South Dakota pole vaulter Chris Nilsen has been named to The Bowerman Pre-NCAA Outdoor Championships Watch List by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Collegiate track and field’s highest honor, The Bowerman is presented annually to the nation’s most outstanding male and female athlete. The 10 semifinalists for this year’s honor will be unveiled June 13.

Nilsen enters the NCAA Championships with the second-best mark in the field (19-2.25). He has cleared 19 feet four times this spring and 10 times in his career.

The defending outdoor men’s pole vault champion, the Kansas City, Mo. native cleared 19-1.5 to break a 22-year-old NCAA championships meet record last spring and was one of eight men to clear 17-7 at the West Qualifier in May. Defending his national championship will likely require the five-time All-American to outduel LSU freshman Mondo Duplantis, who claimed the second-best mark in NCAA history earlier this season by clearing 19-5.75.

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