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Buell is 1st Coyote to compete @ D-I Indoor Nationals



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VERMILLION, S.D. – South Dakota pole vaulter Bethany Buell will become the first Coyote to compete at the NCAA Division I Indoor Championships when she takes the runway at the Randal Tyson Track in Fayetteville, Ark., for the women’s pole vault on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.  ESPN3 will provide coverage of the meet with Saturday’s broadcast beginning at 6 p.m.

Buell, who has a season-best and career-best mark of 14 feet, 5½ inches, is USD’s lone representative and the lone Summit League qualifier for the women’s championship.  The junior has been to two NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, and placed third at that meet last May.  This will be her first indoor championship appearance.

“It’s going to be a little different,” Buell said.  “There’s no preliminary round, so the competition level will be really high from the beginning.  Indoor competitions always have a different feel than an outdoor one, so I’ll be anxious to see how that will play out.”

Qualifying for the indoor championships is the latest in a series of accomplishments for Buell.  Since coming to USD in 2009, she has competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials, won five conference championships (two in the Summit League, three in the Great West), and holds USD’s indoor and outdoor pole vault records.  She has also been named Summit League Women’s Field Athlete of the Week five times, three of which coming this season.

Buell cleared the 14-5½ mark while winning at the Summit League Indoor Championships.  She feels that mark, has yet to reach its maximum, and could rise at this meet.

“I've really been clicking well lately in practices and feel that I'm ready to jump a higher bar,” Buell said.  “Knowing that I haven't peaked yet going into the indoor championships gives me some excitement for what is to come.”

After this weekend, Bethany and the rest of South Dakota Track and Field will compete at the Arizona State Invitational in Phoenix on March 22.

 

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