After bowling a 285 game in tournament competition while a high school junior in 1988, Dana Holston thought bowling might provide her the best opportunity for a college scholarship. She was also a better than average basketball and volleyball player, but her ultimate athletic skill came in the throwing events in track and field.
At Trinity High School, Dana was the WPIAL Champion in the javelin. Her throw of 155 feet, six inches placed her second in USA TODAY rankings. In the summer of 1989, she was a high school All-American and participated in the Junior Elite Throwing Camp at the Olympic Sports Center in Colorado Springs, CO. In her senior year, 1990, she won third place in the javelin and fifth place in the discus at the PIAA Track and Field Championships. In the Washington County Coaches Meet that year, she won the shot put, javelin and discus and was named Field MVP. She captained both the track and volleyball teams in her senior year, winning MVP honors in volleyball in Section 7.
Continuing her bowling career at Alpine Lanes, she was a state champion in 1989 and again in 1990. As a Penn State track and field athlete, Dana twice qualified for the NCAA championships, finishing 10th and 11th and missing All-American honors by one spot both seasons. Her best javelin throw of 164 feet, one inch, good for third place in the Big Ten Championships, is the sixth best in Penn State women’s track history. Team captain in her senior year, Dana was named to the All-East Track and Field Team, received the Penn State Academic Achievement Award and All Big 10 Academic honors. She was on the Dean’s List for five semesters.
Now in her fourth year of coaching at her alma mater, Holston is responsible for javelin, shot put, discus, hammer and 20 pound weight throwers, as well as the pole vaulters. Penn State’s third place finish in the Big Ten championships last year was the school’s best ever.
Dana continues to be a student at Penn State, now pursuing her master’s degree in kinesiology.