Katelin Rains, Minnesota State: NCAA DII Athlete Hall of Fame, Class of 2022

Katelin Rains raised the bar for NCAA Division II pole vaulters.

Before Rains bolted down the Reggie Lewis Center runway in 2007 for her third attempt at 4.27m (14-0) during the NCAA DII Indoor Track & Field Championships, no female athlete had topped that height in divisional history. Under the bright lights on the division’s biggest stage, Rains wouldn’t be denied history, as she cleared the beam and soared into unchartered territory.

Fast forward two years and Rains added three more 14-footers to her ledger: one the following year to improve her indoor meet record to 4.31m (14-1¾); and then two in 2009, none grander than her current all-time divisional indoor best of 4.40m (14-5¼) at the Parents Day Open.

Rains’ final year in a Minnesota State uniform – 2009, to be exact – proved to be memorable. After becoming the only female athlete in NCAA DII history to win three consecutive indoor pole vault titles, Rains finally broke through outdoors and ascended that podium as well. Not only was it Rains’ first outdoor crown, but she also set a meet record of 4.14m (13-7) in the process.

Prior to 2009, the Mavericks had never won the team title at the North Central Conference (NCC) Indoor Championships. That changed when Rains scored 20 points to help MSU to the crown: ten points came from a fourth consecutive pole vault title; ten more in the long jump.

Rains, the second Minnesota State athletes inducted into the USTFCCCA NCAA DII Track & Field Athlete Hall of Fame, was a two-time USTFCCCA NCAA DII National Women’s Field Athlete of the Year, among other accolades.