Gymnast Turned Pole Vaulter Signs Letter of Intent

Senior makes her college decision official.


Kailee Swart has officially committed to the University of South Dakota.

Nya Huff, Reporter

When picking up a pole and getting ready to vault for the first time 21 months ago, senior Kailee Swart never thought that she would be in the place she is now.

National Signing day took place on November 9th, where student-athletes committing to play a collegiate sport sign their letter of intent. Swart committed to the University of South Dakota to vault under two-time Olympic medalist pole vaulter Coach Derek Miles. 

The recruitment process was “exciting and stressful” at the same time for Swart. The process began by taking official and unofficial visits to top-tier pole vault programs like Notre Dame, High Point University, and Indiana University to “get a good sense of what they were like, the team and the culture.”

Swart said the most important part of the process was “looking for a coach who was willing to get me to my goals”, like representing the United States in the Olympics when she reaches eligibility. She chose to become a coyote for the next four years of her life after “all of the athletes on the track team made it a point to come and introduce themselves to me.” After making her decision, Swart said, “South Dakota is where I felt at home.”

Though this is a momentous occasion for Swart, the path is not over, as her sights are set on an individual State championship. After accomplishing her goal of breaking a school record a whopping eight times, she feels there is more she can accomplish before putting on her Irish uniform one last time.