NDSU Track & Field Coach Keller Reacts to Alum Otterdahl Competing at the Olympics
Ottedahl finished 10th in the Shot put at the Tokyo Olympics
FARGO, N.D. — Former North Dakota State thrower Payton Otterdahl’s first Olympics came to an end Wednesday night finishing 10th in the shotput. While it didn’t result on the podium with a medal the accomplishment goes far beyond the placement.
Otterdahl was the first athlete of seven from the NDSU program who competed in the summer games to make it to the final of an event.
For Track and Field coach Stevie Keller, its the way the two-time NCAA indoor champion approaches every competition that set him apart from others on the world’s biggest stage.
“He’s got that mentality of not getting too high or too low. That’s really helped him throughout his career,” Keller said. “He may have a bad practice but he doesn’t dwell on it. He just gets ready for the next day. Works hard. It’s really the secret to his success. His level-headedness along with confidence.”
What Otterdahl’s journey to the top shows is that anyone can come to an NDSU or any other mid-major program and find what you’re looking for to help reach your goals.
“A kid from Minnesota that comes to Fargo to North Dakota State University and has that success shows that you can come to a place like here and be that. Not just at a conference or national level but potentially make a us team or an Olympic team. For us, its three in a row now. In 2012 with Amanda Smock, 2016 with Erin Teschuk and Payton this year so there’s a good trend going. Payton is young. He’ll be going at it for a while now. Hopefully the next Olympic games or even two Olympic games, you’ll see him competing.”
Before coming back to the states Otterdahl will throw in a couple professional diamond league events.