The following blog comes from The Genz ( by Dan Genzler of Sioux Falls, S.D.. This piece is about USD’s Bethany Buell at the NCAA Track Championships on Friday, June 10.

She’s the first.

Bethany Buell of The University of South Dakota women’s track and field team finished 13th in the women’s pole vault at the NCAA Track and Field Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines. As a result, Buell earns second team All-American honors from the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association USTFCCA).

Buell was successful at two heights at the meet, including 13’1 1/2, which placed her 13th. Surrounded by competitors from across the nation, Buell is the first Coyote to step onto this stage and she fared well becoming USD’s first DI All-American in any sport. She was joined by a group of Coyote supporters in red and white in the stands near where she was competing, which I am sure provided some comfort.

She cleared the opening height of 12’9 1/2 on her second try, after barely missing her opening jump. As the bar moved to 13-1 1’2, Buell cruised over the bar without problem.

Then the rain came and competition shutdown for 30 minutes. Just as the competition was to start anew, the rain came again, which delayed the pole vault. However the meet continued in the rain and Buell tried three attempts at 13’5 1/2, coming close but not quite good enough.

The competition ( was won by Oregon’s Melissa Gergel who had a vault of 14-7.25, which tied an NCAA meet record of Kylie Hutson of Indiana in 2010. Buell, the highest placing freshman in the competition, finished ahead of vaulters from Florida, Michigan, Clemson and Minnesota in a competition in which six vaulters cleared 14 feet.

Yet this redshirt freshman from St. Louis, Mo., showed that she has a bit of the “South Dakota” pride that she has exhibited on a regular basis as a Coyote. Just think, this freshman has three more bites at the NCAA apple before maybe more in this sport lies ahead in her future.