Danielle De Castro had a stellar year, beginning with being a vital piece of an NAIA National Cross Country Team Championship and racing to an individual All American place (12th) in the fall. That was followed by a 2nd place finish in the 1k and anchoring the 5th place DMR at Indoor Track Nationals for two more All American places, which flowed into Outdoor Track Nationals with a closely contested 3rd place finish in the 1,500m for her fourth and final All American award of the 2018-19 season. That would have been more than enough to make any athlete happy, but Danielle was surprised to find herself selected to represent the USA in the World University Games. Danielle will be running the 1,500m on the international stage against some of the best university athletes from around the world.
“Our hope is that Danielle goes out and competes well and enjoys herself, that she enjoys the people around her,” said Oregon Tech cross-country/track and field coach Jack Kegg. “Interact, communicate with others, learn about other cultures and countries, and just enjoy the whole event.”
The summer World University Games will be celebrating the events 60th birthday from July 8th -13th in Naples, Italy. The Games are an international university sports and cultural event that is staged every two years in a different city. These games draw many thousands of student-athletes together to compete, making it one of the largest multi-sport events in the world. The track events will be held in Milan, Italy.
Danielle De Castro truly represents the World University Games motto of “Today’s Stars, Tomorrow’s Leaders,’ as Danielle is a 4.0 Mechanical Engineering student all the while training and competing at a very high level for Oregon Tech year round in both cross country and track. She has been a team Captain for both sports since her sophomore year and serves on the Student Council for the Cascade Conference.
This is a rare opportunity for an NAIA athlete as most USA athletes are selected from the DI and DII levels, even though it’s at the university level it is very, very competitive. Many of these students end up becoming professional athletes. Any competition on the international level can help an athlete grow and it can become a platform for advancement; however, Danielle is mostly looking at this as an opportunity to represent the USA, not only on the track but also as an ambassador.
The University Games incorporates educational and cultural aspects, encouraging student-athletes from around the world to combine high sports performance with their intellectual pursuits.