Crook County High School senior Neil Chaney will pole vault at South Dakota School of Mining and Technology

Neil Chaney, who recently won the Class 4A state pole vault championship, has signed a letter of intent to compete in track and field at South Dakota School of Mining and Technology.

Chaney, who tied the school pole vault record with a leap of 14-06 at the state championships, wilLON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Neil Chaney celebrates after winning the state pole vault championship earlier this year. Chaney plans to attend South Dakota School of Mining and Technology next fall where he will major in mechanical engineering. l study mechanical engineering at the university.

"They are a pure engineering-based college," he said. "They only have 16 degrees and almost all of those degrees are in engineering."

Chaney chose the university because of what it has to offer academically.

The NCAA Division II University is located in Rapid City, South Dakota.

The university has a limited number of athletic scholarships, which they divide between multiple athletes.

Chaney is on a short waiting list for a partial scholarship when one becomes available.

"I'm high on that waiting list, so if any more scholarship opportunities come in, I will get some athletic funds," Chaney said.

Chaney enrolled in the school too late to receive academic scholarships this year, but said that he intends to apply for academic help next year.

"I'm excited for the opportunity," he said. "They run a full indoor season, so it will be year-round."

Chaney added that the school has signed two other freshmen pole vaulters and has a couple of returning vaulters as well.

"That will be nice because they are all in the same range, so there will be good competition," he said. "I don't know anything about the other aspects of their track program, but I know that they have an excellent (indoor facility for year-round vaulting practice) and a good weight facility."

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