Scholar-Athlete of the Year
South Dakota's NCAA national champion pole vaulter Bethany (Buell) Firsick has been named The Summit League Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year in a vote by the league's faculty athletic representatives and announced Monday. The Award is the most prestigious individual honor given by the league.
"What an honor," said Firsick. "It is the perfect way to cap off what has been such a fun and exciting career at USD."
Firsick, a four-time first-team All-American (twice indoor, twice outdoor), is South Dakota's first female Scholar-Athlete of the Year honoree and the second Coyote in as many years to earn the distinction. Distance runner Jeff Mettler won the men's award last summer.
Firsick, a native of Fenton, Mo., graduated in May with a 3.97 grade point average as a psychology major. She was the national pole vault champion at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships after tying a championship record height of 14'7.50" (4.45m). It was one of four top-six finishes at a national meet for Firsick, who also placed third, fourth and sixth. Firsick won 25 of her 54 collegiate meets.
"Bethany's athletic success during her career has been due to her focus and ability to become a student of her event," said USD assistant coach and pole vault coach Derek Miles. "Her success in the classroom reflects that same diligence.
"It has been a great pleasure to work with such a dedicated individual and this award confirms what we already knew; which is that she will be successful in all of her future pursuits."
Firsick was named to the Dean's List every semester and was USD's Female
Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2014. Firsick has also been named a
first-team Academic All-American and was the 2013 USTFCCCA Outdoor
Scholar-Athlete of the Year.