SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Former University of South Dakota standout Chris Nilsen has advanced to the pole vault finals in Tokyo.
Nilsen cleared a 5.75m vault, 1 of 11 to clear that height, clinching his spot in the finals. Three other vaulters will join those 11 for a 14 man field for the finals.
Nilsen was one of two vaulters to advance without any misses, clearing 5.5, 5.65 and 5.75 meters all on his first attempt.
Nilsen has been competing with Team USA since the 2017 World Championships and was a gold medalist at the 2019 Pan American Games.
Nilsen is the fourth Olympian to emerge from USD. His coach, Derek Miles, qualified for three Olympic Games in Athens, Beijing, and London.
The finals will take place on Tuesday, August 3, at 5:20 a.m. central standard time.