Pontiac’s Grove vaults on to world stage

Emily Grove
Pontiac native Emily Grove will be competing in the pole vault at the World Championships in London next month. (Photo courtesy University of South Dakota)

By Eric Stock

VERMILLION, S.D. – A pole vaulter from Pontiac hopes to reach new heights and bring a world championship back to her hometown.

Emily Grove qualified for the track and field World Championships in London by winning a tiebreaker in the pole vault (15 feet, 1 inch) at the USA Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, California in June to take the final spot on the USA roster.

“I told myself that I had already completed what I went there to do which is to jump well so I was going to be happy with the day regardless of the end result,” Grove said. “It just work out in my favor so I’m super thankful that it did.”

Grove will be competing at the World Championships Aug. 5-13 at Olympic Stadium, but will have international competitions in Sweden this week and Italy next week to prepare.

Grove, a sixth-year senior at the University of South Dakota, credits her coach at Pontiac High School, Corey Christenson, for preparing her to excel in college.

“We still stay in touch, he’s a great guy, he’s super supportive and I think he helped set me up for being ready at the college level,” Grove said.

The All-American Grove is one of two Coyotes who be competing in the World Championships. Freshman Chris Nilsen earned his spot in the pole vault by finishing third in the national finals.

“It’s cool I have a teammate going with me, so hopefully we can make the finals over in London,” Grove said. “That’s the goal right now.”

Eric Stock can be reached at eric.stock@cumulus.com.

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