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South Dakota’s Chris Nilsen Comes up Just Short at World Track Championships

Chris Nilsen
University of South Dakota

South Dakota freshman Chris Nilsen’s quest to advance to the finals in the pole vault at the 2017 IAAF World Track and Field Championships has come up one spot short.

Sunday (August 6) in London, Nilsen cleared 18 feet, 4 ½ inches, on his second attempt, to finish 13th. Only the top 12 moved on to the finals.

Nilsen was one of 17 athletes to jump that height, but he lost out to four competitors who cleared 18-4 ½ on their first attempt.

That ends quite the first collegiate season for the Kansas City, Missouri native. He won the 2017 NCAA Indoor Championship and two Summit League Field Athlete of the Year awards, while setting a pair of South Dakota program records. Nilsen vaulted a personal best 18-10 ¼ to finish third at the U.S. Outdoor Championships in June.

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