USD’s Buell reaches new heights

Bethany Buell is doing her best to further distance herself on the University of South Dakota school record books in the womens pole vault.

South Dakota's Bethany Buell tries to clear 14 feet in the college women's pole vault on Saturday at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays in Sioux Falls. Buell set a new meet record by reaching 13-9.25. (Photo by Jeremy Hoeck/Yankton P&D)

And in the process, the sophomore from the Show-Me State of Missouri is showing just how high she can go.

Buell broke the USD record for the third time this season in winning the vault title at 13 feet, 9.25 inches at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays on Saturday afternoon in Sioux Falls.

It definitely felt good, said Buell, who improved on her previous best this season by six inches. I feel like its been a long time coming for me. It was gorgeous weather, so it just all fell together.

Thats been a consistent theme for the third-year Coyote she redshirted last years outdoor season.

Buell has bettered her own school record by improving from 13-2.25 at the Baldy Castillo Invite (March 19) to 13-3.5 at the Mt. SAC Relays (April 16).

Saturdays final leap was also a personal best for her and also ranked 12th in NCAA Division I ranks this season.

After already winning Saturdays event, Buell and vault coach Derek Miles decided to raise the bar to 14-feet. However, Buell came up short on three attempts, a goal she admitted later to really want.

I still want to break that 14-0 barrier, she said after taking the awards stand at Howard Wood Field. I feel like Im getting closer.

Also for the Coyotes on Saturday in Sioux Falls, the womens 1600-meter relay squad finished first by six seconds in 3:51.59. The quartet included Emma Erickson, Brittney Chambers, Anna Hyronimus and Ashley Sveum.

The USD women also went 1-2-3 in the 100 hurdles, led by Alexa Duling in 14.32. Haley Juhnke was second and Tansha Clarke took third.

Cody Linder was the lone winner on the mens side for the Coyotes, as he took first in the long jump at 22-1.5.

With athletes from USD, South Dakota State, North Dakota State, Augustana, Northern State, Dakota State, Dickinson State (ND), Bethel (MN), Buena Vista and Wayne State, there were also notable performances from athletes competing unattached.

One such competitor was Paige Pollard, a former Newcastle, NE, standout who now runs at Wayne State.

Pollard running attached because she is redshirting the outdoor season won the college womens 400-meter hurdles with a season-best time of 1:01.02, nearly a full second ahead of USDs Juhnke.

I just thought itd be a good idea to get some rest after the indoor season, Pollard said. I needed to work a little on my technique, so now Ive had the spring to do that.

She played basketball and ran track during her freshman season at Wayne State, so she had an extra season of eligibility. And with a new track coach at Wayne State, Pollard a fourth-year junior said she decided, Why not stay in college and do it another year?

She said she has mainly concentrated on the 400 hurdles this spring.

Another athlete competing unattached set a meet and stadium record.

Randall Carter, a native of Papillion, NE, won the college mens high jump at 7 feet, 4.25 inches, and missed on three attempts at 7-5.2 with the Howard Wood crowd cheering him on at every try.

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