Nilsen works to repeat as national pole vault champion

After breaking an NCAA record at pole vault last year en route to a national outdoor title, USD Junior Chris Nilsen will have a target on his back as he enters the national championship this week in Austin, Texas.

Nilsen is the top ranked pole vaulter in the nation, clearing 19-feet, 1 1/2 inches a year ago. and is also a five time All-American. When competing for his third national title this week, Nilsen will be going against Armand Duplantis from LSU, who is ranked first in the world.

"Chris has just kind of raised the bar in the pole vault world, and watching him and Mondo go back and forth is a lot of fun. It;s pretty crazy when you think about the number one and number two athletes in the world are in the pole vault at the NCAA Division I level. So that will be really exciting to go watch those two go head to head," said USD Track and Field Director Lucky Huber.

The Division I National Track and Field Championships run Wednesday through Friday in Austin, Texas. The event will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2 on Wednesday and Thursday, and on ESPN on Friday.