How I Made My College Decision - Gen Hirata

College Track and Field Recruiting

Gen Hirata

The college decision is a tough one, but I feel like the choice was clear for me. I have been pole vaulting for a little over two years and knew since day one that I would want to compete in the sport in college. I searched for the best schools with the best pole vaulting programs in the nation and contacted their coaches. I researched and visited several schools before I found my top pick, the University of South Dakota. When I talked to Coach Derek Miles on the phone for the first time, I knew South Dakota would be a top contender for me. After a few more phone calls with other coaches I narrowed down my choices and visited my top four schools, Virginia Tech, the University of Arkansas, the University of Virginia, and the University of South Dakota. Although all of these schools had outstanding programs, both athletically and academically, I decided that South Dakota would be the right fit for me. After meeting all of the pole vaulters at South Dakota and speaking with all of the track and field staff, I knew South Dakota would be my top choice. Coach Miles ensured me that he would do his absolute best to make me the best pole vaulter I could be and I genuinely believed him. His coaching style is similar to the way my current club coach, Val Osipenko, teaches which was something that was very important to me in my decision making process. Coach Val and coach Miles are both passionate about what they do and thoroughly enjoy coaching others to success. In the end, I knew for certain that the University of South Dakota would be my new home for the next few years. 

SOUTH DAKOTA TRACK AND FIELD