LIMA, Peru – South Dakota junior pole vaulter Chris Nilsen brought home the gold Saturday afternoon at the 2019 Pan American Games.
A third-attempt make at 18 feet, 10 3/4 inches (5.76 meters) vaulted Nilsen ahead of Brazil’s Augusto Dutra da Silva de O in the standings. Nilsen boasted a clean sheet through the first seven bars of the competition.
The junior also took three attempts at 19-0 3/4, which would have been a new meet record.
Nilsen broke the NCAA Championships meet record earlier this season with a personal-best vault of 19-6 1/4. He’s a three-time NCAA champion in the pole vault and six-time All-American. Nilsen was the Summit League’s Field Athlete of the Year for the third-straight season and named a semifinalist for The Bowerman for the second time of his career.