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USD’s Gen Hirata finishes in third in pole vault at NCAA outdoor national championships

South Dakota fourth-year sophomore Gen Hirata placed third in the women’s pole vault to highlight a quintent of Coyotes in action Thursday night inside Mike A. Myers Stadium.
 
Hirata and sophomore Marleen Mülla both garnered a podium spot and first-team All-America accolades in the vault.
 
Hirata, a native of Fredericksburg, Virginia, was one of three women to clear 14-5 ¼ (4.40m) in the competition. NCAA Champion Julia Fixen of Virginia Tech stayed clear with first-attempt makes all the way through to a personal best height of 14-7 ¼ (4.45m). Runner-up Nastassja Campbell of Washington had a third-attempt make at 14-7 ¼, which led Hirata to pass her final attempt at that height in order to have one crack at the next bar of 14-9 (4.50m). This marks Hirata’s fourth-career All-America honor with a pair of first-team accolades in 2023.
 
Mülla, hailing from Rakvere, Estonia, tied for sixth in the pole vault with a final height of 14-1 ¼ (4.30m). In her fourth-straight NCAA Championship meet, Mülla picks up her fourth career All-America honor. This is her second first-team accolade, following a third-place finish at the 2023 NCAA Indoor Championships.
 
Junior Cassidy Mooneyhan joined the duo in the women’s pole vault, marking the first time the Coyotes have qualified three women in one event at the outdoor championships.
 
Making her NCAA Championship debut, junior Jacy Pulse clocked 56.14 seconds for 10th place in the 400-meter hurdles. The time is .03 seconds off her own school record and just narrowly missed advancing to Saturday’s final in the event. Pulse garners second-team All-America accolades for the performance.
 
Fourth-year junior Lydia Knapp finished 20th in the hammer throw to receive honorable mention All-America status. She improved on her third and final throw, posting a mark of 201-6 (61.42m).
 
South Dakota concludes action at the NCAA Championships on Saturday with sophomore Danii Anglin in the high jump. Anglin competes at 7:30 p.m. inside Mike A. Myers Stadium.

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