USD Pole Vaulter, Bethany Firsick, captured the first D1 National Championship in South Dakota history last year at the Outdoor Championships. Now in her final year she looks to go back to back.
Last season Firsick was battling both an ankle injury and a torn ligament in her shoulder, while planning a wedding and preparing for the Outdoor Finals in Eugene, OR. She was able to get through all of that and surprise everyone including herself by bringing a National Title back to The Dome with a jump of 14' 7" 1/4 inches.
"I was not going into the Outdoor Nationals thinking that I was going to come away a champion. I just felt that I was blessed to have my season back and I'm going to enjoy it," USD Senior Pole Vaulter Bethany Firsick said.
Another thing the senior, from St. Louis, MO, enjoys is learning from a former Olympian. USD track coach Derek Miles pole vaulted in two Olympics and has taught his taught his high flying Coyote everything he knows.
"It's great. It gives me the confidence to believe in what he is saying. I really trust him and his workout programs and what he has me do. Knowing that he has been through everything I am going through and then some allows me to trust him and see where it takes me," Firsick said.
Miles has taken her to the top of the Summit League and brought her back a National Champion. Now the question is whether or not she can vault her way over the bar and her competition to bring back another one.
"I think I have the ability to. I was just talking with my husband Zach about this recently. You have to go in with the right amount of confidence knowing that you can jump that, but not being too cocky wither. You also need to understand that you are up against really good competition, but that is what drives us, it is the nature of the sport. So yeah, the goal is to go back there and give it my best shot," Firsick said.
The Indoor Finals will take place March 15th in Albuquerque, NM and the Outdoor season begins March 21st in Tulsa, OK.