Danae Rivers Wins Historic NCAA Indoor Track & Field Title
Danae Rivers made history for the Nittany Lions at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships — storming from behind to claim the 800 meter title, which makes her Penn State women’s track and field’s first indoor champion in program history.
The junior finished with a time of 2:03.69, moving from fifth to first place on the home stretch to edge Penn’s Nia Akins, who finished with a time of 2:03.74.
“It was crazy. I was going off of that turn and I remember Coach [John Gondak] saying everyone can close in that last 200 [meters] the same,” Rivers said. “So I had that mentality in my head and I was like I’m not going to give up. I’m going to keep pushing to the end and see what that heck happens.”
Rivers earned All-American honors each of the last two indoor seasons, as well as at last year’s NCAA outdoor championships, but never finished better than third in the final. She was eighth in the 800 meters in last year’s NCAA indoors. Her other two individual All-American honors came in the mile.
Penn State finished the two-day championships with each of its six participants earning All-American status.
Maddie Holmberg and Domenic Perretta earned second-team honors with ninth place finishes in the women’s pentathlon and men’s 800 meters, respectively. Alexis Holmes took fourth place in the women’s 400 meters for first team honors. Rounding out the weekend in the men’s weight throw, defending national champion David Lucas finished eighth, while teammate Morgan Shigo took fifth.
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