Two Former Nittany Lions Attempt to Qualify for Rio 2016 Olympics
Ashley Burke of Bucks County, PA and Darrell Hill of State College, PA are attempting to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in diving and shot put, respectively.
Although she did not attend Penn State (Rider University is her alma mater), Burke is currently a volunteer diving coach for the Nittany Lions. Penn State Diving Coach Dennis Ceppa coaches Burke, and she trains at the Penn State Natatorium six days a week with two diving practices a day. On top of that rigorous schedule, Burke does strength and conditioning three times a week.
Standing at just 4-foot-11-inches, Burke has big dreams. She will dive in June to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics. If she qualifies, she will be reunited with her synchronized diving partner, Ariel Rittenhouse, who is currently training at Stanford University.
A fellow Pennsylvanian athlete, Darrell Hill threw shot put at Penn State from 2013 to 2015. While shot put is not the most publicized sport at Penn State, this Nittany Lion earned his fair share of honors while in State College.
In 2014, Hill earned an outdoor Big Ten title for shot put, which he defended in 2015 thanks to an impressive toss of 66-3.25. In 2015, Hill continued his impressive skills by wowing with an indoor Big Ten title thanks to a toss of 66-6.
Hill was named first team All-American in 2015 and finished second at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships due to an incredible toss of 68-2.25.
In total, Hill was named All-American three times and earned three Big Ten titles during his time as a Nittany Lion.
All of Nittany Nation wishes these two Nittany Lions the best of luck as they take their blue and white to qualifying competitions for Rio 2016!