Grove & Brost Compete In Olympic Trials Pole Vault Finals

USD School Record Broken By Grove In 10th Place Finish


A pair of locals tried to vault their way into the 2016 Olympics.

Watertown’s Leslie Brost and USD’s Emily Grove competed in the pole vault finals of the Olympic Track and Field Trials on Sunday afternoon in rainy Eugene, Oregon.

Brost failed to clear her first height.

Grove cleared 14 feet 7 inches and 14 feet 9 inches, both personal records.  The final vault also broke the Coyotes’ previous school record of 14 feet 7 1/4 inches set by Bethany (Buell) Firsick in 2013.

For more on Grove read USD’s press release below.  For highlights from today’s events click on the video viewer!


South Dakota senior Emily Grove cleared a school record 14 feet, 9 inches, to take 10th in the women’s pole vault in the U.S. Olympic Trials at Hayward Field Sunday afternoon.

Grove entered the final having set an outdoor personal best of 14-5 ¼ in the preliminaries. She once again cleared the height, which was the opening bar, on her third attempt. Grove went on to make 14-9 on her second attempt for 10th place. The height is a half-inch shy of her all-time personal record.

“I am incredibly excited that I made finals as that was my number one goal,” Grove said. “Today I just wanted to jump well. My attempts at 15-1 were okay, but I am definitely ready to jump it. I am ready to join the 15-foot club.”

Grove broke Bethany (Buell) Firsick’s school record of 14-7 ½ from 2013. Firsick cleared that height to capture the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships with an NCAA Championship meet record.

“Having an athlete of Emily’s caliber with this kind of success at the Olympic Trials is huge,” said Director of Track and Field/Cross Country Lucky Huber. “It shows people that South Dakota is a player on the national scene in track and field. We think Emily’s leadership will help raise the bar for everyone involved with USD track and field.”

American record holder, Jenn Suhr of Adidas, clinched the meet with a vault of 15-9. Suhr is joined on Team USA by Nike’s Sandi Morris and Arkansas freshman Alexis Weeks. Weeks, the 2016 NCAA Champion, Duke’s Megan Clark and Grove were the three collegians to qualify for Sunday’s final.

Grove, a five-time All-American, qualified for the Olympic Trials by winning the Iowa State Classic with the Olympic “A” standard and indoor school record of 14-9 ½. Grove was named the 2016 Summit League Indoor and Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year and broke the outdoor championship meet record in May. She’s tied with Firsick as the most decorated Coyote at the NCAA Division I level as both have five All-America awards. Grove was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA in May and will return for the Coyotes outdoors in 2017.

Grove joins senior Teivaskie Lewin and sophomore Gawain Williams as one of three Coyotes to qualify for their home country’s Olympic Trials. Lewin and Williams competed at the Jamaican National Championships last weekend. Three Coyotes qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2012.





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