The Penn State track and field men’s and women’s teams will send a combined 13 student-athletes to Austin, Texas, to compete in the 2023 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
The championship is set to begin Wednesday, June 7, and run through Saturday, June 10. The men’s team is sending nine athletes to Texas and the women’s team qualified four Nittany Lions for competition.
On the men’s side, Austin Gallant, Savion Hebron, Callum Dodds, and James Onwuka qualified for the 4×400-meter relay, while Olivier Desmeules and Handal Roban will compete in the 800-meter run. Evan Dorenkamp the 1500-meter run, too.
For the field events, Luke Knipe is the first ever Nittany Lion to qualify in the pole vault and Tyler Merkley is set for the hammer throw.
The women’s squad features Rachel Gearing and Hayley Kitching running in the open 800 run and Faith DeMars in the 5000-meter run. Mallory Kauffman will compete in the shot put event.
Merkley will return as the national runner-up in the hammer throw and currently ranks as the fifth-best competitor. Roban, in his first season with the Nittany Lions, earned a bronze medal in the 800-meter run at this season’s indoor championships. The middle distance star will plan to build upon that success in the Lone Star State.
Kauffman and Gearing are both back-to-back qualifiers on the women’s side.
The 13 student-athletes traveling to this season’s championships mark the largest showing of Nittany Lions since 17 athletes competed at the 2017 outdoor competition.
All four nights of action will be covered on ESPN’s variety of networks. The full schedule can be found here.