Penn State’s Danae Rivers finished her record-breaking freshman campaign with a big accolade on Wednesday — she was named the Big Ten Outdoor Women’s Track & Field Freshman of the Year.
Rivers also previously won the identical indoor honor, making her the first-ever Nittany Lion to sweep the award.
She’s already the school record-holder in the 800 meters with a time of 2 minutes, 2.53 seconds. And she also contributed to record-setting performances in both the 3,200-meter relay (8:25.49) and the distance-medley relay (10:56.07).
“She has great racing instincts and, when you have good speed and good racing instincts, you stick around in the race long enough to use your speed in the end,” Penn State coach John Gondak said earlier in the spring. “She’s very good at doing that.”
Rivers earned first-team All-Big Ten honors after winning the 800-meter event at the conference championships and finishing with silver in the 1,500 meters.
She helped guide the Nittany Lions to a third-place finish in the Big Ten championships and a 29th-place finish in the NCAA championships.