EUGENE, Ore. (USD) — South Dakota alumnus Chris Nilsen captured the silver medal in the pole vault at the 2022 World Athletics Track & Field Championships on Sunday evening inside Hayward Field.
Nilsen, a 2020 graduate of the University of South Dakota, garners his third world championship medal within the last 12 months. He took home the silver medal at the pandemic-delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics last August, bronze at the 2022 World Indoor Championships in Serbia and now silver on American soil at the 2022 World Outdoor Championships.
Nilsen cleared 19 feet, 5 ¾ inches, (5.94m) on his first attempt to secure the silver. He was one of three athletes to make the height. Olympic champion Mondo Duplantis captured the event by breaking his own world record, clearing 20-4 ½ (6.21m).
A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Nilsen was a three-time NCAA Champion for the Coyotes. Post-collegiately, he captured back-to-back U.S. Championships in 2021 and 2022. Nilsen owns the American indoor record of 19-10 ¼ (6.05m) from the Perche Elite Tour in France in March and vaulted an outdoor best height of 19-8 ¼ (6.00m) back home in Vermillion at the USD Twilight in May.
Nilsen added to the Team USA medal tally. The United States captured a record-setting 33 medals at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, the most by any country in meet history. This marked the first time the World Championships have been held on American soil.