Local Olympic Spotlight: Darby, PA Native Darrell Hill Hoping For Shot Put Medal
Darby, Pennsylvania native and Penn State grad, Darrell Hill is hoping to be the shot putter making noise in Rio.
Darby secured his spot in the Olympics when he finished third behind fellow Penn State thrower, Joe Kovacs, at the U.S. Trials. Kovacs is the defending world champion, but even he finished second to Ryan Crouser. During the Trials, Darby threw a new personal best.
Having graduated only last year, Darby doesn’t have a ton of international experience. He started breaking out as a junior at Penn State, when he won the Big 10 title. His other major competition was in the Pan-Am games last year, where he finished fourth.
Despite finishing third at the Trials, Darby, 22, still has a very good chance to medal in Rio, as the United States have an outside shot of sweeping the medals altogether. His personal best throw in the Trials was the fourth furthest throw this season. He trails teammates Kovacs and Crouser, and Nigeria’s Stephen Mozia.
Assuming that he can replicate his career best in Rio, which is a reasonable thing to assume, it’s very possible that Darby finishes in the top five. It’s unlikely that he takes gold, with Crouser and Kovacs expecting to duke it out for the top. Darby will have to fight for the scraps with Mozia, New Zealand’s Tomas Walsh, and defending silver medalist, David Storl of Germany. It will be close, but Darby could come home with a medal. Even if he doesn’t, he is showing great promise this season, and could definitely be back to win it in 2020.
He originally attended University of Houston out of high school, but transferred after his freshman year after he realized it wasn’t a good fit. He majored in rehabilitation and human service at Penn State. He attended Penn Wood High School in Yeadon, Pennsylvania, the same school as former world record holder in the 100m dash, Leroy Burrell. He holds the Penn State indoor shot put record, and only trails Kovacs for the outdoor record.
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