Pole Vaulters Vault into the National Rankings
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Pole Vaulters Vault into the National Rankings

The Coyotes track and field team is currently in the middle of their indoor season, yet some players have begun gaining major recognition.

The Coyotes have taken three of the last four “Player of the Week” awards in field events for both the men’s and women’s track as well as field teams.

Fifth-year senior Marshall Faurot won the Player of the Week award on Jan. 23. Following him was junior teammate Eerik Haamer, alongside junior Cassidy Mooneyhan on Jan. 30.

Mooneyhan and junior teammate Marleen Mülla both vaulted 4.32 meters, tieing for the leading spot within the Summit League. They accomplished this mark at the USD Alumni meet, also tieing for the 12 ranked national mark in pole vault. 

Faurot vaulted 5.46 meters in the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational, which ties him for the 13 national spot with Washington Huskies senior Mathis Bresko.

The team has been making lots of noise nationally in the last few weeks but most of USD’s athletes aren’t necessarily looking to hit a certain mark.

“I’m not focusing on the rankings or anything,” Mülla said. “I just want to jump high and see how the season goes.”

Faurot also looks to get better not just by winning awards.

“It’s definitely cool to get those honors, but when I look at the team we aren’t striving for the Player of the Week award,” Faurot said. “But I was grateful to get it, but what we are focused on right now is the little things you have to do to be successful, jumping every meet and trying to maximize our potential this season.

The main focus for the team is being the best that they can be while possibly inspiring others on the team along with the next generation of vaulters.

“I think the future is really bright. Us leaving the mark is going to be really good in the future when it comes to recruiting high schoolers when we can show we are nationally ranked, and this program is really good. We can put South Dakota on the map,” Mülla said.

Putting South Dakota on the map means other teams and programs and current high school athletes have to recognize USD.

“It feels really good to be recognized. It’s good for USD athletics and it’s good for USD vault, and I know we always try to put that out there to get the next generation to come here,” Mooneyhan said. “Opens people’s minds to the fact that just because we are a smaller school we are all D1. We are in the same division as everyone in the SEC.”

Both the men’s and women’s Coyote teams have many aspirations for the future, while still trying to keep the pressure to a minimum as they break through.

Photo Credit: Sydney Kolln | The Volante