BARCELONA, Spain – South Dakota track and field athlete Emily Grove advanced to the finals in the pole vault at the IAAF World Junior Championships Thursday morning in Barcelona, Spain. Grove is one of 12 individuals to qualify for the finals, which are set for Saturday.
The Pontiac, Ill., native had a strong day of competition Thursday, clearing four bars without a miss. She cleared the final height of the day at 13-5 1/4 (4.10 meters) on her first attempt to clinch a spot in the finals.
“I was feeling really good today,” Grove told USA Track and Field. “I was running really well today and had to scoot back, which is a good sign. The wind was swirly, but was mainly a tail, so you just had to watch the ribbon. I had comfortable clearances. I’m hoping the final goes as smooth as today. I hope to jump a pretty decent bar and maybe place fairly high.”
Grove opened the qualifying round by clearing 12-7 1/2 (3.85 meters), and followed by clearing 12-11 1/2 (3.95m) and 13-3 1/2 (4.05m) before clearing her final height.
The final round is set for Saturday at 2:05 a.m. Central time (9:05 a.m. local time) in Barcelona.
Grove, who completed her freshman season for the Coyote women’s track and field program this past spring, earned first-team All-American honors at the NCAA National Championships in June, and also qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials.