Landon Kemp knew when her track and field career at the University of South Dakota began, she would quickly go from top high school athlete to an unproven freshman. What she wasn’t prepared for were the effects of a lingering injury that would put a strain on her not just physically, but mentally, as well.

Kemp, a 2017 Greenville High School graduate and two-time Division 1 pole vault champion, had arrived on the University of South Dakota’s (USD) campus in Vermillion, South Dakota, still burdened by a stress fracture in her foot that began her junior year in high school and nagged her all throughout her senior season. It was just another layer of stress already on Kemp knowing she is joining “Pole Vault U,” where USD, under head coach Derek Miles’ tutelage, earned four NCAA championships and 22 All-American accolades in the event since 2011.

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