A former Park Hill High School pole vaulter has achieved the highest mark in the world this year.

Chris Nilsen, a junior at South Dakota, vaulted 19 feet, 1 inch Saturday at the Beach Invitational in Long Beach, California. That mark extended Nilsen’s NCAA best this season and was 1 centimeter higher than previous world leader Kurtis Marschall of Australia.

It was the second 19-foot vault this season for Nilsen, the defending NCAA outdoor champion. He was chosen Summit League track and field athlete of the week on Tuesday.

Nilsen has vaulted above the 19-foot barrier eight times in his career, including his personal best of 19-2 3/4 last year, which ranks fourth in NCAA history. He and Lawrence Johnson are the only two vaulters to clear 19-1 three times in college.

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