Penn State sending 7 athletes to NCAA track and field championships

Nittany Nation

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) — Penn State University is sending seven athletes to the 2021 NCAA Division I Track and Field Championships.

Five athletes from the men’s team and two athletes from the women’s team qualified at the NCAA East Preliminaries in Jacksonville, Florida last week. They will head to NCAA championships June 9 in Eugene, Oregon. The meet will go until June 12.


Danae Rivers is seeded 11th out of 24 athletes in the 1500-meter run. Rivers ran the 1500 in four minutes and 21 seconds on the last day of regionals, winning her heat. This will be her 10th combined appearance at an NCAA national meet in track & field and cross country. During the 2019 indoor season, she was the national champion in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:03:69.

Maddie Holmberg automatically qualified for the women’s heptathlon after clinching the event at the Big Ten Championship. She is seeded 7th out of 24 competitors with 5,839 points. Holmberg holds the Penn State heptathlon school record with 5,976 points and finished third in the event at the NCAA outdoor championships in 2018.


Penn State is sending five men to the championships, with three throwers in the mix.

David Lucas will compete in discus and is seeded fourth out of 24 throwers with a distance of 60.77m. He is the national champion of the 2018 hammer weight throw and currently holds the school record with a distance of 24.02m.

Mark Porter will take the runway for the javelin after securing a 70.22m throw. He is seeded 13th out of 24 throwers. Porter placed second at the 2019 Big Ten Outdoor Championships.

Tyler Merkley rounds out the throwers in his first NCAA championship appearance. He is seeded 12th out of 24 in the hammer throw with a qualifying distance of 67.47m. Merkley placed fifth at regionals with that throw.

On the track, Evan Dorenkamp secured his first trip to the national stage after running a personal best in the 800-meter with a time of 1:49. He is seeded 21st out of 24 runners, with the top-seeded time at 1:45:57.


Noah Swaby has automatically qualified in the decathlon with 7517 points. He is currently seeded 20th out of 24 competitors. He placed third at the 2019 Big Ten Outdoor Championships. This is Swaby’s first appearance at outdoor championships; he qualified as a freshman in 2019 but withdrew due to injury.

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