Penn State's Dannielle Gibson (2396) competes the triple jump at the Nittany Lion Challenge indoor track and field meet on Jan. 14, 2017. Gibson won the event. Photo/Craig Houtz

Gibson named Big Ten Female Field Athlete of the Week

Bahamian collegiate long and triple jumper Dannielle Gibson, who’s currently ranked No. 2 in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the women’s triple jump indoors, was named as the Big Ten Conference’s Female Field Athlete of the Week yesterday.

Gibson, like several other Bahamian collegiate track and field athletes, kicked the 2017 indoor season off on a high note. At the Nittany Lion Challenge, she won the women’s triple jump with a distance of 13.33 meters (m) – 43 feet 9 inches. That was a new personal best indoors and the second best jump in school history.

The Penn State senior added a third place finish in the long jump with a mark of 5.82m (19 feet 1-1/4 inches). “It feels exhilarating, not only for myself, like an accomplishment for myself, but for my team as well,” Gibson said of the historic leap. “I feel like I have to give it up to my team, because first my teammates starting it off added fuel to the fire, so it was really good to get that start. I look forward to what’s going to come next. Mentally, I feel like I’m 10 steps or 10 moves from where I was last year, so it’s a continuation of starting from square one and I really feel good about that.”

This is the first time in Gibson’s career that she won a Big Ten indoor weekly award. The last Penn State indoor field athlete of the week for the conference was Lexi Mastersonon, January 13, 2016. Gibson shares the honor with Illinois’ Kandie Bloch-Jones who finished first in the high jump at the Illini Classic with a mark of 1.84m (6 feet 1/4 inch) that currently ranks third in the NCAA and second on Illinois’ all-time list.

Last outdoor season, Gibson captured the triple jump gold medal at the NACAC (North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association) Under-23 Championships in San Salvador, El Salvador, finishing with a mark of 13.54m (44 feet 5-1/4 inches), recording the best jump of her athletics career.

She also finished 11th in the women’s triple jump at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, earning second-team All-American honors. She wrapped up the indoor season with a 10th place finish in the triple jump at the NCAA Championships with a mark of 12.88m (42 feet 3-1/4 inches) at the Birmingham Crossplex in Birmingham, Alabama.