GRAND FORKS, N.D. – University of North Dakota track coach Kevin Galbraith was understandably excited following the opening day of his team’s first home meet of the season, the UND Indoor Open. And much of that excitement was due to the performance of his standout pole vaulter, Kyley Foster.
“The big highlight of day one was Kyley’s performance,” said Galbraith. “She broke her own school record and had good looks at the next height.”
Foster broke her school record vault with a clear of 13 feet, 1.50 inches (4.00 meters). Her previous best was 13-01 (3.99), which she set at the Big Sky Conference Indoor Championship last season.
“Kyley was really close to hitting 13-05 (4.08) on all of her attempts,” said jumps coach Joe Silvers. “That was a promising start to the day and with two meets left, it’s promising for conference.”
After not competing in multi-events since the South Dakota State Holiday Open, Erica Benson, Ellie Miller, and Alexander Holmes earned personal records in either the overall competition or singular events, or both.
“Overall, its the second time they have competed in this event and they did awesome,” said Silvers. “Overall we are really happy with the results.”
Benson earned a personal best with an overall score of 3,111 points in the pentathlon. Her previous score was 3,060 points. Her new score put her fourth in UND’s top-10. In addition, she earned personal bests in the shot put, long jump, and 800-meter.
Her previous best shot put mark was 23-10.25 (7.27). Today she threw for 27-11.50 (8.52). She bested her long jump improving from 16-05 (5.00) to 16-06.50 (5.04). She clocked an 800-meter time of 2 minutes, 34.27 seconds, besting her previous run of 2:36.03.
“The start was a little slow for me,” said Benson. “After I PR’d in shot put I was feeling pretty confident going into long jump and the 800-meter.”
Along with a great performance, Benson also enjoyed the day for another reason. She got to compete along side older sister Christa of Bemidji State.
“We push each other and get to joke with each other during the competition,” said Benson. “During the 800-meter I could see her in front of me and that pushed me to chase after her.”
Miller saw improvement in all five events on the day. Overall, she improved her total score from 2,796 points to 2,974 points. Her score put her sixth in UND’s top-10.
Miller’s previous performances were as follows: 9.98 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles, 5-03 (1.60) in the high jump, 28-00.75 (8.55) in the shot put, 14-05 (4.39) in the long jump, and a time of 2:45.87 in the 800-meter.
Today Miller bested those performances with the following: 9.78 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles, 5-03.25 (1.61) in the high jump, 28-08.25 (8.74) in the shot put, 15-06.75 (4.74), and a time of 2:43.22 in the 800-meter.
“I am happy with my performance today,” said Miller. “Its exciting to PR in so many events.”
After day one of the heptathlon Holmes sits with a personal record in the shot put and high jump. He currently has 2,442 points. Holmes and teammate Josh Pillath finish the heptathlon tomorrow morning with the completion of the 60-meter hurdles, pole vault, and the 1,000-meter.
“Both Alex and Josh are both on track with predictions,” said Silvers. “They just need to show up tomorrow rested and ready to go.”
Also showing promise on day one were pole vaulters Alex Torp and Nick Krella.
Torp earned a personal record and the 10th spot in UND history with a clear of 15-01 (4.60).
“Alex was struggling with his approach today,” said Silvers. “To see him come out jumping 4.60 tells me we are doing something right.”
Krella was just shy of his personal-record jump of 14-08 (4.47).
“Nick has gone through some major changes with his approach,” said Silvers. “He is adjusting well and is right there with Alex.”
“We are hopeful of what they can do at the conference meet,” said Silvers. “They could both be scorers for vault.”
“Its always good competing at home for us,” said Galbraith. “Today was a good start to the weekend and we’re ready for what tomorrow has in store.”
Day two of competition continues at 9 a.m. with the 60-meter hurdles for the heptathlon. The field events are set to begin at 12:00 p.m.