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Buell Heads to Nationals

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Des Moines, Iowa –- South Dakota standout Bethany Buell will continue her historic season at the NCAA Track and Field Championships Friday in Des Moines, Iowa. Buell, the first Coyote to ever qualify for the Division I championships, will compete in the women’s pole vault competition at 5:25 p.m. Central time on Friday.

The event is being hosted by Drake University and begins Wednesday.

Buell (St. Louis, Mo.), who is freshman in the outdoor season after redshirting in 2010, enters the event ranked No. 12 in the pole vault, thanks to her school-record setting effort of 13-9 1/4, which she recorded at the Howard Wood Relays in Sioux Falls, S.D., on May 7. Buell qualified for the national championships after an effort of 13-3 1/2 in the wind and rain at the NCAA West Preliminaries in Eugene, Ore., on May 27.

“It’s really exciting to represent the state as well as the University of South Dakota,” Buell said.

She is the 2011 Great West Conference Outdoor Champion and is also the 2011 Great West Conference Indoor Champion in the pole vault. Buell is the only athlete from the Great West Conference to qualify for the NCAA National Championships.

Individuals and relays that score any portion of a team point in an NCAA Track and Field Championship will earn United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) First-Team All-American honors, while those placing ninth through 16th will earn Second-Team All-America honors. Those who do not meet the criteria above, but participate at least a round of the finals site for an NCAA Championship will be listed as Honorable Mention All-America.

“It’s been in the back of my mind to shoot for All-America status,” Buell said. “It’s a few places ahead of where I am ranked, but it’s a new challenge and I am really excited for it.”

Live Results, meet schedule and the pole vault rankings can be found at the links at usdcoyotes.com. In addition, action will be televised live from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Friday on CBS Sports Network (cable).

Last time out: Buell Qualifies for Nationals from West Preliminaries
Buell standout became the first South Dakota track and field athlete to qualify for the NCAA Championships after she finished in a tie for 10th in the event at the NCAA West Preliminaries on May 27 in Eugene, Ore.

Buell finished with an effort of 13-3 1/2 during the preliminary competition. The top 12 in the event advanced to the NCAA Championships. Buell, who came into the event ranked ninth, topped competitors from major schools such as UCLA, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arizona State, California and BYU.

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