Years at Loras:
O'Donnell was a three-time All-American in track and field with a second in the 1987 NCAA Division III 5,000-meter and in 1988 with a third in the same event. He was also a cross country All-American, ranking eighth nationally in 1987. In 1986, O'Donnell became the first Duhawk to enter an NCAA Division III national after the college left the NAIA.
A six-time Iowa Conference champion in the 800, 1,500 and 5,000 meters, winning the events back-to-back in 1987 and 1988. He helped Loras to an outdoor and cross country Iowa Conference title sweep in 1987 and another outdoor title in 1988. After his final season, O'Donnell owned the Loras record in the 800, 1,500 and 5,000-meter events. Nearly two decades later, he retains the 5,000-meter mark (14:31.89) and is a member of the record holding foursome for the 4x800 relay (7:43.08).
O'Donnell's hallmark traits were consistency, competitiveness and leadership. In his senior cross country season, he was either first or second in six of nine meets, including the Iowa Conference championships and the NCAA regionals. He shared the Iowa Conference MVP award with Pat Tierney in 1987. In all four of his Loras years, O'Donnell was a member of a national cross country qualifying team (NAIA in 1984-85 and NCAA Division III in 1986-87). Along with Tierney, he was the Duhawks co‑captain for several seasons. Also outstanding in the classroom, O'Donnell was GTE District VII All-American in 1987.