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    USD TF: Nilsen repeats as USTFCCCA Midwest Field Athlete of the Year

    NEW ORLEANS—South Dakota sophomore Chris Nilsen has been named the U.S. Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association’s (USTFCCCA) Midwest Field Athlete of the Year, announced Friday. Nilsen earns the USTFCCCA’s Midwest honor for the third time of his career, earning it indoors this season and outdoors a year ago.

    A pole vaulter out of Kansas City, Mo., Nilsen enters the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships with the top height of 19 feet, 2¾ inches. The sophomore not only leads the NCAA this season, but also boasts the top mark in the United States this spring.

    The height makes Nilsen the fourth-best performer in NCAA history with the ninth-best clearance.

    Nilsen has vaulted above the 19-foot barrier three times during the outdoor season. He cleared his personal best at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays. Nilsen also vaulted 19-0¼ to win the Summit League Championships and cleared the same height to win the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. He also finished runner-up in the Drake Relays elite vault with a height of 18-11½. The sophomore earned USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week honors twice during the outdoor season.

    Nilsen vaults at the NCAA Championships at 7 p.m. (CT) next Wednesday.

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