EUGENE, Oregon — 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 and field, securing his spot at the Tokyo Games. He registered a lifetime-best throw of 71-feet, 11-inches on the fifth of six attempts.
Otterdahl also got to witness a world record. Trials champion Ryan Crouser threw a world-record 76-8-1/4, besting Randy Barnes' 1990 throw of 75-10-1/4. Joe Kovacs was second on Friday at 73-3-1/2.
The top three finishers in each event at the trials advance to the Olympic Games. Otterdahl competed for North Dakota State from 2014-19, winning a pair of indoor national titles as a senior. He was a four-time first-team All-American and currently serves as a volunteer assistant coach for the Bison throwers and competes professionally for Nike.