SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. (WKBN) – Danielle Collier was a state champion and All-American at Hickory High School and after this past weekend’s performance at the NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships, she can add the title of National Champion to her resume.
“Everyone likes to be remembered for something,” says Slippery Rock senior Danielle Collier. “I guess that’s javelin for me now.”
Collier has already made her mark at Slippery Rock, and it only took one throw.
“I’m telling you, I closed my eyes. I didn’t really know anything, but as soon as it left my hands, I just knew,” Collier said. “You can tell in the video I screamed yes, yes, it’s going. And it just kept going. My teammate told me to aim for that blue emblem in the center of the field because that was over 50 meters, and so when it hit the blue emblem, I was like, ‘that’s far.’ It was surreal, and as soon as I let go, I just knew.”
That throw was 174 feet 6 inches, shattering both the school and conference record and making Collier a National Champion. It was also the 8th longest javelin throw in Division Two women’s history.
Collier won the event by more than 17 feet. In fact, all five of her legal throws that day were long enough to win it. And if you’re wondering, there is a strategy to her signature scream.
“It always says it adds five meters, it adds five meters if you scream,” Collier said jokingly. “Everyone always talks about that. I always get embarrassed. I always try to mute the video before people hear it.”
The title of National Champion also comes with some hardware.
“We actually got a trophy that we got to hold. My one favorite picture is when I’m holding it up. I love that picture because it just shows how much I worked. It’s funny because I brought it home, and my sister was like ‘can I keep this on my mantle?’ I’m like, ‘no it’s mine.” Collier said jokingly. “My mom was like ‘make sure you bring it to Memorial Day celebration. We want to show it off.’ So, it’s cool, but it’s everyone’s now.”
Collier is a graduate transfer, so this is her final year of college eligibility, but she is far from done. Her performance at nationals has earned her a trip to the University of Oregon, where she will compete in the U.S. Olympics trials on June 25.
“I plan to go out and prove myself,” Collier said. “I’m coming from now a D2 program, which everyone’s going to be like who’s Slippery Rock? But I’m just going to kind of remind people of who I am.”