Tokyo Bound: Payton Otterdahl Qualifies for Olympics

Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 10:47 PM CDT
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EUGENE, Ore. (NDSU Athletics) - Former North Dakota State NCAA champion thrower Payton Otterdahl added the accomplishment of a lifetime to his decorated career on Friday night.

A trip to the Olympics as a member of Team USA.

Otterdahl placed third in the shot put at the U.S. Olympic Trials for track & field, securing his spot at the Tokyo Games. He registered a lifetime-best throw of 71-11 (21.92m) on the fifth of six attempts, edging 2016 Olympian Darrell Hill (71-10 / 21.89m) by a margin of one inch.

The top three finishers in each event at the trials advance to the Olympic Games, if they have met the Olympic qualifying standard – which is no issue in the men’s shot put, which is considered one of the toughest events to qualify for Team USA. Five American men rank among the top 10 performers in the world this year in the event.

Otterdahl’s new personal-best mark ranks him seventh in the world this year.

Otterdahl competed for North Dakota State from 2014-19, winning a pair of indoor national titles as a senior. He currently serves as a volunteer assistant coach for the Bison throwers and competes professionally for Nike.

Reigning Olympic champion Ryan Crouser threw a world record 76-08.25 (23.37m) to win the meet Friday.

Otterdahl will become the seventh former NDSU athlete to compete in the Summer Olympic Games, and the school’s first in men’s track & field.

The shot put is scheduled to be contested on Aug. 3-5 in Tokyo.

NDSU’s Summer Olympians

  • Brad Rheingans (1976, Montreal, Greco-Roman heavyweight, USA)
  • John Morgan (1988, Seoul, Greco-Roman middleweight, USA)
  • Janet Cobbs (1992, Barcelona, volleyball, USA)
  • Tamara Brudy (1996, Atlanta, 4x400m relay, Saint Kitts and Nevis)
  • Amanda Smock (2012, London, triple jump, USA)
  • Erin Teschuk (2016, Rio, 3000m steeplechase, Canada)
  • Payton Otterdahl (2021, Tokyo, shot put, USA)

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