ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Penn State track & field’s Handal Roban capped off his electric freshman indoor campaign with a third-place finish in the 800-meter run at the 2023 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. Roban ran a 1:47.28 to claim the bronze medal in the 800m finals on Saturday, March 11.
Roban’s finish netted the Nittany Lion men’s squad six points in the team standings and gave them enough to finish as the fourth-best Big Ten squad at the Indoor National Championships, tying for 34th overall. It also marked the first time since the 2019 season since the Nittany Lion men have scored in the indoor national meet.
The Nittany Lion newcomer crossed the line as the top freshman in the nation, finishing over four seconds ahead of Georgia’s freshman, Will Sumner (1:51.46). Penn State’s freshman middle-distance phenom made an incredible first impression on the NCAA track landscape as the focus shifts to the upcoming outdoor season.
ROBAN IN THE RECORD BOOKS
- Roban became Penn State’s seventh indoor First Team All-American (eight instances) in the 800m, joining the likes of Isaiah Harris, Casimir Loxsom, and current Nittany Lion assistant coach Ryan Foster on the list of Penn State middle-distance legends.
- He became the first NCAA indoor medalist for Penn State since David Lucas (weight throw champion) and Isaiah Harris (800m runner-up) both earned top-three marks in 2018.
- The qualifying mark from this season that sent Roban to the NCAA Indoor Championships, a 1:47.01 PR in the 800m, tied Brannon Kidder for third all-time in Penn State history.
On day one of the championships, Roban posted a 1:48.15 to finish fifth in the first heat and claim the last qualifying time for Saturday’s final round.
In the finals, Roban started out of the fifth spot and ran an incredible race to cross the line behind Nevasky Anderson, of Missisippi State, who was later disqualified for impeding the finish of Yusuf Bizimana, and the Texas tandem of Bizimana (1:46.02) and Crayton Carrozza (1:46.78).
The Nittany Lions return to action on Saturday, March 18, beginning their outdoor schedule with a trip to Philadelphia for the Penn Springtime Invitational.
Full Outdoor Schedule
Mar. 18 – Penn Springtime Invitational | Philadelphia, Pa.
Mar. 23-25 – Raleigh Relays |…
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