VERMILLION, SD… Chris Nilsen is back in Vermillion after defending his NCAA Pole Vault title last Wednesday night in Austin, TX. Mondo Duplantis of LSU, who turned pro Monday was the favorite to win after jumping 19′ 8″. But the USD junior clinched his 3rd overall title (1 indoor) when he cleared 19′ 4-1/4″ and eventually when 2 inches higher for a personal best and shattered the NCAA championship record that he set in 2018.
Chris Nilsen, USD Junior says: “Definitely the most memorable yeah. So jumping the 19-6, competing against the greatest in the world Mondo Duplantis, and doing it at Texas and winning number three yeah, it’s probably the most memorable.”
Derek Moles, USD Track/Field Coach says: “To not go on the defensive, not to jump bars that put us back in the lead or anything like that, what we wanted to do is come out and execute a meet that we thought we were capable of producing but at the same time take shots at a PR and leave the meet having nothing left. And I think that’s what he did.”