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Penn State Has Second Highest Number of Athletes On US Olympic Team Roster

It comes as no surprise that Penn State will be well-represented at the Olympic Games this year. After searching through the 2016 US Olympic Team roster, compiled a list of the 34 universities sending the most athletes, current or former, to Rio this August. According to the rankings, Penn State is tied with the University of California, Berkeley for the second highest number of Olympians on Team USA with 14. Penn State and UC Berkeley’s 14 athletes each were only bested by Stanford, which is sending a total of 27 competitors.

Here’s the full list of the 14 Penn State athletes competing for the United States in the 2016 Olympic Games:

  • Matt Baranoski, cycling
  • Bobby Lea, cycling
  • Miles Chamley-Watson, fencing
  • Ali Krieger, women’s soccer
  • Alyssa Naeher, women’s soccer
  • Darrell Hill, track and field
  • Joe Kovacs, track and field
  • Byron Robinson, track and field (Note: Robinson competed for Penn State in 2014 before transferring to the University of Texas. Once a Nittany Lion, always a Nittany Lion.)
  • Christa Harmotto Dietzen, women’s volleyball
  • Alisha Glass, women’s volleyball
  • Matt Anderson, men’s volleyball
  • Max Holt, men’s volleyball
  • Aaron Russell, men’s volleyball
  • Frank Molinaro, wrestling

Although this year’s roster boasts a record-high number of Penn Staters, this isn’t the first time for some of them. Anderson, Dietzen, Glass, Chamley-Watson, and Lea are all Olympic veterans, with Lea returning for a third time this August. Even though Dietzen is the only Penn Stater on the 2016 roster to ever bring home a medal, some fierce competitors and promising duos are looking to bring home the gold this year.

Update 11:56 a.m. Even though the Team USA roster was confirmed on July 18, some Penn State athletes were excluded from the list. Here are the names of four Nittany Lions also competing for Team USA:

  • Monica Aksamit, women’s fencing
  • Katarzyna Trzopek, women’s fencing
  • Megan Easy, women’s volleyball (alternate)
  • Nicole Fawcett, women’s volleyball (alternate)

With the addition of these four competitors, Penn State will see 18 current and former athletes compete for the United States in the Olympic Games. Overall, 21 Nittany Lions, including Byron Robinson, will compete or coach in the 2016 Olympics.

Update July 23  Two more Penn Staters will compete and coach in the Rio 2016 Olympics. Track and Field Associate Head Coach Erin Tucker will represent the U.S. Virgin Islands as an assistant coach. He will be in charge of coaching Volunteer Assistant Coach Eddie Lovett, who will be competing in 110-meter hurdles for the islands.



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About the Author

Gabriela Stevenson

Gabriela is a senior majoring in print and digital journalism and Onward State's student life editor. She is from Norristown, PA, which she normally refers to as "30 minutes outside of Philadelphia" (she looked up the exact driving time). She enjoys Broadway musicals, neck pillows, and eating cereal at night. To contact Gabriela, e-mail her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @GabiStevenson if you want to feel young again.


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