USD's Nilsen Finishes at Runner-Up at NCAAs

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—South Dakota junior Chris Nilsen repeated as the NCAA runner-up in the pole vault at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships on Friday inside Birmingham CrossPlex.

Nilsen, a two-time NCAA Champion, recorded his fifth career top-three finish at the NCAA Championships. He vaulted 18 feet, 9 ½ inches, on Friday.

Friday’s pole vault competition was the most competitive on the top end in the history of the NCAA Indoor Championships. It marked the first time in history that three athletes have made 18-9 ½ (5.73m) at the meet.

To compare to Nilsen’s NCAA Championship run in 2017, when he was the only athlete remaining after 18-4 ½, there were eight men to clear 18-5 ½ on Friday.

LSU freshman Mondo Duplantis claimed his first NCAA title in the pole vault with a jump of 19-1 ½. Duplantis broke the collegiate record in the event earlier this year.

Three Coyotes compete at the NCAA Championships on Saturday, with junior Zack Anderson competing in the high jump, junior Helen Falda in the pole vault and Lara Boman in the weight throw.