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Merkley, Knipe earn All-America Nods on day one of NCAA Outdoor Championships

Merkley, Knipe earn All-America Nods on day one of NCAA Outdoor Championships


Austin, Texas The men’s contingent of the Penn State track & field team performed well on the first day of the 2023 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, earning two All-America honors and advancing two more individuals to the finals in their respective events.

“It was a great day for Penn State Track and Field on day one of the NCAA Finals,” head coach said John Gondak. “Tyler [Merkley] earned his second First Team All-America honor in what was the deepest hammer throw game at the Finals in years. We also advanced Evan [Dorenkamp] in the 1500s and Handal [Roban] in the 800 to the final. They are our first outdoor finalists on track since 2018, so we are excited to see them compete on Friday.”

Tyler Merkley claimed First Team All-America honors for the second consecutive season, joining Morgan Shigo (2018-19) as the only Nittany Lion hammer throwers ever to earn back-to-back First Team All-America nominations during the event. Merkley ends his decorated Penn State career as a three-time hammer throw All-American and holds the Penn State program record at the event. The graduate student posted a 237-6 (72.40 m) throw to finish seventh in the nation in one of the deepest hammer leagues in recent memory. Merkley’s impressive resume places him among the best pitchers to ever sign the Blue & White.

Luke Knipthe first male pole vaulter in school history to qualify for the NCAA Championships, earned Second Team All-American recognition with a 17–4.5 (5.30 m) clearance that tied him 15 timese place. Knipe caps off his time at Penn State with a career-defining moment, setting the bar high for future Nittany Lion jumpers.

On track, Evan Dorenkamp (1500) and Reliable Robben (800) qualified for Friday’s final rounds in their respective events. For Dorenkamp it was a fraction of a second that pushed him to the final. He claimed the final overall qualifying bid by 0.02 seconds and crossed the line in 3:40.34, just 0.04 seconds off his personal best, to advance to the NCAA Finals in the 1500 meters. Roban used a punt in the final 150 meters of the 800 to advance to second in moto three, claiming an automatic qualifying bid at 1:47.66. The pair of Nittany Lion finalists are Penn State’s first on the court since 2018.

Oliver Desmeules ended his standout campaign with a 20th-place finishe at the NCAA in the 800 meters.

In the final event of the night, the 4×400 relay group of Austin gallant, Savion Hebron, Callum DoddsAnd James Onwuka posted a 3:06.57 to finish 20the in the country, improving both numbers from the group’s performance at last season’s NCAA Championships.


Three of the four Penn State women will begin their competition tomorrow on day two of the NCAA Championships. The Nittany Lions kick off at 10:14 p.m. ET Rachel Gear And Hayley Kitchening in the semifinals of the women’s 800 meters and close the evening with Mallory Kauffman in the shot put at 10:30 ET.


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