Pole Vaulter Kyley Foster Elevates With Aviation Major

Kyley Foster credits her passion and motivation for her success as both an athlete and pilot. Since arriving to UND as a track and field walk-on, Foster has pursued a degree in commercial aviation as a helicopter pilot. Image courtesy of North Dakota Athletics.

Leading up to her second consecutive NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Preliminary Round appearance, one might think pole-vaulter Kyley Foster has more time than ever to practice. Finals are over, the spring semester – a thing of the past.

Not everybody is trying to fly like her, though.

Foster, a junior majoring in commercial aviation, describes her student-athlete lifestyle as “interesting.”

“I’m usually flying a few days a week,” she said. “That’s something I do early, like we’re talking sun-is-coming-up early.”

During the semester, there are classes following flights, then practice at the track whenever she can. Now that it’s summer, she’ll be back in the cockpit and classroom soon enough.

“We’re going to be learning a lot this summer,” she remarked.

With a number one ranking in the Big Sky Conference, Foster has had a record-breaking season. Just last month she set a new school record when she cleared 13 feet and 9 ¼ inches (4.20 meters), which bested her previous season’s 13 feet and 3 ¾ inches – also a school record.

Her performance punched her ticket to the NCAA Division I regional tournament. This outdoor season, a school-record nine athletes, including Foster, will appear in the postseason.

For more on Student-athlete of the Month Kyley Foster, click here!