T&F: Nilsen Honored as Drake Relays Top Performer

DES MOINES, Iowa—South Dakota junior Chris Nilsen received the 2019 Maury White Award, presented to the Drake Relays Most Outstanding Performer on the men’s side. Announced Monday by the Drake Relays Board of Directors, the award is voted on by members of the media.

Nilsen vaulted 19 feet, 2 ¼ inches, to take home the gold from the elite section of the men’s pole vault at the 110th Drake Relays. The season-best for Nilsen broke the Drake Relays meet record and ranks second in the NCAA this spring.

The award, named for long-time sportswriter Maury White of the Des Moines Register, is presented annually to the top male in the combined collegiate/elite divisions. Nilsen becomes the first pole vaulter to garner the award since 1991, when Bill Payne of Baylor took home the honor.

Nilsen and the Coyotes resume action at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Friday and Saturday. The men’s pole vault is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Friday.