A national championship in the NCAA women's pole vault helped South Dakota's Bethany (Buell) Firsick capture South Dakota College Women’s Athlete of the Year honors.

The South Dakota Sportswriters Association selected the senior for the second time in the last three years.

The St. Louis native, won the NCAA Division I pole vault on her final jump in June, when she cleared 14' 7 3/4" in Eugene, Oregon. What made the performance even more impressive was the torn left shoulder ligament Firsick dealt with during the competition.

Earlier in season, Firsick won her fifth conference championship, and placed sixth at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Over the summer, Buell married Zach Firsick in a ceremony held in Clayton, Missouri.