South Dakota track and field sophomore Bethany Buell finished 15th in the pole vault competition at the U.S. Olympic Trials Sunday in Eugene, Ore. Buell and freshman teammate Emily Grove were competing at the event for the first time.
The pole vaulters opened the finals at a high 13-11 height while at the same time, facing very windy conditions during Sunday's competition to make efforts by the athletes difficult.
Buell (St. Louis, Mo.) cleared 13-11 ¼ to finish in 15th in the field of 27 competitors. Buell, who enjoyed a stellar outdoor season, was unable to clear the next height of 14-5 ½, which would have tied a personal best. Buell earned first-team All-American honors after taking third in the pole vault at the NCAA Championships and also was named the Summit League Field Athlete of the Year. Buell also was named the Summit League Female Athlete of the Month for May and June.
Grove (Pontiac, Ill.) was unable to clear the opening height of 13-11 during Sunday's competition. The freshman enjoyed a strong freshman campaign, however, earning first-team All-American honors at the NCAA Championships after taking seventh. She also tied the school indoor pole vault record of 13-7 1/2.
South Dakota assistant coach Derek Miles will compete in the men's pole vault preliminaries on Monday. The two-time Olympian will compete at 7:30 p.m. Central time on Monday night.