Former NC State Champ Jane Donahue Announces Medical Retirement at Penn State

Penn State junior Jane Donahue has medically retired from collegiate swimming, she announced on Sunday on her Instagram feed. Donahue, who says that she’s been battling injury for 5 years, hasn’t raced since July.

After 5 years of battling with an injury, I have made the difficult decision to medically retire from the sport that has been my life for the past 15 years. I am so grateful for all the love and support I have received these last 2 1/2 years as a member of the Penn State swim team. I am hopeful to do bigger things outside of the pool and to support my team and coaches from the pool deck. Best advice for those who still get to do what they love- enjoy the ride because you never know when it will be over. Here’s to the start of my next journey… #weare

Donahue did not disclose the nature of the injuries.

Last season, as a sophomore, the breatstroker scored 4.5 points for the Nittany Lions individually, placing 23rd in the 200 breaststroke and tying for 22nd in the 100 breaststroke. Her best breaststroke times came as a senior in high school, where she swam 1:01.49 in the 100 and 2:12.00 in the 200. Her collegiate bests were 1:01.97 and 2:15.2, respectively.

In high school, Donahue trained with SwimMAC Carolina in Charlotte, where she was one of the club’s best-ever breaststrokers. She still ranks 7th in SwimMAC history in the 15-16 100 breast and 5th in SwimMAC history in the 17-18 100 breast, landing among names like Maija Roses, Lilly Higgs, and Kathleen Baker. Donahue was also a 3-time NISCA All-American and 2-time Scholastic All-American in high school. In total, she won 5 North Carolina 1A2A event titles, and as a senior led Christ the King High School to a North Carolina team championship.

She also scored a pair of A-final finishes as a prep at the Winter Junior National – East meet in 2016 (200 breast) and 2015 (100 breast).

Penn State has a deep breaststroke group that includes juniors Maddie Cooke (1:01.02) and Carly Hart (1:01.04), who are both having breakout seasons and rank 10th and 11th, respectively, in the conference in the 100 yard event. Sophomore Olivia Jack ranks 17th in the Big Ten this season (1:01.45).

Under the terms of NCAA medical retirement rules, Donahue can still receive any scholarship money from the athletic department without it counting against Penn State’s scholarship limit.

Leave a Reply

3 Comment threads
3 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
5 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
VA Steve

Best of luck. Sounds like a well-rounded athlete.


Is she related to the Donahue that swam at Virginia who was also from NC?


I remember her when I coached there and she was in Senior 1 group. One of the hardest workers and just over all driven athletes and a very well rounded young person. Sad to hear, but have no doubt she will move on successfully in her life. Best of luck, Jane!!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!