against the best in the world at the 41st Nike Prefontaine Classic at Historic Hayward Field on Friday, May 29.
Other notable performances include:
  • Quintunya Chapman (Hinesville, Georgia), a senior at the University of Georgia, scored 6,146 points at Bulldog Decathlon/Heptathlon to improve the 11-year-old school heptathlon record of 6,033 set by 2008 Olympic silver medalist Hyleas Fountain. Chapman is now No. 2 on the current world list and leads the NCAA.
  • Garrett Scantling (Jacksonville, Florida) of the University of Georgia moved up to ninth on the all-time collegiate list after posting a world-leading score of 8,232 points to win the Bulldog Decathlon/Heptathlon at the Spec Towns Track in Athens, Georgia, on April 8-9.
  • Sandi Morris (Greenville, South Carolina) continued “The Year of the Vault” with the best ever outdoor performance by a collegian when she cleared 4.62m/15-1.75 in pole vault at the Arkansas John McDonnell Invitational in Fayetteville.
  • Tim Glover (Normal, Illinois) threw the javelin a world-leading and lifetime best of 84.09m/275-10 at the Tennessee Relays to remain No. 5 on the U.S. all-time list.
Now in its 14th year, USATF’s Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
2015 Winners: January 15, Chris Derrick; January 21, Demi Payne; January 28, Casimir Loxsom; February 4, Anselm LeBourne; February 11, Jenny Simpson; February 18, Brycen Spratling; February 25, Maksim Korolev; March 4, Shannon Rowbury; March 11, Mary Norckauer; March 18, Daloria Boone; March 25, Irene Obera; April 2, Michael Stigler; April 8, Allen Woodard; April 15, Joe Kovacs.
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USA Track & Field is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the country’s No. 1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. For more information on USATF, visit
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To nominate an athlete for Athlete of the Week, please send a detailed email about their performance to

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