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Track and Field to Host Kevin Dare Invitational

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Jan. 18, 2013

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion track and field teams will participate in hosting the annual Kevin Dare High School Invitational, Saturday at Ashenfelter III Indoor Track. More than 1,300 athletes from over 50 high schools are set to compete with the events set to get underway at 10:00 a.m. The Dare Invitational is named in memory of former Nittany Lion and State College Area High School standout Kevin Dare, who was tragically killed in a pole vaulting accident at the Big Ten Indoor Championships in 2002.


As an accomplished and experienced pole vaulter, Kevin James Dare loved to soar like an eagle. On February 23rd, 2002, Kevin, a sophomore at the Pennsylvania State University, was competing at the Big Ten Men's Indoor Track and Field Championships. Just before he went to make his first vault of the day, Kevin turned to his father, Ed, and said, "This is my day, Dad." They were the last words that Kevin spoke before sprinting down the runway, planting his pole, and launching himself high into the sky.

Kevin died after hitting his head on the metal planting box where he had planted his pole for the jump.

After years of trying to further improve the safety mandates of the sport, prompting development and urging use of the world's first approved pole vault -specific helmet, the world's first SoftBox and trying to create awareness of the dangers and stricter safety standards needed for the sport, the Foundation realized that the true legacy of Kevin Dare could be found within how he lived his life, not just from the cause of the end of it.

Following the ten year anniversary of Kevin's passing in 2012, the Foundation refocused its mission and fundraising efforts to help high school student athletes with debilitating injuries/illness, through financial scholarships, achieve their academic goals - the true legacy of Kevin Dare - a legacy of integrity, inspiration, and indomitable spirit - to help others to get life...back on track.


In 2012, The Kevin Dare Foundation introduced the "Life... Back On Track" Scholarship program.

The goal of this program is to provide financial support to high-school athletes who have suffered a debilitating injury or illness to help them achieve their academic goals at a four-year institution of higher learning.

It is the Foundation's hope that in Kevin's memory we can create a legacy of integrity, inspiration, and support those of indomitable spirit to overcome a severe injury or illness and get their Life... Back On Track.


About 400 spectators witnessed a world record effort on Friday, August 31, at Nittany Lion Track, as the Life... Back on Track relay team completing off the final stages of their 1,000-mile effort, in 95 hours, three minutes, and one second, unofficially. The team was comprised of mostly Nittany Lion alumni, along with some help from a pair of Lock Haven graduates.

The 10-man relay was run in conjunction with Life... Back on Track, a non-profit organization - run by the Kevin Dare Foundation - that raises scholarship money to help high school students, who have been faced with hardships in their lives, pursue their college dreams. Kevin Dare, who was a standout athlete at State College High School, and Penn State University, was killed in a pole vaulting accident at the Big Ten Indoor Championships at the University of Minnesota in 2002. Symbolically, the 1,000-mile effort began with a small ceremony at the University of Minnesota Field House, before hitting the streets all the way to State College, Pa.

The event was organized by former Nittany Lion standout Ryan Foster, who served as an assistant at the Dare Foundation over the past year. Foster was a three-time All-American as a Nittany Lion, and won a total of four individual Big Ten titles. Foster led his other nine relay teammates on to Nittany Lion Track, with a spirited crowd of friends and family ready and waiting for their return.




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