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Is Anyone Having a Better Year Than South Dakota’s Chris Nilsen?

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While most first-year college students are worried about adjusting to life away from home and trying not to put on the ‘freshman 15′, South Dakota’s Chris Nilsen is having the time of his life.

The Kansas City native has completed a rare sweep – three straight Summit League Athlete of the Month honors – one for each month of the indoor track season.

Nilsen’s March honor comes after he became the second Coyote to capture a national title in the pole vault, when he won the NCAA indoor championship, last month, with a jump of 18′ 8 1/4′. USD’s Bethany Buell won women’s outdoor pole vault national title, nearly four years ago.

That win solidified Nilsen’s pick as the Summit League Indoor Field Athlete of the Year.

He hasn’t cooled off transitioning to the outdoor season. Nilsen cleared 18′ 6 1/4″ to win Arizona State’s Baldy Castillo Invitational by 18 inches, last month, destroying an 11-year-old school record by 11 inches on his first attempt. Nilsen currently ranks second in the NCAA, and fifth in the world, for the outdoor season.

Nilsen and the Coyotes host South Dakota State in a dual meet Saturday (April 8), in Vermillion. Field events begin at 11:00 AM, running events at 1:00 PM.

The 2017 NCAA outdoor championships are June 7-10, in Eugene, Oregon.

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